Tampa General Hospital Expands Scope of Care by Partnering with Pulmonary and Sleep of Tampa Bay

Published: Feb 15, 2022

Partnering with a lung and sleep medicine practice committed to clinical excellence is part of Tampa General’s vision of becoming the safest and most innovative health system in the country.

Tampa, FL (Feb. 15, 2022) – Tampa General Hospital (TGH) is partnering with Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay, a pulmonology and sleep medicine practice with locations in Tampa, Brandon and Wesley Chapel. Effective Jan. 14, the new affiliation is known as TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay.

Joining Tampa General from Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay are Dr. Dragos Zanchi and Dr. Rafael Martinez, pulmonologists and practice co-founders, and eight nurse practioners who also provide patient care. The practice is accredited by The Joint Commission and serves a wide range of patients across 12 counties.

“The alliance gives Tampa General patients in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties more access to integrated, comprehensive treatment for sleep disorders,” said Dr. Tapan Padhya,professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and medical director of Tampa General Hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat Institute. “We’re excited to be aligning with the talent and quality of the professionals at TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay. This will have a significant impact on our ability to increase access and efficiency and enhance quality.”

Through the partnership, Tampa General’s approach to treating thoracic cancers is evolving to a seamless process for patients, taking them from diagnosis through treatment with one complete team of multidisciplinary care providers. Thoracic cancers include cancers of the chest area as well as esophageal cancer, small cell and non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma.

“TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay fits in perfectly with the TGH Cancer Institute's multidisciplinary approach, emphasizing compassionate and personalized care focusing on the whole patient,” said Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, chief of oncology and senior vice president of network development, Tampa General. “We emphasize top-tier, innovative care by supporting cancer patients with a highly coordinated range of multidisciplinary specialties. This alliance will strengthen our methodology of diagnosing and treating thoracic cancers by developing a team of pulmonologists, oncologists, thoracic oncology surgeons, along with radiation oncologists, integrative medicine, nutritionists, social workers and more.”

The affiliation provides Tampa General an opportunity to:

  • Increase patient access to screening, early detection and treatment of lung cancer through three locations.

  • Expand patient access for the treatment of lung conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disorders (diseases that cause scarring of the lungs), pulmonary hypertension, as well as sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and insomnia.

  • Extend its multidisciplinary approach to patient care through collaboration between general surgery and oncology.

  • Expand patient access to lung transplant services and bariatric surgery.

“Both Dr. Zanchi and Dr. Martinez possess a wealth of knowledge in pulmonology and thoracic oncology which gives us the opportunity to unite their deep experience in pulmonary care with the expertise of a world-class cancer institute,” said Dr. K. Eric Sommers, cardiothoracic surgeon, and chief of thoracic oncology, Tampa General, and medical director for lung cancer, TGH Cancer Institute. “TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay is another way that Tampa General is innovating to connect the community with specialized medicine.”

TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay provides services for pulmonary and sleep disorders, including early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, allergy testing, an array of sleep disorder testing and interventional bronchoscopy.

Dr. Dragos Zanchi

Dr. Dragos Zanchi is a pulmonologist and was co-founder and president of Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay and will continue to see patients at all three locations. He has professional expertise in treating pulmonary disorders, including asthma, COPD, allergies, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis (an abnormal collection of inflammatory cells that form clumps in the lungs, skin or lymph nodes), early detection and treatment of lung cancer, sleep disorders, (obstructive and central sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy), and Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) physical examinations.

Zanchi’s philosophy of patient care is to find the root cause of the medical problem and treat the patient’s body and spirit as a whole entity. He is an advocate of lifestyle changes, healthy nutrition and meditation as therapeutic options.

He received his medical degree from Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, in Bucharest Romania, and then proceeded to complete several fellowships:

  • Cardiology Fellowship, University Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

  • Internal Medicine Residency and Internship, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, N.J. (now Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

  • Sleep Disorders Fellowship, CliniLabs, Inc. Sleep Disorders Institute, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital (now Mount Sinai Morningside) and Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital (now Mount Sinai West), New York, N.Y.

  • Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Cabrini Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Zanchi is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in general internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, and sleep disorders. He is also board certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. His research experience includes numerous clinical studies in all areas of pulmonary and sleep medicine, and he is a Certified Principal Investigator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our patients to have access to the resources of a world-class hospital,’’ said Zanchi. “Through TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay, patients can be seamlessly connected to minimally invasive robotic surgery, state-of-the-art radiation and chemotherapy, lung and heart transplants, and bariatric surgery.” 

Dr. Rafael Martinez

“Our partnership with Tampa General will create a comprehensive network of care, providing our patients with the best resources in the region. This will be a true benefit to our patients, while providing them with the same caregivers they have come to rely on,” noted Dr. Rafael Martinez, Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay co-founder and pulmonologist. Martinez specializes in research, pulmonary hypertension, interventional pulmonology, and sleep medicine.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Zaragoza School of Medicine, Zaragoza, Spain, and completed a fellowship in pulmonary diseases at University District Hospital, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and his internal medicine residency at Mayaguez Medical Center, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Martinez is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in general internal medicine and pulmonary diseases. His professional memberships include the American College of Chest Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Internal Medicine and the American Thoracic Society.

As a Certified Principal Investigator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Martinez has led more than 20 clinical trials as a principal investigator. He collaborates on teaching with faculty at the USF Health College of Nursing. He speaks English and Portuguese and is currently studying American Sign Language (ASL).

As part of TGH Pulmonary & Sleep of Tampa Bay, Zanchi and Martinez will practice in all three locations and the office locations and phone numbers will remain the same. To schedule an appointment, call 813-490-9495 (Tampa and Wesley Chapel) or 813-654-8100 (Brandon).

Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in
U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.