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WESTCHASE AREA

Vol. 2, Issue 4, April 2013

Neighborhood News & Lifestyles

®

The Business & Dining Magazine Directly Mailed To 16,000 Homes In Westchase & Surrounding Areas This Independent Community News, Business & Dining Guide Is Directly Mailed Once Each Month To: Arlington Park • Aston Villas • Bay Arbor • Berkeley Square • Calf Path Estates • Enclave At Citrus Park • Fawn Ridge Forest Lakes • Hampton Lakes • Highland Park • Lake Chase • Mandolin • The Eagles • Tree Tops • Twin Branch Acres Waterchase • West Hampton • Westchase • Westchester • Westwood Lakes • Windsor Place

Centrally located in Westchase, right off Sheldon Road, Delatorre Dentistry is working towards providing clients with personalized and gentle professional care. The Delatorre team has a commitment to serve and guide patients with top oral care for optimal health and wellness. Providing Westchase with general, family and cosmetic services; Delatorre Dentistry makes your smile their top priority. Alina de la Torre, DMD, owns Delatorre Dentistry, previously known as Bertoch Dental. Dr. de la Torre joined the practice in 2007 and bought the practice in 2010 from Dr. Daniel Bertoch. Dr. de la Torre is a

Improve The Quality Of Your Life With Alvarez Audiology By Marcy Sanford Until recently people suffering from tinnitus had no real cure. They were told they had to learn to live with the severe ringing in their ears or mask it with cumbersome headphones. But recent advances in audiology technology are providing relief from the ever present ringing that tinnitus sufferers’ endure. Alvarez Audiology, located at 6615 Gunn Highway, is one of the

few clinics in Tampa that offers this new innovative and effective sound therapy. Dr. Indira Alvarez, the doctor and owner at Alvarez Audiology, is a Board Certified Audiologist with a clinical specialty in tinnitus, and is excited

born and raised Tampa native; she earned her B.S. from the University of Miami and then went on to earn her Doctorate in Dental Medicine at the Alina de la Torre, University of Florida in DMD 2005. While in dental school at UF, Dr. de la Torre was a member of the American Student Dental Association and President See “Delatorre Dental” on page 22.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Community Calendar...................3 Community News Briefs.....4-5 Fresh Planet Café...............8-9 Screens R’ Us................10-11 Dr. Norman....................14-15 The Learning Experience......16-17

about the recovery she has seen in her patients. She says, “Lots of people think that tinnitus is not treatable; that it is something they have to learn to See “Alvarez Audiology” on page 26.

Brain Balance.................28-29

ECRWSS

See “Schomers Lawn” on page 18.

By Katie Thomas

Postal Customer

With a beautifully cut yard and a house tucked away behind perfectly arranged foliage, Michael Schomers’ personal lawn care experience as a homeowner inspired him to start his own business over 20 years ago. Since 1991, Michael has built his lawn service up to what it is today – a rarity in the lawn service industry – and for the past 20 years has formed a solid reputation based upon excellent customer relations, quality service and reliability – which is why he has been successful for as long as he has. Schomers Lawn Service covers the areas of Westchase, Waterchase, Fawn Ridge, Countryway, Eagles, Westwood Lakes, Sheffield, Newcastle and Mandolin Estates, and cares for over 140

homes with two crews that specialize in residential care. In addition to complete lawn care, Schomers Lawn Service also offers more extensive services such as maintenance, Michael Schomer mulch, cleanups, tree trimming and removal, and landscape installation and sod. "Schomers Lawn Service has been providing complete lawn service to us for over 12 years,” write Ralph and Nancy Zengen of Westchase. “We have been completely satisfied. We

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA FL PERMIT 1185

By Lenay Ruhl

Delatorre Dentistry – Westchase Dentist, World Class Smiles

Dated Material Please Rush!

Schomers Lawn Service – When Reliability Counts


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Westchase Area Neighborhood News


Community Calendar

Directly mailed once a month to 16,000 households in zip codes 33626 & 34677

The 2013 Relay For Life of Westchase The journey to end cancer starts with a single step. The American Cancer Society invites you to take that step with them by joining the global Relay For Life movement. When you walk to end cancer at a Relay event, it's your opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost, but also to raise awareness about what we can do to stay well from cancer and raise money to help fuel the world's largest walk to end cancer. The Westchase Relay For Life will be held on May 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Davidsen Middle School, located at 10501 Montague St. in Westchase, and will run through the night.

