Meet the Medical Team at Utopia Wellness
Utopia Wellness has spent years building our elite team of healthcare providers and support members. Each member has been hand-selected because they deliver the highest quality of care, possess love and compassion for our patients, and believe and support our mission to ensure that natural and holistic treatment options are available to anyone fighting disease.
Carlos M. Garcia, MD is the Director of Medicine at Utopia Wellness. His passion about natural medicine and holistic healthcare did not come naturally. Dr. Garcia was born in Cuba and moved to the US when he was a young boy. He received his formal medical training at the University of Massachusetts, Medical School followed by an internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Anesthesia, both at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA. After moving to the Tampa Bay area in 1984, he began his practice as an Anesthesiologist at Bayfront Medical Center, Edward White Hospital, and Physicians’ Community Hospital. Over his years working in hospitals, he came to realize that traditional medicine was driven more by the profits of pharmaceutical companies and hospitals than it was on providing the patient with the best possible care. So in 1996, Dr. Garcia redirected his medical focus to natural alternative health care including holistic medicine, chelation therapy, bio-identical hormone replacement, iv vitamins and antioxidants, detoxification and weight loss. Dr. Garcia’s focus over the past several years has been on helping people suffering from cancer and its related diseases. His approach is holistic in that he addresses not only the cancer but also the underlying causes. In all of these areas, he focuses not only on the body but also the mind using non-harmful and natural alternatives to conventional treatments. Dr. Garcia is a member of ACAM (American College for the Advancement of Medicine) and ICIM (International College of Integrative Medicine), holds certifications in Chelation Therapy from the American Board of Chelation Therapy, and Dr. Garcia has given numerous lectures on various health topics to professionals, medical students and the public, has had a radio talk show, and has been interviewed for health related television news topics. In 2012, Dr. Garcia published his book Cancer is a Symptom: The Real Cause Revealed where he addresses the prospect that cancer is merely a symptom and unless you heal the underlying cause, you will never be truly cancer free.
Jake is Utopia’s therapist that helps our patients along the journey from dys-ease to ease. Jake’s personal journey of healing began after his mother passed away when he was only 12 years old. He spent the remainder of his childhood in foster homes, and survived by learning to trust himself and opening his heart to spiritual guidance. He pursued his gift and passion for healing by earning a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Florida State University, and completing his post doctoral training at Vanderbilt University. Jake provides the patients at Utopia Wellness with both individual and group counseling. He enjoys providing them with his knowledge and the tools to help them improve their physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Jake also practices what he preaches by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, meditation, yoga, and qigong. He is also an avid musician and an artist, using creative expression to honor his emotions and discover joy. Jake is honored to play an essential role in the healing process of the patient at Utopia Wellness finding great joy and fulfillment in their success!
Belinda wears many hats at Utopia Wellness and is one of the brightest spots in everyone’s day. She is our Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Weight Loss Coach, Patient Care Coordinator and acclaimed blogger. She has been a team member at Utopia Wellness for the past 4 years and has spent 35 years in the medical profession. She initial began her career on the allopathic side of medicine as an operating room assistant. Over the years, she found herself wanting to work with patients before they ended up needing surgical intervention. She began studying nutrition and soon discovered her real passion. She obtained her degree in Holistic Nutrition and received her certification through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Belinda was born and raised right here in Ybor City, Florida, once the cigar-making capital of the world. She enjoyed the mecca of cultures, Spanish, Cuban and Italian working side-by-side sharing stories, views, their food and home remedies. Her grandparents owned and operated a Spanish restaurant which is where she believed her passion for food began. She embraces food as our medicine and loves sharing her passion with her patients.
