North Port chamber honors Dr. Lee Gross, pioneer in affordable medicine

Dr. Lee Gross, left, Epiphany Health chief operating officer Anne Horner and the North Port chamber’s Bill Gunnin at the State of the City luncheon.

NORTH PORT — Dr. Lee Gross has been inducted into the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

Founder of Epiphany Health, Gross created what is termed direct primary care in medicine. It is a membership program with a flat monthly fee for basic health services. He has bounced around the country, before the U.S. Congress and in other venues to share the novelty aimed at the non-insured or those seeking an affordable option. He is also a regular on a chamber podcast, “Coffee with the Doc,” where health is dissected.

The chamber’s annual State of the City luncheon at the George Mullen Activity Center served several purposes: inform business members, detail COVID-19’s impact, to hear from Interim North Port City Manager Jason Yarborough, and to recognize Gross for his impact on North Port, the country at-large, said Bill Gunnin, the chamber’s executive director.

But the event belonged to Lee Gross, who detailed the journey from medical school to North Port in 2002, starting a practice in a city of 20,000, of “tumbleweeds and signs falling down,” he kidded.

Gross, flanked by his partner, Dr. William Crouch, and his office’s first worker and now chief operating officer, Anne Horner, offered that part of his mission in the city would be completed with a new hospital, and at least another 20 years in the city.

“Thank you so much,” he added.

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