Tampa Bay Sentinels Public Safety Charity Football Games The Tampa Bay Sentinels are a non-profit unpaid Public Safety Football Team formed from members of Law Enforcement, Corrections, Probation/Parole Officers, Firefighters,

Neighborhood News & Lifestyles 220 Safford Ave. S. Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 Phone: (813) 928-6124; Fax: (727) 942-2432 Advertising E-mail: info@neighborhoodnewsfl.com Editorial E-mail: editorialdept@neighborhoodnewsfl.com © 2013 Westchase Neighborhood News is published by ADS 2 Publications, Inc. Publisher Tim Selby General Manager Matt Selby Advertising Sales Hannah Dalegowski Jim O’Reilly Ken Burke Accounting Manager Doreen Selby Billing Assistant Tina O’Reilly Marketing & Development Ashley Knoblach

Paramedics, EMTs, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. They play full contact football against other public safety teams from around the country in order to raise money for local charities. All of the proceeds go to the MacDonald Training Center. Come support this tri-county (Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough) Public Safety football team!

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

2013 Game Schedule **Home: April 6, 1 PM vs Orlando Guardians Away: April 20 vs Orlando Guardians **Otis Andrews Complex 2602 E Cherry St. Plant city, Fla. 33563** For more information please call (727) 741-0142 or visit online at TampaBaySentinels.org.

Editor Alexis Selby Correspondents Kim Thomas Julie Kanehl Katie Thomas

Marcy Sanford Lenay Ruhl Dara Tucker Erin Aldrich Art Director Tony Sica Graphic Artist Dat X. Do

Nothing that appears in Westchase Neighborhood News may be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Westchase Neighborhood News writers are their own and do not reflect the publisher’s opinion. The management of Westchase Neighborhood News is always happy to accept outside editorial submissions to the paper. Please call for outside editorial submission and advertisement deadlines. Westchase Neighborhood News will consider previously non-published outside editorial submissions if they are double spaced, typed and less than 500 words. Westchase Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit and/or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates. Westchase Neighborhood News will not return unsolicited editorial materials. Westchase Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Westchase Neighborhood News is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the actual cost of the advertising space itself, not for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Westchase Neighborhood News & Lifestyles is published by ADS 2 Publications, Inc.

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Community News Briefs Cheer Express Athletes Shake off the Competition at Cheersport in Atlanta Cheersport, one of the largest All Star cheerleading competitions in the world, was held on February 16 & 17 in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. Cheer Express from Oldsmar brought 6 teams to compete for National Championship honors against nearly 1,000 teams that had the same dream. Junior Red, Junior White and Senior White all took National championship, first place honors. Senior Silver was awarded a bid to the cheerleading WORLDS competition at Disney World for the 7th straight year. Senior Elite Pink took 2nd place, and Senior Red finished 6th. Winning a national championship at Cheersport is very difficult. Winning three is almost impossible. The Cheer Express Junior Red, level 2, beat 116 teams to have the highest score in the division, and won a fully paid bid to the Summit competition in Orlando where only the best teams in the US are invited to compete. Junior White and Senior White also received

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bids to the SUMMIT. Congratulations to all of the Cheer Express athletes for this outstanding accomplishment! Cheer Express athletes come from all around the area from as far as Sarasota and Lakeland, as well as locally including all of the areas that Neighborhood News & Lifestyles delivers to: East Lake, Lutz, Odessa, Land O’ Lakes, Trinity, Westchase and Carrollwood. Cheer Express All Stars is located in Oldsmar and has 14 teams that compete throughout the state of Florida and nationally. In their 9 years, Cheer Express has won over 170 State and National titles. They can be reached at 813-925-1978 or visit their website www.cheerexpress.org.

