Llobet medical continues expansion
By Brian Sweeney
The Llobet Medical Group in Margaretville is continuing to expand its staff and the services it provides.
Located in the Palen Medical Building adjacent to Margaretville Hospital, the Llobet Medical Group (LMG) was established on October 1, 2010 and has rapidly grown to provide health care services to an increasingly wide coverage area.
The husband and wife physician team of Dr. Paul Llobet and Dr. Holly Llobet established the practice and they have been steadily adding specialists and extending a range of services.
Dr. Paul Llobet said the medical group now has a staff of 12 who split time between the Margaretville complex and a second office that has been established on Albany Avenue, Kingston.
In addition to the Llobets, Dr. Weymin Hago began work in Margaretville seeing patients on Mondays and Tuesdays. Dr. Hago, an internist, also serves as an on-call physician at Margaretville Hospital.
Dr. Hago attended Ross University School of Medicine and is board certified in Internal Medicine. He graduated from medical school in 2006 and completed his training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Cabrini Campus and St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City.
Dr. Hago has been working in private practice dealing with a large variety of medical conditions including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, weight management and specializes in preventative medicine. He is of Chinese Ecuadorian descent and speaks Spanish fluently.
Christine Via, a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, has joined the LMG on a full-time basis. She specializes in women’s and children’s health issues.
She earned her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Sage Graduate School in Troy. Ms. Via has been working in the local healthcare community for more than 10 years, first as a Registered Nurse and now a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has experience caring for patients of all ages, including pediatrics in a variety of settings. She has worked most recently in primary and urgent care with special interest in pediatrics and women's health.
JoAnn Fritsch is a board-certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. She became a member of the medical group staff last fall.
Ms. Fritsch has an extensive background during her 30-plus years of nursing. After completing staff and managerial assignments at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, she, spent a number of years as a Healthcare Consultant for the Wyatt Company in Washington, DC.
In 2003, Ms. Fritsch returned to critical care nursing at Thomas Jefferson while working toward certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse. She subsequently became a certified Adult Nurse Practitioner with a degree from Sage College in Troy. She worked as a Heart Transplant Coordinator at Albany Medical Center and a primary healthcare provider in the Kingston area before joining the Llobet Medical Group as a primary healthcare provider.
Ms. Fritsch said she’s pleased to be part of the facility’s healthcare team.
“What I really like about this practice is the personalized care and the service that is given to the patients. When you get here, if the environment is friendly and warm, this can help ease a difficult situation,” she commented.
The group also has an affiliation with John Litchtenstein, M.D., a board certified addiction medication specialist who is based in Kingston.
Dr. Holly Llobet also is the director of critical care for the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley in Kingston. This liaison arrangement helps provides continuity of care for LMG patients who need ICU treatment. She is in the process of creating a palliative care and hospice program for Kingston, Benedictine and Margaretville hospitals. She is board certified in palliative care.
Physician Assistants Eileen King and Steve Carson help at the medical facility on a part-time basis.
Rounding out the staff are: Bridget Drizis, Judy Starkweather, Gaudy Sanford, Angie Serdiouk, Diane Bevins, Dan Goddell, Vanessa Bramley, Sabina Desic, Jane Lewis, Antonea Bongo and Sharon Lombardo.
In addition to new staff, the LMG continues to add new services. These include: free vaccines for individuals utilizing Med- icaid and Child Health Plus; in-office caloric testing and arterial testing; on-site EKGs; and pulmonary function and hearing tests.
To accommodate the new health care providers and services, the group has expanded into additional sections of the Palen Medical Building.
Dr. Paul Llobet said he’s pleased with steady growth of his private practice facility. He also serves as hospitalist at Margaretville Hospital and said the proximity of the LMG to the hospital offers considerable convenience to patients who require radiological services or overnight care.
“We’ve been able to expand and continue to try to fill the demands of the community,” Dr. Llobet explained. “With our expanded staff, we are able to provide consistent care for patients of every age.”
Dr. Llobet said he would like to see the practice continue to grow.
“We are actively searching for more people who want to come into the community and provide healthcare. It’s still an evolving endeavor,” he explained.
In addition to the immediate area, staff at the LMG sees patients from communities as far away as Stamford, Delhi, Phoenicia, Boiceville and Prattsville.
“We are serving a wide geographical region,” he noted.
Dr. Llobet said he involved with several plans to help attract more medical professionals to practice in this region. He is currently working with the NY Medical College in Valhalla to mentor students who would perform rotations at Margaretville as part of their studies.
He is also in talks with the Family Health Institute in Kingston to arrange for that facility to provide residency training for family practice medical residents.
“That may attract more doctors and might also help Margaretville to be considered a training hospital,” noted Dr. Llobet.
He pointed out that bringing in more visiting specialists to the hospital is another goal. He noted that Kingston-based physician Dr. Kevin K. Dodd is at Margaretville several times per week and performs an average of 40-50 colonoscopies monthly. Dr. Llobet said that having physicians who can perform minor surgeries like orthopedics, urological and simple laparoscopic procedures would provide a nice benefit for area residents.
With the services currently provided and others under consideration, Dr. Llobet is excited about the continued expansion of the LMG.
“The growth of the practice has been exponential – at a faster pace than I would have expected. This demonstrates the need in this community,” he commented.
The Llobet Medical Group is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday hours may also be added. For more information, call 845 586-3888.