Angela Leone: Electronic Health Record (EHR) System Analyst, Tampa, FL

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA chain of values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy which ensures a focus to our patients and community through high quality health care.

PPOA’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) System Analyst, Angela Leone’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Angie goes above and beyond to make sure everything is running smoothly on a day-to-day basis not only for employees but patients as well and she does it all with positive attitude.

Angie has spent her entire life in the Tampa Bay area. She was born in St. Petersburg and eventually made her way to Tampa. Angie received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of South Florida. In her free time she enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and volunteering for the Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding Tampa Bay during the holidays.

After college Angie began her career in the healthcare industry helping people with addictions and mental health for over 7 years. She then transitioned her career into information technology. After about 5 years in IT she had the opportunity to combine both her knowledge in healthcare and IT here at PPOA.

Angie joined the PPOA family in 2016. Currently she works at PPOA’s headquarters located in Tampa, FL as an EHR System Analyst. Angie provides application support for the various EHR and billing applications that we use for medical services.

Angie may not be working on the front lines in the clinics but she is an important asset behind the scenes making sure the system that holds our patients heath records is working properly for our clinics to run smoothly.

Angie is a crucial asset to the PPOA team, “Angie Leone is such a pleasure to work with and a true team player. She always responds quickly to IT requests, pays attention to details, and does so with a positive attitude! PPOA is blessed to have her as a teammate,” says Daniel Ucheoma, Regional Business Development Manager.

Angie has a passion for helping others, “When I do get the opportunity to help a patient, I love to see their quality of life restored. Nothing is better than helping a patient find the answer they are looking for,” Angie says.

PPOA applauds Angie for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion.

Lori Burbridge: Patient Experience Specialist, Tampa, FL-

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy – which informs our service to patients and the community through high quality health care.

A Patient Care Champion doesn’t have to necessarily be on the front-lines, they can be that comforting voice on the phone. Patient Experience Specialist Lori Burbridge goes above and beyond to make a patient feel comfortable about an upcoming procedure. As a patient experience specialist, she takes on the role of being a liaison between the clinics and the Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC). Lori truly embodies the values of a Patient Care Champion.

Lori was born in Saint Petersburg, FL. She spent about four years of her childhood in America Samoa, a US Territory Island in the South Pacific. Her family eventually made their way back to Florida where she attended Bloomingdale High School in Valrico. Now Lori is currently living in Tampa, FL with her family. She is blessed to have two smart, beautiful boys, Romeo who is 16 and Logan who just turned 10. They also have a cat named Lola and puppy named Lucy.

The beginning of Lori’s career was spent in the mortgage industry as a Business Analyst and a Compliance Specialist. Before joining PPOA Lori was a Regional Manager for a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation company. She managed forty plus drivers over a six county area in North Florida. This experience allows her to assist with the transportation challenges some of our patients experience when using medical transportation to get to our facilities.

In July 2019 Lori joined the PPOA family. She is a Patient Experience Specialist located at our Headquarters in Tampa, FL. Lori’s day-to-day responsibilities include Inbound/outbound calls with patients to discuss the authorization status and cost at time of service for procedures scheduled at our ASC’s, collaborating with the ASC’s, authorization teams, and clinics to ensure excellent customer satisfaction for our patients while overcoming any challenges that may keep the patients from the pain relieving procedures they need.

Lori truly values her role as a Patient Experience Specialist, “Lori is an extremely dedicated teammate who brings a fresh perspective to her job daily while maintaining the highest level of customer service. She is tremendous and brings a sense of honor and duty to her daily responsibilities, she really cares and it shows,” Michael Hardy Director, Patient Experience says.

Lori’s grandmother always wanted her to be a nurse and although she is not, being a Patient Experience Specialist has been the next best thing, “I love being able to provide a caring voice, listening ear, and help overcome any issues that could prevent our patients from improving their quality of life by reducing their pain,” Lori says.

PPOA applauds Lori for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion

Jasmine Rogers: Medical Assistant, Tampa, FL-

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy – which informs our service to patients and the community through high quality health care.

