SEBRING — A doctor who has been practicing medicine in Polk County for more than 20 years has opened an office in Sebring and is planning a new building on the north side of town.
Dr. Kulmeet Kundlas, who is board certified in internal medicine, believes he can be in that building in February of next year. It will be located on U.S. 27 next to the entrance to The Bluffs of Sebring.
The office will be open Monday-Friday. The doctor said eventually they will see patients on Saturday.
Patients have to be at least 16 years old. Walk-ins will also be accepted.
The doctor said he looked at a number of buildings in Sebring and chose to build on the 1.25-acre parcel for a couple of reasons.
“We wanted to be on a main, visible highway,” he said, adding that “accessibility was also important in deciding on a location.” The doctor noted that he wanted to be close to a hospital, and he is with AdventHealth Sebring near by.
“Most of the specialists, your labs and ancillary services, they are around this place,” he said.
Kundlas began his medical career in Polk County in 1997. He said he developed a “successful” practice and had offices in Lake Wales, Winter Haven and Haines City.
In 2014, Kundlas said they got a call “out of the blue” from a publicly traded company, DaVita Medical Group. DaVita bought the practice that year, and Kundlas said he agreed to work for them for two more years. Kundlas said DaVita couldn’t find a replacement for him. That prompted the doctor, who worked two additional years for the national company, to want to relocate.
“I’m not a corporate man; I have always worked for myself,” he said. “So I have a view how I perceive the care should be delivered and how processes should be set up. So what it led to is my non-compete ask me that I have to be 20 miles away from the existing office.”
He said even before he sold the offices in Polk, he had a “a very clear idea” about opening a Sebring office. He explained that he lives in Winter Haven and that the drive on 27 from his home is easy.
The new building will be about 5,000 square feet with 3,000 devoted to the medical practice. The remaining 2,000 square feet will be used for a wellness center.
Kundlas plans to offer classes there that include exercise and insurance as well as lectures. Physical therapy will also be available. He wants it to be a place where people can socialize and not just a medical office.
Kundlas said he will be joined by his partner, Dr. Sukumar Mathan, in the new office. He added that other doctors will also be brought in.
The doctor is hoping construction can start in mid-August, and he expects the building to be finished in six months. He said he is in the process of receiving privileges at both AdventHealth and Highlands Regional Medical Center.
The doctor started a weekly event this month in the space he is currently leasing at 6801 U.S. 27 N., Suite D2, in Sebring. On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. he will be offering blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol screenings. He said he will also answer questions and added this will be an ongoing thing.
“Our goal is to be the best practice in Highlands County,” Kundlas said, noting that quality and being available to his patients “will be the biggest things for us.”