Schools Receive Grants to Study Freshwater Resources Hillsborough County students at 34 schools will study the issues surrounding freshwater resources thanks to Splash! school grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The Hillsborough County awardees are: Christine Lindbak, Alonso High, was awarded $2,150. Students will learn about the Hillsborough River watershed and then conduct water quality tests while on a field trip to the Crystal Springs Preserve. Sonia Coleman, B.T. Washington Elementary, was awarded $1,425. Students will study freshwater species and the aquifer on a field trip to the Crystal Springs Preserve. Students will also track water usage at home and create posters and videos to share with the school. Carol Mayo, Bailey Elementary, was awarded $3,000. Students will participate in

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activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Daniel Opila, Bellamy Elementary, was awarded $3,000. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Melissa Triebwasser, Doby Elementary, was awarded $1,600. On a field trip to Tampa Bay, students will learn about estuaries and how to preserve the health of the bay. Students will share this knowledge with their school peers and parents. Kyla DonLevy, Durant High, was awarded $850. Students will study freshwa-

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


ter systems, watersheds and water quality while visiting the Swamp Head River, the Hillsborough River and Crystal Springs. Rebecca Rouch, Easy Bay High, was awarded $1,360. Students will learn how water is treated and supplied to local residents through field trips to a desalination plant and waste water treatment plant. Alyssa Mormon, Edison Elementary, was awarded $1,033. Students will learn about freshwater habitats and types of pollution affecting freshwater habitats. Students will create posters and fliers to share with their families, school and community. Laura Franklin, Foster Elementary, was awarded $1,225. Students will learn about water conservation through the use of rain barrels in the school’s garden. On field trips to the Hillsborough River and Upper Tampa Bay Park, students will study water quality and the difference in fresh and estuarine waters. Jennifer Fritz, Gaither High, was awarded $1,600. Students will visit Crystal Springs Preserve to test water quality and gather biological samples to study the health of the Hillsborough River and the surrounding watershed. Carolyn Klein, Giunta Middle, was awarded $1,931. Students will care for plants using water from rain barrels and other water-conserving methods learned in class. Students will create and distribute brochures about their garden conservation efforts. Sara White, Henderson Hammock Charter, was awarded $754. Students will become “Watershed Warriors” and create a podcast sharing what they learn through classroom activities on the water cycle, watersheds and water quality.

Iris Willis, Hillsborough High, was awarded $2,500. Students will study storm water runoff by monitoring water quality at the Robles Park retention pond. Students will work with the City of Tampa Beautification Department to design landscaping that filters pollutants before entering the pond. The project will be promoted by hosting community meetings, creating a digital movie and presenting to the school board among other outlets. Deborah Flock, Jackson Elementary, was awarded $2,999. Students will tour a water treatment facility to learn how wastewater can affect freshwater resources. Students will also study wetland habitats and test water quality on a field trip to Walden Lake. A community awareness campaign will allow students to share what they’ve learned. Kristy Carew, King High, was awarded $2,250. Students will test water and soil and learn about different animal and plant species while on field trips to Upper Tampa Bay Park and Crystal Springs Preserve. Michele Smcox, Knights Elementary, was awarded $1,040. Students will take a field trip to Cockroach Bay to test the water quality and dip net for living organisms in the water. They will learn the importance of healthy water and ecosystems. Jane Kemp, Lawton Chiles Elementary, was awarded $1,699. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Students will also maintain a waterconserving garden on the school’s campus and monitor water use in the garden. Cynthia Doyle, Lincoln Elementary

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

Magnet, was awarded $263. Through water-related books and classroom resources, students will learn water is a limited resource and why it’s important to conserve water. Students will make brochures to share with others. Ashley Biernacki, Mann Middle, was awarded $2,802. Students will trace water and pollutants from Crystal Springs to Tampa Bay while testing water quality at several field locations. Students will educate others about how human actions on land affect freshwater resources. LeeAnne Foster, Martinez Middle, was awarded $1,615. Students will learn about water conservation, water quality and watersheds through classroom activities and the use of rain barrels and hydroponic gardening systems. Students will teach fourthgraders from a nearby school about water conservation and watersheds. Elaine Gibbs, Middleton High, was awarded $1,800. Students will study the various habitats at Crystal Springs Preserve and test water samples from each. Students will also perform an investigation of the Hillsborough River and tour a sewage treatment plant about a treatment plant’s role in water conservation. Deborah Seto, Orange Grove Middle Magnet, was awarded $2,670. Students will test water and soil at Crystal Springs Preserve and compare it to data collected in retention and detention ponds in east Tampa. Through their comparison, students will learn about the health of the Hillsborough River. Deetra McAlmont, Potter Elementary, was awarded $3,000. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Jennell Graham, Pride Elementary, was awarded $2,800. Students will learn about the water cycle and how it relates to weather patterns. They will track rain fall and learn about the importance of rain as a source of fresh water. Students will also learn about estuarine habitats while on a field trip at Tampa Bay Watch. Georgianna Trowbridge, Riverview High School, was awarded $2,512. Students will test water quality and explore aquatic species at Crystal Springs Preserve. Students will complete a study to see how soil, vegetation and wildlife may be affected by their proximity to the Hillsborough River. Gladys Jackson, Robles Elementary, was awarded $240. Through classroom activities, students will learn about the importance of water and conserving it. As a class, students will create a book about what they learn. The book will be published and shared with other classes and the student’s families. Cindy Wilkinson, Seminole Elementary, was awarded $3,000. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Amy Stockard, Springhead Elementary, was awarded $1,170. Students will learn ways to minimize the negative effects of landscaping and agriculture on Florida’s water supply and water quality. Students will compare water saved through hydroponic versus traditional gardening methods. Andria Keene, Strawberry Crest High, was awarded $1,634. Students will