Jasmine Rogers has gone that extra mile. Jasmine is the Medical Assistant at PPOA’s Fletcher Clinic in Tampa, FL. She goes above and beyond to make sure our patients are happy and she does it all with a smile on her face. Jasmine truly embodies the values of a patient care champion.

Jasmine has lived in sunny Tampa, FL her entire life. She attended Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School and then made her way to Southern Technical College. In Jasmines free time she enjoys cooking, making gift baskets, and giving inspirational speeches.

Jasmine began her healthcare career with Humana as a license insurance agent. She then made her way to Blossom Pediatrics working in the same position. Finally Jasmine started working for PPOA in 2017 as a Medical Assistant for our Fletcher Clinic. Some of her day-to-day responsibilities include checking patients in and out, scheduling appointments, authorizing patient medications and verifying patients insurance.

Jasmine has always had an inner desire to satisfy patient’s needs, “I love how I’m able to help patients with authorizations and scheduling appointments that best suit their needs,” Jasmine says.

Jasmine is a very hard worker, “Jasmine is always doing her job with a smile on her face, she is very attentive to patients at the front desk and on the phone. She is always the first to respond to patient requests and strives to find solutions to any inconvenience a patient may encounter,” says Eric Alvarez Senior Regional Operations Manager.

PPOA applauds Jasmine for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion.

Cathryn Lopez: Front Office Manager, Plano, TX –

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy – which informs our service to patients and the community through high quality health care.

PPOA’s Park Ambulatory Surgery Center’s Front Office Manager, Cathryn Lopez embodies the values of a true Patient Care Champion. Cathy is the first person patients interact with when they walk into the door and she never fails to greet them with kindness. We would like to recognize Cathy for performing her job at an exemplary level.

Cathy has been a Texas native her entire life. She was born in Dallas but raised in Carrollton where she attended Creekview High School. She now resides in The Colony, TX with her husband of seven years, Jeremy and their beautiful Scottish Terrier, Rupert. When Cathy isn’t hard at work for PPOA she enjoys cooking and crafting.

Cathy began her early career as an office manager for Texas Fiberglass pools. She decided to make the switch to the healthcare field in November 2019 when she started here at PPOA. Cathy is the Front Office Manager for Park ASC. Some of her day-to-day responsibilities include checking our patients in, scheduling our patients for procedures, and overall providing them with all the information they need to be prepared for their procedure.

Cathy has always gravitated towards helping others, “I love knowing that I have made a difference in a patient’s situation or even just in their day. My patients come in hurting and if they leave here with a smile I know I have made a difference. I also take pride in getting to know them on a more personal level. I try my very best to remember something specific about each one, so when they come back I can connect with them and they know they aren’t just another procedure,” Cathy says.

The patient surveys for Park ASC always come back rating the front desk as excellent, “Cathy is always very friendly and caring to our patients and staff. She discerns a persons’ needs quickly and efficiently provides them with key information, recommendations, and direction. Cathy always treats our patients with respect and tries to make them feel like family,” Michelle Borrego Park ASC Administrator says.

PPOA applauds Cathy for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion.

Shirley Serovey: Authorization Specialist, Tampa, FL-

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy – which informs our service to patients and the community through high quality health care.

PPOA’s Authorization Specialist, Shirley Serovey deserves to be recognized for her hard work. Patient Care Champions don’t necessarily have to work on the front lines to make an impact. Shirley proves this by working behind the scenes helping patients get their insurance approved to meet their healthcare needs. She represents all of the values we have here at PPOA.

Shirley has been a Florida resident her entire life. She was born and raised in sunny Tampa, FL. In her early life she attended Hillsborough High School. She then went on to study at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where she received her Bachelors in Nursing and Medical Billing and Coding.

After college Shirley returned to Tampa and began her healthcare career at the University of South Florida. She took on multiple rules as a surgery coordinator, authorization specialist and an administrative assistant. Working for the University of South Florida also included working for Tampa General and Moffitt Cancer Center. She then made her way to PPOA in December 2018.

