Dear Friends and all,
I can't believe John and I are so close to opening our Family Medicine Office. It was about two years ago, and in some
ways seems like yesterday, that John and I announced that we were leaving the Treasure Coast area. As everyone knows, that
decision to leave secure employment with Martin Memorial, our house, and our community we call home was a tuff one. We left
with a sense of adventure to overcome our sadness and hope that in the future we would find the opportunity to come back to
the area doing our own thing.
We have gained on our "sabbatical." I have enjoyed the freedom of staying at home with the boys without having to report
to a boss. I have enjoyed the mountains, new friendships and reunions with friends from college, and new perspective. We can
savor friendships and scenery we may not visit for a looooong time. We bring a third son back to Florida with us. John watched
David Stuart crawling around and destroying all our piles of papers yesterday. John says, "Why did YOU have to have an infant
just as we were starting a business?" I was amused, "John, that infant, with those feet always one step ahead made you a name
around here. He and our three boys are our reputation." I don't know if men get it. As a mother I certainly feel my identity
through my children. They are a part of us, our plans, and our life. The boys are a reason to pursue our goals.
Our practice is an independent practice. We have started it from scratch. We have done it ourselves. Early November
we planned a trip down to the Treasure Coast to meet with the CEO's at the hospitals in Saint Lucie County and a few other
physicians. Two days before our meeting at Lawnwood I injured my left ankle resulting in a non-weight bearing injury. Nothing
could stop my determination to get down to Florida. I was supposed to be packing the evening of the injury. After I got a
splint and crutches at the Rome "medicenter." I directed my oldest son William to get the suitcases and pack while I sat with
my leg elevated. I belonged in therapy. (And actually thought about going to Treasure coast Orthopedics and Rehab while down
here, but I didnt have much time.) I went to all our meetings with area hospital CEOs on crutches or a wheel chair and a nursing
seven-week-old. Very humbling to need so much help, while trying to leave a positive impact.
We chose our location in regard to community need. It is hard to imagine really that there are locations on the Treasure
Coast not in need of primary care, but Lawnwood thought our 25th Street location in Ft. Pierce would be be successful
and pointed us to that location. We drove back and forth several times from North Georgia to firm up details, buy another
house, and get things going. From our computer and phone in Georgia we worked daily on other details of the office. No consulting
firms. Sometimes we call it grass roots. We know what family-owned and operated means, nowyou learn as you go. I give a lot
of credit to John who has dealt with all the lawyers, accountants, and insurance representatives while I felt overwhelmed.
We have a terrific office staff we hired, for the most part hired long distance, that has also aided us with paper work and
Our homeschooled boys are good boys and learning as we go about all our activities. Our first weekend back in Florida,
Scott got a sunburn on his shoulders. The next day he complained how much it hurt and wanted to know when it will go away.
I explained that probably by the morning it will be gone and I put some cool moisturizer on it. When he woke up, his shoulders
still burned. He complained, "Mom you're a doctor, you should've known I would still hurt!"
Ready or not, here we come
Coquelet & Punger Family Medicine, P.A.
4640 South 25th St.
Fort Pierce, Florida, 34981