Tallahassee, FL

Art, AIDS, & Dr. Appelbaum

Angela L. Dowdy

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Dr. Appelbaum by mural of Hippocrates "Father of Medicine" at FSU.Angela L. Dowdy

Doctor Jonathan S. Appelbaum works in Tallahassee, Florida. He is a medical doctor, college professor, speaker, mentor, and writer. He is an expert in HIV & AIDS, HIV & aging, LGBT, and Primary Care with an extensive list of service, honors, and memberships. He has been involved in the writing of at least twenty-nine publications.

You might assume that this terribly busy man has no time or interest in making small talk with a stranger. You might also assume that he would come across as pompous and pretentious. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth and you would be wrong on all counts. I did my research and found out he has worked in several prestigious locations in New England. You can probably see why I initially assumed that I would feel a bit out of my league trying to talk with him. As it turns out, the good doctor is incredibly genial and gracious. We sat outside on a gorgeous Spring morning in Florida. We welcomed the warmth of the weather and the warmth of the following genuinely great interview.

Can you describe your job in one simple sentence?

I take care of patients and teach medical students.

What are the biggest rewards from your job?

The variety of my day and my continued relationship with my patients and my interactions with my students.

What else do you like most about your work?

I love living in Tallahassee and working at FSUCOM and Care Point Health and Wellness Center.

How did you become a spokesperson for Care Point Health and Wellness?

I have been involved with Big Bend Cares for at least twelve years. It was just a natural transition for me as the Medical Director when the clinical practice moved into the new Care Point facility in 2017. I am proud to tell people about our remarkable variety of services offered at Care Point.

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Care Point facility in TallahasseeAngela L. Dowdy

How did you first become involved in the HIV/ AIDS cause?

In the 1980’s most people were afraid of this new thing called AIDS. A number of doctors were asked to care for HIV/AIDS patients, but I was the only one in my area who was willing to serve them.

What are your thoughts about the upcoming “Artopia” event?

“Artopia” is a wonderful fund raiser for Big Bend Cares that gets bigger every year. I love to hear about how Tallahassee people look forward to it and their participation makes such a great difference for HIV positive individuals in eight counties. The deadline for donating a piece of artwork for the auction is June 11th, so there is still time for more creative people to take part.

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ARTOPIA event in June to benefit Big Bend CaresAngela L. Dowdy

What is your biggest strength or best quality?

Engagement and organization. I consider myself to be entirely down to earth, approachable, and humble.

Why should others respect what you do?

Because I am dedicated to caring for underserved and marginalized patients. I love how that fits so perfectly with the mission of the FSU College of Medicine.

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Dr. Appelbaum & the mission of FSU College of Medicine.Angela L. Dowdy

What makes your town a great travel destination?

Tallahassee is a college town with great weather and close to beaches. It is a great destination for those who enjoy being outside.

Where would you like to travel (for the 1st time)?

Key West, I’m actually planning a trip there in November.

Where would you like to travel (again)?

I hope to return to both California and Hawaii. I would revisit the area of Connecticut where I grew up because New England is so nice in the milder seasons.

Which are you more passionate about: Food, Art, or Music?

Food…that is why I gained my COVID-19!

What do you picture when I say, “Food as Art”?

I picture going to a fine restaurant and being amazed by the presentation of the food. I envision an appetizer that looks so phenomenal, yet I can’t even imagine what it is.

How do you spark your creativity?

That is a great question. I’m not the most creative person. I did try playing piano and doing woodwork, but discovered they weren’t really for me. I am, however, quite good at taking other people’s ideas and modifying and enhancing them.

What hobbies or activities most help you destress?

Reading, working out, or bike riding. My husband and I enjoy gardening at our home in Monticello.

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The good doctor appreciates a beautiful garden.Angela L. Dowdy

What is the most FUN thing you have ever done?

That would definitely have to be zip-lining in Nicaragua. I have gone there frequently on mission trips. I have some fear of heights but decided I should do it anyway and am so glad I did.

How should people talk about uncomfortable issues?

People should always be up front about all issues, no matter how unpleasant or uncomfortable.

What makes you an EXUBERANT person?

My dry sense of humor?

That’s all?

I’m a glass-half-full optimist and a social people person. I enjoy clinical work, educating, and mentoring. I truly love my career and at age 67 I have no plans to retire.

What message would you like to send to the world?

I would advise everyone to seek peace and love and learn how to accept others.

Jonathan Appelbaum is erudite without being arrogant. He cares deeply for marginalized people. He lives out his truth, faces his fears, and embraces his passion. It was a tremendous honor to get to know him.

For more information on Big Bend Cares or the upcoming “Artopia” event: https://bigbendcares.org/

For more information on Care Point Health and Wellness Center: https://carepointwellness.com

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My focus is on exuberant people and exciting places in the Southeastern United States. I love interviewing people from all walks of life because EVERY person is fascinating! I also write about Food, Art, and Travel. Because I am over 50, on disability, and female...you will easily see that reflected in my worldview. Hopefully, you will find my articles informative, entertaining, and FUN!

Tallahassee, FL
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