After 42 years of providing chiropractic care to families in Land O’ Lakes, Lutz and the surrounding areas, Dr. Michael Craven has sold his practice and will soon be leaving town. He and his wife, Linda, are planning a months-long, bucket-list journey next summer with their two dogs, traveling out West in their Fifth Wheel RV.
“As much as we hate saying goodbye to our patients and community, Linda and I are ready,” said Dr. Craven, who turned 67 in September. “We are looking forward to spending more time with our grandchildren and visiting extended family out of state. Plus, we’re planning on buying and living in that mountain cabin in the woods we’ve always dreamed about.”
For the past few weeks Dr. Craven has been introducing patients to the new owner of his practice — Dr. Michael McClure, who acquired the business in late September.
“When I met Dr. McClure, I knew almost immediately that he was a perfect fit,” said Dr. Craven. “His medical experience and philosophy, and how he sincerely cares for patients like they are members of his family, were exactly what I was looking for in a doctor to take over my practice.”
Buying a practice like Craven Chiropractic was a longtime dream for Dr. McClure and his wife, Julie. The couple had been wanting to move from Pittsburgh to Florida for several years, to be closer to Dr. McClure’s parents who live in Spring Hill and to get away from the cold.
“We almost made the move three years ago, and actually explored Land O’ Lakes back then and loved the community, but we could not find a practice that fit with our goals,” explained Dr. McClure. “It was actually my mother who saw the listing for Craven Chiropractic. When she called me about the opportunity, I said to my wife, ‘Oh My God, Julie, there is a practice in Land O’ Lakes that seems perfect for us.’”
After talking to Dr. Craven, Dr. McClure quickly surmised the strengths of Craven Chiropractic. “And, the more I got to know Dr. Craven, the more I was amazed at how much we had in common – he was almost a mirror image of myself,” he said.
“When you sell your business, it’s not like you’re selling your house. It’s more like hiring a babysitter, because you are entrusting the person to care for the people very important to you,” said Dr. Craven.
“I could not think of a better chiropractor to take my place than Dr. McClure. He not only delivers a great adjustment, but his style and personality are very similar to mine. He is someone who I know will treat you as a friend, and not just a patient,” Dr. Craven wrote his patients when announcing his retirement.
Reminiscing about his professional life, Dr. Craven shares that after graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine in 1977, he worked in a group practice in Tampa for five years before opening his solo practice in Land O’ Lakes in 1983.
His prior office was in the Village Lakes Shopping Plaza, where he built his practice serving families in Lutz, Land O’Lakes and Wesley Chapel. In 2008, the Cravens built a new office designed specifically for the needs of a modern chiropractic center, just north of the Land O’ Lakes Post Office.
“It’s been so much fun and rewarding to see kids and grandchildren of previous patients, who became my patients. We even have a few fourth generations,” said Dr. Craven.
Asked what is the biggest change he has seen since he started practicing, he quickly responds the Internet.
“Because of Google searches, patients are much more informed today and come prepared with many questions,” Dr. Craven said. “There has also been lots of changes in documentation that consumes so much of a doctor’s time. I am glad to be done with all the regulations, documentation and paperwork.”
Biggest technical improvement?
“By far, laser therapy. In the last seven years, we’ve seen incredible results with laser therapy in pain reduction, stimulating healing and reducing inflammation at the cellular level. It’s the most dramatic improvement I’ve seen in 42 years of practice,” he said.
The couple plans to settle not far from their daughter, Kristin, and three grandsons who live in Dahlonega, Georgia. Two of the boys are in middle school and play football — games their grandparents have only seen once.
The Cravens have two other children — son Michael, a mechanical engineer in Oviedo, and daughter Lacey in Tampa, a mother of three and foster parent. The Cravens have six grandchildren who have always been the focus of their lives, outside of their practice.
It is apparent that Dr. Craven loves being a chiropractor as much today as he did when he first started out, and that retiring was not an easy decision.
“It has been tremendously rewarding to enjoy what you do and put down such deep roots in a community,” said Dr. Craven. “To see people we know at the grocery store and about town ‑ knowing our practice has helped them and made a difference in their lives ‑ has been very fulfilling. It will be difficult to leave a community that has given so much to me and my family.”
About Dr. McClure
Dr. McClure wanted a single-chiropractor office that he could expand into new areas, including weight loss and sports injuries. He has a CCSP Certification in sport injuries, and in 2009-2010 was a staff chiropractor for the PGA Tour in New York State. With his varied background, Dr. McClure is changing the name of the practice to Lakes Chiropractic and Wellness.
“Mike is upbeat, high energy, and deeply listens and cares for his patients, in the same ways I’ve strived to do,” said Dr. Craven. “It was just a great fit, and I feel completely confident turning my patients over to him.”
Remaining at the practice as office manager is Lori Rivera, who Dr. Craven describes as the best office manager he has ever worked with. “Lori is a huge help to patients with their insurance claims, appointment scheduling and making them feel welcome,” he said.
Dr. McClure comes from a large practice in Pittsburgh with two offices and five chiropractors, where he was a majority partner for the past 17 years. “While I loved my practice and patients in Pittsburgh, I wanted to be out on my own.”
He made the decision to focus on finding a Florida practice to buy this past spring during a snowstorm. “I’ll never forget the day because it was Cinque de Mayo — May 5, and I was so tired of the snow and cold,” said Dr. McClure.
Once he connected with Dr. Craven, things moved quickly, and the McClure family relocated to Land O’ Lakes this summer, buying a home in Lakeshore Ranch, a subdivision less than 10 minutes from his new office on U.S. 41 in Black Lake Professional Office Park.
The McClures quickly got their children involved in local sports —7-year-old Camden is a goalie for the Tampa Bay Crunch youth hockey team in Wesley Chapel, and 9-year-old Daniella competes at Florida Elite Swimming Club in Land O’ Lakes.
While the McClures are getting settled, the past few months have been a very emotional time for the Cravens, as they prepare to leave Land O’ Lakes, their home for over 40 years.
Published October 21, 2020