Shirley works at PPOA’s headquarters located in Tampa, FL as an Authorization Specialist. Some of her day-to-day duties include initiating and following up on insurance authorization requests for the Ambulatory Surgery Centers, executing appeals for authorization denials, maintaining relationships with medical directors and insurance companies and overall advocating for our patients.

She has been an asset to PPOA, “Shirley is the jack of all trades and is relentless in her efforts to obtain authorizations for our patients. She goes above and beyond daily and uses her RN experience to help get approvals. She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare and is truly a tremendous asset to PPOA,” Yoany Gonzalez, Associate Director of Revenue Cycle says.

Shirley has always been fascinated with helping sick people. This is what drove her to the healthcare field. In college she chose to major in Nursing along with Medical Billing and Coding not to help sick people hands on, but to help patients get their insurance approved while having an understanding of their healthcare needs.

Shirley enjoys helping patients in a way that most people don’t immediately think about, through being their insurance advocate. “I just love to see their face light up when you give them hope that they will get better and help them understand the process of their insurance and their treatment,” Shirley says.

Shirley has two children, one daughter and one son who graced her with five grandchildren. One of her grandchildren is Autistic, which has made her a huge supporter of Autism Speaks. In her free time she enjoys quilting, stitching and crafting.

PPOA applauds Shirley for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion.

Teresa Alvarado: Practice Manager, Keller, TX-

Our employees are all patient care champions, but some go the extra mile and we want to give them the recognition they deserve. They embody the PPOA values known as S.I.T.E. – Safety, Integrity, Teamwork, Empathy – which informs our service to patients and the community through high quality health care.

PPOA’s Practice Manager of the Keller clinic, Teresa Alvarado has gone that extra mile. This pandemic has been tough on everyone but instead of letting it get the best of her, Teresa has gone above and beyond to make sure everything continues to run smoothly. She represents all of the values we have here at PPOA.

Teresa was born in McAllen, Texas surrounded by beautiful palm trees in the Rio Grande Valley. Ironically she grew up in Muscatine, Iowa surrounded by cold snow and dead trees, but still loved that Midwest charm. She studied Health Information Management at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois. Eventually she made her way back to Texas and has been there for about 5 years now.

Teresa has worked in the medical field for 25 years. She started her journey as a Medical Assistant for pediatrics for about 9 years and then continued as a Medical Assistant for another 3 years in family practices. She then expanded her healthcare knowledge into the insurance field. She was a medical insurance manger for 3 years and then went into coding and billing for 4 years.

Finally Teresa made her way to the PPOA family in August 2016. She originally applied to work as a Medical Coding specialist but was hired as a Practice Manager for the Keller location instead. As a Practice Manager Teresa has many duties. Some of her duties include assuring patients are correctly scheduled, reaching out to patients regarding procedures, clinical visit requirements, issues or concerns, assisting with the check-in/out process, addressing any concerns or tasks providers or medical assistants may have, and she even helps triage patients.

She has been an asset to the Keller team, “Teresa works very closely with Dr. Heil and the staff at Keller and goes out of her way to make sure all patients have a great experience. The past few weeks as the clinics have been short staffed Teresa has stepped in and assisted in patient triage while also managing the clinic and ASC schedule very efficiently. There isn’t a task that Teresa won’t take on. During the COVID19 crisis Teresa remained diligent and focused on the success of the Keller clinic,” says Rhonda Boysen, Regional Director Clinic Operations.

Teresa holds herself at a high standard for patient care, “It is an honor to have someone trust me with their health, it is a privilege and I always keep that in mind. Providing care with true empathy is hard to find, I make it my mission to make each and every patient feel that they are a person, not just a dollar sign walking into our office,” Teresa says.

PPOA applauds Teresa for her hard work and thanks her for all that she does. She is truly a Patient Care Champion.

Taufiq Ahmed, M.D. is a pain management specialist with Pain Relief Center’s, an affiliate of Physician Partners of America, Orlando clinic.

