DeFrancisco to retire Jan. 30

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2014

From staff reports

Longtime Brewton doctor, Dr. Robert DeFrancisco, will retire from private practice at the Brewton Medical Center effective Jan. 30, 2015.
A medical psychologist, DeFrancisco has served the Brewton area and surrounding counties for 40 years. He started practicing with what is now called Southwest Alabama Behavioral Healthcare Systems in 1974 before entering the Brewton Medical Center in 1977.
DeFrancisco stated it was the efforts of many people as to why he chose to set up a practice in this area.
“I want to give a special thanks to the original physicians of the Brewton Medical Center (Dr. Robert Low, Dr. Hayes, Dr. Scharnitsky, Dr. Phillipi, and Dr. Strandell) and former hospital administrator Mr. Billy Jo Griffin for their insights on the importance of having a psychiatric professional in this area,” he said. “I want to single out Dr. William Whittle who has always been especially encouraging to me personally and professionally. He had a major impact on my career and my staying in Brewton.
“The community, its people, and my patients have been an enjoyable part of my life,” he said. “My current staff and former staff have been nothing short of phenomenal and supportive of my services.”
DeFrancisco was the first psychiatric professional to come to Brewton, and as such, he brought his services here so people would not have to go out of town to seek psychological help. His medical/psychological services were vast and all encompassing including individual/family psychotherapy, forensic assessments, neuropsychological evaluations for such things as dementia and ADHD, general assessments, workshops, and medication adjustments and/or recommendations.
As he reflects on his years in Brewton, DeFrancisco in particular recalls in the 1970s and 1980s.
“That is when I did all of the psychological testing in the local schools, did most of the evaluations for the Department of Human Resources, and served as a community liaison regarding psychological issues,” he said.
Although retiring from private practice, the good news for the community is that Dr. DeFrancisco will still be working part-time. He has accepted a part-time position where he first began his career, at Southwest Alabama Behavioral Healthcare Systems.
Beginning Feb. 9, people in need of his services can call 251-867-3242 or 251-575-1200 to schedule a consultation.
DeFrancisco will work eight days at the Southwest Alabama Behavioral Healthcare Systems per month. He added, he will still consult with the Escambia County Jail. He will also continue with his three nursing homes on a monthly basis, including West Gate Village here in Brewton.
In addition to finding some long deserved leisure time with his family, he is completing his book, Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Approaches to Nursing Home Care, in hopes to conduct seminars in the near future across the country.