Innovating Solutions & Raising the Bar
Head2Toe Pediatrics direct primary care model emerged from Dr. Lastra's desire to provide more accessible pediatric primary care for families in St. Petersburg, Tampa and surrounding areas. When faced with the challenges in healthcare that the COVID-19 pandemic made apparent, Dr. Lastra sought to provide better, more accessible and transparent pediatric services to help families thrive.
It all started with me wanting to do more for my families. Having worked in the insurance-based model I saw many gaps and opportunities for improvement, but was constantly challenged with-
Lack of time
The "middle man"
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the gaps became more evident. Families were hearing conflicting information, leading to fear and doubt. They didn't know who to trust. In a system where building the patient-doctor relationship is not valued, I could understand the fears and lack of trust. That's when I decided to do something different.
I know that when families are equipped with the right tools and education they thrive, both in sickness and in health. But this requires a meaningful patient-doctor relationship. So, here I am in St. Petersburg Florida providing direct primary care, also known as concierge-style pediatric services. I'm raising the bar and innovating as I go along, because I'm passionate about educating families to demand better healthcare.
It was Always my Dream to be a Pediatrician
"For as long as I can remember, I always dreamed of becoming a Pediatrician"
Dr. Lastra completed her undergraduate education at the University of South Florida graduating magna cum laude with honors. She majored in chemistry with a minor in biomedical physics. Dr. Lastra then worked as an academic researcher studying the effects of different chemicals on fetal heart development. Shortly after, she completed a masters degree with a focus on interdisciplinary medical sciences.
Dr. Lastra graduated with MD designation (Medical Degree) from Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric specialty training at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Lastra is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.
One of the things I love about pediatrics is the impact that family has on childhood development. I worked very hard to become a pediatrician, but I wouldn't have gotten here without the support of my family. Family is the single most important factor influencing a child's life, it for sure influenced me growing up!
Child development heavily relies on physical, emotional, and social cues. Who influences these cues the most?
The people constantly in our life!
So, why is this important for pediatric primary care doctors to be aware of?
Because pediatricians have the opportunity to positively impact this interaction.
Let's think of a tree. If you water it and give it the nutrients it needs when it's growing, the roots grow strong and the foundation is solid. This tree will stand strong for years to come! In a way, you can think of children as a trees waiting to flourish. If you provide the ingredients for a solid foundation, they will stand strong for years to come!
Pediatricians play a unique role in educating families, and by having time to educate, we provide parents with the nutrients to give their children a strong foundation.
Plus... Pediatricians have more fun!
Dr. Lastra is an MD pediatrician. Do you know what an MD pediatrician is?
An MD pediatrician is a Doctor of Medicine specializing in the care of children.
An MD degree is a traditional medicine degree with a focus on allopathic medicine.
As benefits of a holistic medical practice become more apparent, MD doctors are starting to integrate more holistic approaches to patient care, while still acknowledging the benefits and advances of allopathic medicine. Such as in the case of our MD Pediatrician, Dr. Lastra.
Caring for Children In and Out of the Hospital
Dr. Lastra is not only specialized in outpatient pediatric medicine, she is also trained to care for patients in the hospital as a pediatric hospitalist. This ability uniquely qualifies Dr. Lastra to more appropriately discern between a medical emergency from a medically challenging case. Dr. Lastra maintains her hospital skills active by intermittently covering physician absences at hospitals throughout the United States.
Dr. Lastra holds medical licenses in the state of Florida, New York, California, Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi and Wyoming.
When I work at the hospital I love that it allows me to see patients who can be very ill, but then I get to see them turn around as they get better. I also love attending deliveries of newborn babies and when needed jumping in to do a resuscitation.
"Caring for children at hospitals across the United States comes with it's own unique challenges, but also with many rewards
The funny thing is....
Caring for children at home, as a house call pediatrician ALSO comes with it's own unique challenges and rewards"
It's important for a Pediatrician to not only be an educator to parents, but to also be an educator to students studying the art of medicine