Although he is a New Jersey native, Dr. Ahmed earned his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine in 2005 and was named the school’s Intern of the Year during his transitional medicine internship. He completed his anesthesiology residency at the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology (Georgia), and his fellowship in interventional pain medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology.

He began his career as an anesthesiologist at Halifax Regional Hospital in South Boston, Va., and was later hired by the University of Florida School of Medicine Shands Jacksonville (Florida) Hospital, ultimately bringing him to Florida.

Dr. Ahmed is a member of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, among others.

“My goal is always to improve quality of life and functionality.” –Taufiq Ahmed, M.D.

Dr. Ahmed is multilingual, speaking Urdu and Hindi in addition to English. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, hiking, travel and fitness.

Alejandro G. Tapia, M.D., is a board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional pain management physician located at both our Boynton Beach and Wellington, FL clinics. He uses his extensive medical knowledge and experience in minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal pain.

A native of Cuba, Dr. Tapia is bilingual in English and Spanish. He earned his medical degree from Universidad Central del Este Facultad de Medicina in San Pedro, Dominican Republic. He completed his Anesthesiology residency training at the University of Miami, and completed his internship at the Department of Surgery at the University of South Alabama. He completed fellowship training in Interventional Pain Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Tapia has always had a passion for medicine. “I like to help others,” he says, “seeing them become pain free is a reward.” He also enjoys the opportunity to utilize the most advanced treatments to better serve his patients.

Dr. Tapia is a member of the International Spine Intervention Society, Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.

Dr. Nieves is an AGME fellowship-trained, board-certified pain management specialist with Physician Partners of America’s Hurst, Texas clinic. He specializes in treating all pain conditions using minimally invasive techniques instead of symptom-masking medications.

A Sacramento, Calif., native, he received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and trained in anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He later completed his residency in family medicine at John Peter Smith Health Network. After completing a fellowship in sports medicine at JPS Health Network, he was then selected as one of a few trainees in a prestigious interventional pain management program with JPS Health Network and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Nieves was inspired at a young age to pursue a career in medicine when his uncle was diagnosed with cancer. Seeing him in pain and struggle to find relief gave Luis Nieves the motivation to take action. He vowed to help patients find the pain relief they deserve. Today, he says his greatest reward is transforming the lives of the patients he treats.

“Seeing people come in with chronic and crippling pain and leave with a new and improved lifestyle is the best part of what I do,” says Dr. Nieves, “It is so rewarding.”

He also supports important causes, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where he has given lectures, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

In his spare time, Dr. Nieves enjoys reading science fiction, working on electronics such as computers, and spending time with his wife, who he met in the medical field.

Dr. Mauricio Orbegozo is a highly experienced anesthesiologist and pain management specialist practicing at PPOA’s Fletcher clinic in Tampa.

A United States Air Force war veteran, he is also a published author, educator and public speaker.

Born in Fort Thomas, Ky., Dr. Orbegozo grew up in Colombia, where he also graduated medical school from Universidad del Rosario in Bogota. Inspired by his father’s career in medicine, he went on to complete post-graduate training in general surgery, anesthesiology and pain management. He’s been an instructor in anesthesiology and pain management at two Texas universities, and has maintained licensure as a physician and surgeon in four states.

That brought him to PPOA’s Fletcher location, where he is highly rated for both skill and compassion. “We are offering more therapeutic and less diagnostic results,” he says. “I also enjoy patient interaction and getting to know my patients, as well as teaching.”

Dr. Orbegozo is particularly interested in developing endoscopic — or small-incision — surgical procedures for PPOA. “This is the future of spine surgery,” he says. “With this, we can incorporate laser and other ablative devices that provide longer-term relief.”

He has been instrumental in PPOA’s intrathecal and spinal cord stimulation treatment programs and has written a book,  Practical Pain Management.

While he can point to many career highlights, Dr. Orbegozo is particularly proud of achieving successful results from new treatments and procedures. “I also very much enjoy being involved in the Florida initiative in containing the opioid crisis and participating in conferences of this nature,” he says.

During his free time, Dr. Orbegozo enjoys remaining active by playing tennis, running, swimming, cooking, and participating in triathlons.