About the Patels
The Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions was launched in 2005 with the generous support of Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel. Born in India, Pallavi Patel and the Zambia-born Kiran Patel first met while studying medicine in Ahmedabad, India. Both doctors received their advanced specializations in New York at Columbia University; he in Cardiology, and she in Pediatrics. While in private cardiology practice in the Tampa Bay area, Dr. Kiran Patel not only earned a respected reputation as a physician, but also gained a unique vision of the future of medical care. Rather than shun the growing trend toward managed health care, he began to develop solutions that made sense from the physician’s point of view.
In 1982, the Patels started physicians’ practice ownership and Management Company, which quickly expanded to 14 practices, including Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Cardiology, serving several thousand patients in Hillsborough County.
Rather than complain about “HMO”, Dr. Patel, a believer of “control your own destiny.” opted to start a physician-owned, physician-run health plan - WellCare! Under his leadership, WellCare grew to become the largest Medicaid HMO in Florida, serving more than 200,000 members. Expanding the horizons in the managed heath care field, in 1999 Dr. Kiran Patel acquired and turned around a struggling New York/Connecticut HMO and together the companies became WellCare Management Group. By this time, WellCare had revenues of over $1 billion, served more than 400,000 members, and employed over 1,200 members.
In 2003, the Patels sold the majority of their interest in their business and Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel turned their attention to many of the family’s philanthropic endeavors. They have earned a reputation for generosity for developing and funding a variety of programs in health, education, arts and culture, both locally and around the world.
(Photograph © Christophe Jouany, 2010)