Elizabeth is another team member who wears many hats and wears them all so well. She is Utopia’s Certified Touch for Health Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist (MA78930), Energy Healer, and Kinesiologist. She feels blessed to have discovered her passion and purpose early in life. She was fortunate to work for a gifted physician in her 20’s who recognized her potential and encouraged her to return to school and pursue the healing arts. She now is able to use her education and abilities to help the patients at Utopia Wellness. She feels she has found her home here and helping patients achieve their wellness goals. When she is not helping the patients heal, she loves being home with family and friends. She is an animal and nature lover and enjoys the outdoors. She lives her life to the fullest and finds pleasure in even simple things. The motto she lives by is “To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, to know that even one life has breathed easier because I have lived.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Shayla is our Registered Nurse and can always be seen with a warm and genuine smile on her face. She is a Florida native and was a very lucky child to grow up in Orlando, home to the the World’s happiest place, Walt Disney World! She attended Valencia Community College receiving her degree in nursing 11 years ago. Shortly thereafter, she moved to the Tampa Bay area and worked in the field of oncology and hospice care. These are very difficult areas for nurses to work and it takes a special soul…that is Shayla! Now she gets great joy from her patient because each one has a personal story and she feels honored to share that story with them and be part of their journey. During her free time, Shayla loves spending time with her family and connecting with nature.
Beth is the Licensed Colon Therapist (MA74037) at Utopia Wellness and is passionate about health and wellness. She was born in New Orleans and grew up in Pensacola, FL but has lived all over the US. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology but then subsequently went back to school to become a massage therapist and then a certified colon therapist. She devoted herself to natural healing at a young age and even stopped eating red meat at 15, would chose Chinese medicine over western medicine for her ailments and this all led her to a career at Utopia Wellness. She finds it very rewarding working in the natural health field and immensely enjoys seeing other heal and connecting with the wonderful patients. When she is not helping patients at Utopia, she enjoys spending time with her husband renovating their home and with her 13 year old son who shares her love of music and reading. She also enjoys visiting cities with lost of diversity, but she also appreciates the peace and calm of nature.
Xochitl (pronounced So-Cheel) was born in Mexico and moved to Clearwater in 1989. She has been a medical assistant in the field of alternative and natural medicine for 25 years and a team member at Utopia Wellness for the past 7 years where she is truly valued for her skills and knowledge. She loves interacting with the patients and gets great satisfaction contributing to their health and making them feel at home in an unfamiliar place. Xochitl always greets the patients with a smile because she says it’s her biggest asset because she has big teeth and a big mouth! (she said that, we didn’t) When she is not taking care of the patients, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, tap dancing, and yoga.
Rox is the Senior Patient Care Coordinator at Utopia and brings joy into everyone’s life. She has spent the past 20 years in medical management and biological dentistry. She has a loving and genuine heart and together with her compassion and kindness, every patient who has walked through our doors has benefited from her gifts. Rox enjoys working side by side with Dr. Garcia and Utopia’s team of professionals who truly care for our patients health and well-being. During her free time, Rox enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially a great day on the beach. She is a very creative soul and is a very talented artist and jewelry maker. Gardening is another passion and creating culinary delights brings her so much joy!
Claudia has been a Patient Care Coordinator at Utopia Wellness for over 5 years. She was born and raised in Honduras and loves using her native language to help our Spanish speaking callers and patients. Often they speak no English at all so interpreting for them is extremely important. While growing up, she would accompany her sister who was a physician, on her hospital rounds. It was then she knew she wanted to be in the healthcare field. She is a true people person and enjoys interacting with the patients. She recognizes the healing power of laughter and strives to always bring a smile to a patient’s face. During Claudia’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her new husband and her son. They enjoy going to the movies, playing street hockey and any other outside activity.
Mark is a Patient Care Coordinator and often the first voice you hear when you call Utopia. He has been an invaluable member of our team for 2 years and has helped countless new patients navigate their treatment programs, organize their services and putting them at ease. He attended St. Petersburg College and University of South Florida with an emphasis on the Sciences which led to work as a Wellness Coach, prosthetic and orthotic technician, and Personal Trainer. Working in the field of natural medicine was a perfect fit as it combines all of his interests into one positive environment. When not helping Utopia’s patients, Mark loves to see new patients and learn new things. He is currently taking Spanish lessons from our bilingual employees so he can help more patients. He is a self-professed “foodie” and especially loves different cuisines from around the world. Music is another passion and enjoys playing guitar and watching live music. He is very close to his family and on weekends, you can find them on the beach or cheering on and and all Tampa Bay sports teams. He grew up here so he’s very loyal!
*Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient’s medical history and other factors. Information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider. Statements made about products, therapies or services have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.