visit the Florida Aquarium and learn about rivers and estuaries while identifying aquatic species and testing water. Students will also participate in a community service-learning project to establish oyster bars with Tampa Bay Watch. Christine Saettone, Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary, was awarded $3,000. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Julie Sackles, Tampa Bay Technical High, was awarded $1,300. Students will learn about the Hillsborough River and its watershed on a field trip to Crystal Springs Preserve where students will test water samples and collect specimen. They will also remove invasive plants on the river as part of a community service project. Michele Paschal, Tampa Palms Elementary, was awarded $2,984. Students will learn about the water cycle and water conservation and use water collected in rain barrels to supply the school’s garden. Students will share this information on the school’s morning news show and create a newsletter for the community. Meichelle Long, Terrace Community Middle, was awarded $2,400. Students will participate in activities centered on the water cycle, water pollution and aquifer recharge while on a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Farm. Emily Petrilli, Tomlin Middle, was awarded $1,384. Students will visit Crystal Springs Preserve to test water quality and explore aquatic species. Students will also perform an invasive species clean-up along the Hillsborough River and educate others through the school’s website and morning show. The goal of the Splash! school grant program is to provide teachers with funding to enhance student knowledge of topics that meet the district’s core mission and teach students about their local watersheds, water conservation, quality and supply. Splash! school grants provide up to $3,000 per school on a reimbursement basis and are available to public school teachers. Melissa Gulvin, the district’s K-12 education coordinator, said the grant program is important because Splash! grants provide funding teachers may not otherwise have to create water-resources programs specific to their students. “For instance, if a school’s campus is near a local water body, students may conduct hands-on water testing and cleanups while learning how their actions affect the health of that local water body and the surrounding watershed,” she said. This year, 94 Splash! grants were awarded across the district’s 16-county region to educate students on water resources. Splash! grant projects include student monitoring of local water quality, environmental field studies and school or community outreach campaigns designed to encourage water conservation. In addition to Splash! grant funding, the district offers free teacher professional development workshops and curriculum materials. The publications are correlated to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards and can be ordered on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/publications/.

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Westchase Area Neighborhood News


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Fresh Planet Café – Eat Right, Feel Right! By Erin Aldrich If you are looking for an innovative fast food alternative, it has arrived in Westchase! Fresh Planet Café not only offers fresh ingredients in every menu item but does so in an exciting new way. Whether you are visiting for something light, or come packing an appetite, there is much to choose from on the Fresh Planet menu. Fresh Planet Café is a Quick Service Restaurant that brings 100% healthy and 100% delicious foods to a mainstream setting and each of their smoothie options provides a 100%

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daily serving of fruits and/or vegetables. In addition to smoothies, Fresh Planet Café offers a variety of healthy and delicious foods. Some of the most preferred menu items include the Teriyaki Rice Bowl, Mediterranean Flatbread and Mick’s Mixed Berry smoothie. You are sure to find items on the menu that you’ll love, even if you are not a health food guru. The variety and array of culture intertwined within each menu item will appeal to any craving or lifestyle. Franchise owners, Steve Tanner and Ember Young, stress the importance of variety on the menu. Steve says, “We offer items that are different, like our flatbread pizzas prepared on wheat pita.” Fresh Planet’s customers often comment that they are so excited to finally have a place that offers healthy food that tastes great. It is evident that the Westchase community believes it is important to start eating healthier; something that Ember fully supports.

