June 27, 2016 — Michael Crimi Jr., PA ’92, has a mind for business and a heart for medicine. As president and CEO of five medical enterprises in Florida, the physician assistant juggles taking care of business with taking care of patients.
Crimi, a 1992 graduate of the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies, runs Express Care — a combined urgent care and family practice that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in October — as well as a pharmacy, a diagnostic and imaging center, a rehabilitation facility and a physical therapy service, each with locations in Belleview and Leesburg, Florida. His team includes about 200 employees, including physicians, nurses and PAs.
In a typical workday, Crimi begins seeing patients at 7 a.m. and then, in between appointments, switches gears to speak with members of his team, such as the nurse supervisor or business manager, about everything from billing to medical records. Soon after, he transitions back to patient care, treating emergency walk-ins, reviewing diagnostic tests and corresponding with referring physicians.
“It’s a pretty dynamic day; it’s full from start to finish,” he said.
Originally from New Jersey, in 1977 his family moved to Belleview, a city about 20 minutes from Ocala. Prior to attending PA school, he served in the U.S. Army and spent several years as a firefighter medic, during which time he worked alongside nurses, PAs and physicians when bringing patients into the emergency room.
“I knew right then and there I wanted to do more in the medical field,” Crimi said.
Upon graduating from the UF School of PA Studies, he practiced at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala for about four years and then moved on to a family practice in Mount Dora, where a physician was looking to expand his practice by opening rural health clinics. Crimi helped the physician establish a satellite office in Eustis and worked there for two years before deciding to launch his own rural health clinic in Belleview, which is home to less than 5,000 people and hailed by locals as the “city with small town charm.”
“I thought, ‘what better place to do it than a place where you grew up and you know everybody?’” he said. “I hung a shingle there in 1996 and have been there ever since.”
When Crimi first opened Express Care of Belleview, he focused on the patient care aspect more than the business facet; after all, he loves interacting with patients — many of whom he grew up with — and helping to improve their quality of life.
As time went on and his practice expanded, he realized he also needed to be business-savvy to navigate the ever-changing world of health care. Today, Crimi is content to work alongside his three children and serve as a preceptor for PA students, but he hopes to continue to grow his company.
“I enjoy the challenge of making things work,” Crimi said. “You have to continuously reconfigure your business all the time. Things change every day and you have to think on your feet. It’s a constant chess game.
“But, I have the best of both worlds — I not only touch patients’ lives but employees’ lives as well.”