Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Javier Placer, MD and Dara Sánchez, husband and wife and owners of Specialized Rehabilitation Physician Group (SRPG), moved to Gainesville, FL, where Dr. Javier Placer completed his fellowship in spine and pain management from the University of Florida’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. Upon completion of the program, Dr. Javier Placer and Dara, a lawyer by trade, relocated two hours south to Celebration. Following many successful years as a well-respected doctor of physical medicine, pain management, rehabilitation and sports medicine throughout Central Florida, Dr. Javier Placer decided the time was right to start his own practice.
“Dr. Javier Placer is one of the top pain doctors in Central Florida,” Dara said. “He’s been so well-received in this community. As demand for his services grew, he started visiting skilled nursing facilities and initially provided EMG testing services. Over time, he received more and more requests from patients to continue treating them once they were released from skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. That’s when we decided, in August 2019, to open our first clinic in Clermont for outpatient services.”
Dara, who serves as the practice’s Chief Operating Officer, manages operations and expansions. She and her husband worked through the standard challenges associated with opening any business and having to raise three small kids. However, they set attainable goals, kept their overhead expenses as low as possible and focused on delivering in-demand and highly sought after services.
“Initially, the sacrifice was manpower,” Dara said. “Dr. Javier Placer spent days at the other practice and his evenings going to skilled nursing facilities. Once we worked through the insurance credentialing process, we started to get a flow of income. However, rather than taking from the business, we invested that money back into it. With that profit, we hired our first employee and put some of the money towards our new building. From that point on it’s been all uphill.”
Today, with locations in Clermont and Orlando, SRPG is a privately held and physician-owned multidisciplinary group with more than 15 years of clinical experience. As Dara shared, in addition to services provided in an outpatient setting, the practice continues to serve those still in skilled nursing rehab facilities.
“We’re focused on providing specialized care that consists of an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide comprehensive care for our patients. Dr. Javier Placer is highly trained in the areas of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Management, Electrodiagnostic Studies, Workers Compensation, Regenerative Medicine, and Personal Injury. Our goal is to provide the community a comprehensive physical rehabilitation and pain management program and expand to other specialties to provide specialized care for the whole body under one roof. We hired a dermatologist and would eventually like to hire a rheumatologist, an orthopedic and other specialty physicians.”
For Dara and Dr. Javier Placer, helping their patients feel better and improve their quality of life is their number one priority. Looking ahead, their future goal is to expand to additional cities throughout Central Florida, while still providing the same level of quality service.
What advice does Dara have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Our advice is simple – just do it,” she said. “Have no fear. Even if you don’t fully understand the business you’re getting into, just go for it. Have faith that God will place the right people along the way to help you get to your dreams. Also, don’t wait. I wish we would have started our business sooner.”