She says, “Our goal is to provide healthy food to the people in our community. We want to be here for the long haul.” Even if you are attempting to eat healthier for the first time, Fresh Planet’s menu offers many options for the ‘newbie’. The menu has so many great items to choose from and they will gladly personalize your order and tailor it to your individual preferences. On my past visit, one of the most impressive and new cuisines I experienced was the Peanut Butter Walnut smoothie. It may seem like other peanut butter shakes you have had, with banana, honey and soy milk, but it has an additional ingredient – oatmeal – that really sets it apart. Perfect for breakfast or a midday snack, this

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shake packs fruit, protein and your daily fiber needs. The best part is that the consistency is appealing as well and the taste is great! Fresh Planet also has an extensive list of fresh fruit smoothies as well, offered to you with no added sugar, syrups or preservatives. Often fast food places claim to have this same quality, but don’t be fooled! When I asked for the Fuzzy Navel smoothie (fresh squeezed orange juice, peaches and

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


mango), Kristi, a valued employee, prepared it for me in a fresh fashion where I could witness each ingredient being added to the blender. No sugar, no syrup, no ice and no water – amazing! Fresh Planet also offers a full service juice bar where customers can request wheat grass shots, as well as juices such as carrot, celery and orange, to name a few; all of which are direct from the source, and again, with no additives. They keep it simple – pure freshness and purely organic. Are your kids more apt to eat a fast food burger and fries? Don’t think they would try fresh carrot juice? Introduce them and be amazed. Ember reports many instances where she has witnessed kids enjoying healthy choices on their first experience. She says, “We want to help parents intro-

duce healthy foods to their kids.” Fresh Planet also offers a kids menu, where they do not have the option between fries and apples, because Fresh Planet does not offer a single fried item! They do offer fresh hummus made from scratch with toasted wheat pita bread; an excellent side item to accompany their delicious Greek Chicken Pita or tasty Saturn Salad. And let’s not leave out the rice bowl options – prepared with brown rice, fresh vegetables and many protein options. My favorite is the Peanut Thai rice bowl, made with chicken, snow peas, carrots, red peppers, broccoli and walnuts, smothered in Thai peanut sauce. Dominique, A.K.A “The Pro”, another valued Fresh Planet employee, prepared this lovely dish with ease and expertise. At Fresh

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

Planet, the staff pays close attention to portion control, and again, is willing to modify any dish to your liking. As if this does not spark your interest and appetite, how about the specials they offer! Any order $25.00 or more receives a $5.00 discount any time and every Sunday all smoothies are a dollar off! Fresh Planet Café is also actively involved in our community. Their most recent effort supported a local elementary school, Forest Lakes, in their effort to raise money for a PTA walk. Fresh Planet often partners with local gyms and would like to extend a

welcome to more opportunities with neighboring businesses to spread the news about their amazingly healthy food. At Fresh Planet Café, it is not just about getting healthy; it is about staying healthy and enjoying the experience in the process! Fresh Planet is located in front of the Lowe’s shopping center at 13811 West Hillsborough Ave in Tampa. Hours are Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information or to view their menu please call (813) 814-1000 or visit their website at www.FreshPlanetFranchise.com.

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Screens R’ Us – Your Screen Repair Experts! By Marcy Sanford Spring is here and now is the perfect time to entertain friends or relax with family around a lovely pool or back patio. A lanai is a great addition, because it allows you to enjoy the beautiful Florida days and warm Florida nights without being bothered by creepy bugs and lizards. It also provides much needed shade during the day and helps maintain your pool’s cleanliness by keeping leaves and debris out. But while our Florida weather certainly has many perks, it can also have a downside in that the strong sun and rains can create extra wear and tear to your lanai. Children, pets, and even weed-eaters or lawn-edgers can also cause tears to your screens. When you start to notice bugs and lizards inside your lanai, have a hard time opening your screen door, or see a silver reflection on sunny days, it’s time to call the experts at Screens ‘R’ Us. Located in the Westchase area, Screens ‘R’ Us can repair a single panel, completely re-screen an enclosure, or replace worn-out hardware. They’ve been serving the area since 2003 and have more than 5,000 com-

