Dr. Chris Festa

Dr. Chris and her beloved 2bits, who passed away on Feb. 4. Dr. Chris (Festa) is the primary medical provider at River’s Edge Direct Primary Care in Sebastian.

She’s known around town as ‘Dr. Chris.’ She has saved lives, and inspired the lives of many. Through and through, she is a true doctor. Technically, a Doctor of Nurse Practitioner, or DNP. She is the primary medical provider at River’s Edge Direct Primary Care in Sebastian, an office that features an IV Lounge, Wellness Walks, and Regenerative Therapy, among so many other patient care abilities and techniques.

Chris Festa, PMD, APRN, DNP-BC (whew, that’s a mouthful – no wonder she goes by Dr. Chris!) is originally from Long Island, NY. She says she devoted her life to the study of medicine, and in doing so, forewent pursuing a family and kids. Her life has been, and still is, dedicated to saving and bettering the lives of others. She is humble, gracious, kind, and self-described as “down to earth.” And pretty dang smart and willing to learn each and every day, as described throughout this article.

What makes her cool? Well, first of all, there’s the part mentioned where she saves lives. She has served in the United States Army where her career initiated as a combat medic after college. She was even awarded the Army Achievement medal for saving a life while on active duty. She currently has a nickname of “Cool Doc on the Block” with her patients.

Dr. Chris examines a patients X-ray.

Furthermore, she has her practice designed to cater one-on-one care to patients, not care dictated by insurance companies, which patients are all too familiar with and frustrated by.

“I feel I bring “proactive” health care and not your typical “reactive” healthcare,” stated Dr. Chris. “I feel patients commend me on the simplicity and design of our practice.”

She added, “My goal is to facilitate a proactive healthcare movement in our community – to have affordable healthcare for all that is no-nonsense.”

Dr. Chris, and of course her patients, prides herself the most on her growth as a medical provider and her limitless capacity for learning about the practice of medicine, including new advances and techniques.

While she is adamant and diligent about her care and her patients, Dr. Chris does make time for herself on the weekends – the time at the dog park she once enjoyed with her beloved 2bits, she now enjoys with her new puppy, Suhka, a gift from a stranger who came across her Facebook story of 2bits passing away suddenly on Feb. 4. Her previous dog (or “furbaby” as pet parents call their furry friends), 2bits, was the mascot, per say, of River’s Edge Direct Primary Care, and Dr. Chris’s right-hand (paw?) pup, or “trusted sidekick” as she called him. The grey and white canine was calm and pleasant around patients, and calming for many.

“I always say I am a work in progress and each day we all have the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves.”

~Dr. Chris Festa, River’s Edge Direct Primary Care

Aside from bonding with her pet, she enjoys anything related to being on the water (surfing, especially), yoga, and meditation. Weeknights she can be found at her office or strict in a sleep regimen that allows her the most rest in order to provide the very best care to her patients.

Dr. Chris has lived in Indian River County for the last seven years, and her biggest supporters are her patients, who she says influence and inspire her to be the best version of herself every day. The best part of her job, she says, is “the reward in seeing people prosper and succeed in life.”

“I would have to say the most defining moment in my life was when Barney Clark had the first heart transplant in 1983,” Dr. Chris said. “I was both in awe and intrigued that medical science gave him the opportunity for continued life.”

Dr. Chris interacts with patients of all ages, enjoys making people smile, and most of all, truly cares about the patients that trust her with their care. Her patients inspire her each and every day. She is definitely a cool personality.
Photos courtesy of River’s Edge – Direct Primary Care.

As for the community, Dr. Chris states she relishes in the nostalgia, as well as the intimacy and devotion that people bring with them.

To find out how to become a member (yes, a member) at River’s Edge Direct Primary Care, visit the office’s website, located here. Monthly membership prices range according to age, not according to what type of insurance one has. Most of the services (ranging from physicals, to medication refills, to urgent care visits, to meet and greets, and so much more) can be booked online via social media, or one can always call the office at 772-202-2265.

Nancilee Wydra
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