By Denny Patterson
Welcome to the Genesis Health Institute in Wilton Manors, Florida! Founded in 2007 by Dr. Ferdinand Cabrera and his husband Dimitri Bakoulis, the Genesis Health Institute focuses on functional medicine to help patients feel and look better than they ever did before.
“We do more age management treatments,” Bakoulis said. “It’s about helping people live longer, but also have a much higher quality of life. Most people who come in, they are starting to feel the effects of aging. They do not have the same energy levels they once had, they are gaining weight, their libido is declining. Especially in our community, people here want to be fit, beautiful, energetic, happy, and have great sex. We are helping with all of that with the different therapies that we offer.” The services offered at the Genesis Health Institute include hormone replacement therapy (Testosterone & HGH Peptides), IV nutrition therapy, sexual function enhancement therapies, facial aesthetics (wrinkle reducers & facial fillers), laser treatments, weight management, PRP therapies, GI health, and stress management.
“These therapies allow our patients to live a longer life, but be in better shape and have less body fat, which is pretty much connected to age related diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease,” Bakoulis continued. “Our patients have more energy and are going out and enjoying life. We don’t want them to be so sedentary. I think people in our community, or gay people in general, have always been interested and open to different types of medical treatments that will enhance their lives. I think as a community, we tend to be more forward thinking.”
When Genesis started, it had zero patients and staff members. Today, Dr. Cabrera and Bakoulis have 10 hardworking and dedicated staff members working to assist over 1,200 patients. While Dr. Cabrera serves as the Institute’s primary physician, Bakoulis is the COO and Patient Coordinator. His job is to bring in new patients and oversee marketing decisions.
According to Bakoulis, the reason Dr. Cabrera wanted to start the Genesis Health Institute was to practice true preventative healthcare. In traditional healthcare, you treat symptoms in a reactionary fashion, prescribing medications. Whereas, what Genesis practices is trying to eliminate or at least reduce patient prescription medications by nourishing the body with vital hormone and vitamin nutrition making certain the body functions optimally in absorbing nutrients from whole foods and drinks. The mission has always been to help patients stay youthful, healthy, energetic, and joyful.
The Genesis Health Institute is open to everyone regardless of age and sexual orientation. “I would say probably 70% of our clients are gay while the other 30% are either straight or bisexual,” Bakoulis said.
Out of all the services and treatments offered, hormone therapy is one of the Institute’s top therapies. “Women have been dealing with hormone therapy for decades now by dealing with menopause symptoms,” Bakoulis said. “It wasn’t until probably the last 20 years or so that men have been diagnosed with andropause, which is low testosterone levels. As aging increases, it really leads to the same type of symptoms of being irritable, depressed, low energy, gaining weight, and even some men feel hot flashes while sleeping.”
Dr. Cabrera and Bakoulis do all the treatments and therapies themselves and they both believe Genesis has been very beneficial to the Wilton Manors and South Florida communities. Bakoulis says he enjoys the benefits of seeing people transform their lives. “I cannot tell you how many patients have come in over the years depressed over the fact that they were getting older,” he said. “To see such a turnaround with these people’s lives is probably the most wonderful thing I have experienced being with the practice. They are healthier, happier, they look better, feel better, and are getting involved in relationships. We have also helped patients who have dealt with horrible illnesses, even cancer, be able to strengthen their immune system strong enough to reduce, if not completely overcome, those illnesses, and that is very satisfying as well.”
Since the Institute’s inception, Dr. Cabrera and Bakoulis have seen people become more aware of their health. The average age of a patient in 2007 was 50 years old. Now, patients in their 30s are coming in because they are more aware of their health and feeling the effects of aging.
Dr. Cabrera and Bakoulis will continue to educate people about their health. “Educating as many people as possible is very important because it truly changes people’s lives,” Bakoulis said. “We have patients that travel to us every 3-5 months for treatment. We even have patients who live in Europe who come to us because some of our services are not readily available everywhere else.”
Some may think it is difficult to work with a spouse or loved one, but Bakoulis says this is the best working relationship he has ever had. “A lot of people will ask how can we live together and work together. If you’ve ever worked in the corporate world, there’s a lot of politics that go on. When you work with your spouse, you don’t get that. Instead, you receive true support for success. Working with Dr. Cabrera and building the Genesis Health Institute has been a wonderful experience.”