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Photo by Karen Brune Mathis - Solantic operates a dozen walk-in urgent care offices in Northeast Florida and more than 30 throughout the state.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Nov. 2, 201112:00 PM EST

Solantic headquarters moving to Nashville

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The headquarters for Solantic Corp., the urgent-care medical chain co-founded by Gov. Rick Scott and recently sold to an investment group, will move from Jacksonville to Nashville by the end of the year.

Spoksewoman Mandy Villalva said Tuesday that Solantic is taking part of the executive team to start its Nashville presence and will complete the move by the end of December.

She said the employees have been notified, but she did not know immediately how many staff members will be involved. Company headquarters are at 8711 Perimeter Blvd., near Southside and Butler boulevards.

Villalva said Solantic, with 32 urgent-care clinics in Florida, will expand with the move to Nashville.

“It’s the biggest medical hub in the entire United States,” she said. “They are looking at being at the jumping-off point where the magic is happening.”

Solantic was founded in June 2001 by Scott and Karen Bowling, now a member of Mayor Alvin Brown’s administration. Bowling served as president and CEO of Solantic. Scott was elected governor last November.

Solantic stands for “South on the Atlantic.” Its website, www.solantic.com, reports that most offices are open seven days a week with extended evening and weekend hours for walk-in medical care.

Solantic announced in late June that the company was sold to Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York-based investment firm. It joined health care executive Michael Klein to form a new ownership and management team.

In late May, Klein had been named Solantic president and CEO and Bowling was named senior strategic adviser to the company.

Klein most recently was president and CEO of Renal Advantage, a 154-center dialysis company based in Franklin, Tenn., near Nashville. It operates in 19 states with more than 12,000 patients.

In July, Bowling joined the Brown administration as deputy chief administrative officer. Brown was elected in May and took office July 1.

Klein said that expansion was the plan.

“It is our intention to continue to grow in our existing markets as well as open new markets,” Klein said in a June statement.

Solantic Walk-In Urgent Care announced in August that it planned to offer more than 50 new jobs statewide for physicians, physician assistants and front-office staff in many of its centers.

Bowling said Tuesday that she spent a decade building the business.

“It was a great 10 years,” she said. “If not for that opportunity, I would probably not have the opportunity I have today.”

Bowling said Solantic’s goal was to improve access to health care. “I’m glad to know that continues,” she said.

Since opening its first four centers in 2002 in North Florida, Solantic has expanded to more than 30 centers located throughout the state. There are 12 clinics in Northeast Florida.

Bowling said each clinic employs about 20-25 people, indicating that Solantic has 700-800 employees throughout Florida and 240-300 in the greater Jacksonville area. Bowling said all those employees remain on the job and are not affected by the headquarters move.

The North Florida offices are co-owned by Solantic and Baptist Health and managed by Solantic. In a news release in early 2010, Solantic said the centers were being renamed Solantic Baptist Urgent Care.

Baptist President and CEO Hugh Greene said then Solantic patients who needed follow-up care could leave the urgent care center with an appointment with a primary care or other physician.

“In essence, while always honoring the patient’s choice, we will seek to make the referral process an effortless and seamless one for the patient. Our collective vision is to help more people manage their ongoing health needs,” he said.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is a private investment firm that focuses on information and business services and on health care.

A news release announcing the acquisition said Welsh, Carson’s strategy was to buy growth businesses, partner with management teams and build value for investors through a combination of operational improvements, internal growth initiatives and strategic acquisitions.

“We are very excited to have a strong financial backer to position Solantic for the future,” Klein said in the news release.

Klein said in June that updated technology and the new structure would allow for strategic expansion while the company focuses to deliver its promise to patients, “seeing a doctor has never been this easy.”

In addition to Solantic, Welsh, Carson’s health care companies consist of Aptuit, Ardent Health Services, Bausch & Lomb, K2M, NDX, Onward Healthcare, Select Medical Corp., SHPS, Smile Brands Group, Solstas Lab Partners, Springstone and United Surgical Partners.

According to a Bloomberg Businessweek profile, Klein has been president and CEO of Solantic Corp. since May 19. He was president and CEO of Renal Advantage, also known as Renal America, since February 2000.

He served as a member of senior management at Caremark International Inc. and Baxter. He was president of the North Central Division of Gambro Healthcare from July 2000 to January 2004 and led its largest business division.

He also has served as president and CEO of SSI Surgical Services Inc. and co-founded Urotherapies Inc.

Published reports show that Welsh, Carson bought a 30 percent share in Solantic in 2007 when it committed up to $100 million to the company.

Reports show that Scott valued his majority share of the company at $62 million in the financial disclosure filed as part of his gubernatorial race. The deal’s value was not disclosed.

Florida corporate records show that Solantic LLC was registered with the state in November 2001.

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