After serving the medical needs of Fort Meade and the surrounding community for 25 years, Dr. Luis Favilli has stepped down from his position at the Fort Meade Community Health Care Clinic.
He has since left the clinic in the hands of his nephew and niece, Dr. Alner Miguel Quinonez and his wife Dr. Marcela Arguedas, who have renamed the facility Complete Care Family Medicine Associates.
Though patients can expect to experience the same professional and personal care they have come to expect from the clinic under Dr. Favilli, nothing will ever replace his caring and empathetic nature toward his patients and the lasting impact he has left upon the community, those involved in the center said.
“Fort Meade is a better community for Dr. Favilli having passed through it,” said Mike Stedem, Director of the Fort Meade Clinic. “I don’t think you will find anybody in Fort Meade or Bartow or anywhere that doesn’t have anything positive to say about Dr. Favilli.”
Born in Nicaragua, Favilli moved to the states to pursue his education at Baylor University in Waco, Tex., in order to practice medicine.
He arrived in Fort Meade at a time when the city needed him the most. In 1989, three of its practicing physicians left — two retiring, one having passed away — leaving the city without a doctor for the first time in 100 years.
To help find a new doctor for the community, and to ensure that the city never goes without one again, a not-for-profit organization was started that purchased the Dr. Carrion Building and converted it into the Fort Meade Medical Clinic, later to be renamed the Fort Meade Community Health Care.
The clinic is privately owned but community affiliated, run by a local board of directors, and offering an attractive lease in order to bring doctors into the city.
Through the assistance of Bartow Memorial Hospital, the clinic interviewed several doctors before eventually choosing Dr. Favilli. His expertise, coupled with his bilingualism, which is a plus in a community with a large Hispanic population, made him the most viable replacement for Fort Meade.
To call Dr. Favilli a godsend for the community would be considered an understatement to those who know him. Not only was he able to carry the practices of the three previous physicians, he also helped attract other medical professionals into Fort Meade.
Dr. Favilli had only the utmost empathy for his patients, and as such, spent as much time with them as needed.
“He has more empathy in his little finger than the majority of us have in our entire bodies,” Stedem said.
Dr. Favilli has also served as the chief of staff at Bartow Memorial Hospital, and had opened a clinic in Lakeland, Favilli’s Family Practice, nearly six years ago.
He has since placed the Fort Meade Clinic in the hands of his nephew and his wife. Both wanted to take up the medical practice themselves, and as Dr. Favilli was spending more time at the new facility in Lakeland, he decided to place the Fort Meade Clinic in their hands while he continues to work in Lakeland.
Dr. Quinonez and his wife Dr. Arguedas were both born in Nicaragua. Dr. Quinonez was raised in Costa Rica where he received his medical training and met his wife. He and his wife moved to the states where they married and he began his career working with his uncle for five years.
Both are board-certified physicians who not only will provide the same high standard of care that patients have come to expect, but will also implement new technology, offer new services, and extend office hours.
Yet even with their expertise, Dr. Quinonez admits that neither of them will ever be able to replace the one and only Dr. Favilli. Having served the Fort Meade community for as long as he has, his departure will leave a hole in the hearts of the many residents whose health he has catered to.
“It will be impossible to fill in his shoes,” Dr. Quinonez said. “With all of his experience, with the compassion he has for the patients, it will be very difficult to take over something like that. He has been doing this for 25 years, but we are doing our best to be the best for the community. I hope that the people feel the same way.”
Expanded hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.