Expert primary care, now in a neighborhood near you

November 07, 2014

Medical specialists may be invaluable when you tackle a formidable disease, but your best partner to prevent serious health problems in the first place is an expert primary care physician.

With the opening this week of new primary care centers in Orange and Tustin, UCI Health offers patients easy access to top-flight primary care, in addition to a full spectrum of healthcare services.

“Primary care physicians play an important role in patient care,” said Dr. Sajee Lekawa, medical director of the UCI Health Medical Group. “Primary care doctors ensure that people live more productive lives by catching issues early and getting patients to the right people at the right time to prevent long-term consequences.”

The two new UCI Health outpatient medical care locations offer all facets of primary care, providing patients with efficient, comprehensive treatment in excellent facilities associated with a high-quality academic institution, Lekawa said. On-site ultrasound, laboratory tests and other services mean less waiting and faster treatment.

Dr. David Sodaro, a UCI Health Medical Group family medicine physician in Tustin, said that primary care doctors emphasize preventive health strategies and are the first access point of care for patients with all types of medical issues.

“It’s extremely important for primary care physicians to be in close contact with and have relationships with specialty care providers,” Sodaro noted. “As part of the network, we are the link between the patient and the specialist.

“I was initially trained in family medicine at UC Irvine, and I’m honored to be involved with the university as a primary care physician,” he added. “It is a center of excellence I admire greatly. We are bringing a new level of excellence in primary care, with the focus primarily upon patient needs.”

The new centers complement existing UCI Health primary care practices at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange and Gottschalk Medical Plaza on the UC Irvine campus in Irvine. Thirteen doctors with longstanding ties to the community practice at the new centers.

The Tustin center is at 1451 Irvine Blvd. and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Urgent care is offered from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Pediatrics and rheumatology services, plus imaging services such as X-ray and ultrasound, are available. Specialists in dermatology, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology and gastroenterology will join the center in early 2015. For an appointment in the Tustin offices, please call 714-838-8878.

The Orange practice is at 293 Main St., Suite 200, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call 714-838-8848.

The public is invited to an open house from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 15, at the new UCI Health primary care office in Tustin. Guests may receive free flu shots and health screenings and enter a drawing to win an iPad mini.

For more information about UCI Health Medical Group, visit

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