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pletely satisfied customers. In 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012 Screens ‘R’ Us was awarded the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award – an exclusive recognition awarded to companies who have achieved and maintained a superior service rating on Angie’s List for a full year. Less than five percent of the companies on Angie’s List meet the eligibility requirements for this award. “Screens ‘R’ Us is a very professional, responsible company,” says customer Brenda M. “They appeared for the estimate as promised. They performed the job as promised and did an excellent job in a very timely manner. I am so very pleased with the quality of work as well as the manner in which the job was done.” Owner Andy Bukowski comes from a corporate background and he prides himself on the professionalism and integrity of his staff. “Most of the employees at Screens ‘R’ Us have five to eight years of experience and some with over 20 years of experience in the screen repair business,” says Andy.

“We make sure the job is done correctly the first time so our clients can get back outside and enjoy their patio area.” The average life span of a screen is eight to ten years, but damage from pets, children, lawn equipment, the hot sun, and strong storms, can cause it to wear out quicker. Screens ‘R’ Us can replace individual panels or completely restore your lanai. They will come out and give you a free estimate, and in most cases you don’t even have to be home while they complete the repairs. If you do need to replace your entire lanai, Screens ‘R’ Us are the experts to turn to. Screens ‘R’ Us customer Steve M. says, “Screens ‘R’ Us completely re-screened our 48' x 25' pool cage plus re-screened the side panels of a very large lanai and installed a large ‘doggie door’. The crew also replaced the door hardware on

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two screen doors; pressure washed the enclosure and repainted or replaced rusted screen anchors and screws. They did an outstanding job. The entire enclosure looks brand new even though it's 12 years old. They fully restored the look of the entire area. From the screening, to the supports, to the doors, it all looks like it was just installed. The dog door was well installed with a frame that will ensure longevity. Equally impressive was the clean-up they did when the job was completed; you couldn't tell anyone had even been working there. Screens 'R' Us are totally professional – they did exactly what they said they would and did a little more as well.”

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


(L)In addition to replacing torn or worn out screens, the professionals at Screens R’ Us can restore your old enclosure to its original splendor. (R) Andy (L) and Edvin (R) will help you come up with solutions for any specialty screening need. In addition to replacing torn or worn out screens, Screens ‘R’ Us can restore your whole enclosure by replacing door handles, closures, hinges, door bug sweeps, and kick plates. In some cases, the lower support anchors on a lanai have rusted and are no longer attached to the cement slab. Screens ‘R’ Us will re-secure the aluminum structure by replacing rusted lower anchor supports as well as the tie

down straps that may have rusted or been cut by landscaping. This will restore the structural stability of the enclosure – giving you a brand new and fully functioning lanai. If you have a screen that has been damaged by a pet or by a grass trimmer or another lawn maintenance machine, Screens ‘R’ Us can help. They specialize in pet door installation and special heavy-duty pet screening that is

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

resistant to damage caused by large pets. Dog doors come in sizes, from small to extra large, and many cat lovers install the small sized doors for their feline friends. Screens ‘R’ Us can also help you come up with solutions for any specialty screening needs like solar screens that offer more protection and in some cases full protection from the sun or heavy mesh screens that give

you extra privacy. Don’t let a worn out screen ruin your summer fun. Call Screens ‘R’ Us today for a free estimate. To schedule an estimate from Screens ‘R’ Us, visit their web site www.ScreensRUs.com, email info@screensrus.com, or call (813) 295-1217 or (813) 410-1914.

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Dr. Norman – Preserving Your Natural Skin For a Lifetime By Alexis Selby As our largest organ and the protector of everything within, our skin plays a significant role in the harmonious functioning and overall regulation of our body, and as such, it is crucial that we do all we can to preserve it and maintain the healthiest skin possible. Part of this preservation and maintenance often involves seeing a dermatologist. And, regardless of whether you have a specific issue or would just like to get a regular checkup, it is imperative that you find a dermatologist who you can trust; one who, if you should have an issue with your skin, will get to the root of the problem and find out exactly what is going on. For over 20 years, board-certified dermatologist Robert Norman, DO, has been leading the way in the advancement of skin care, and providing patients in the Tampa Bay Area with the very best in dermatological health care. Dr. Norman is extremely knowledgeable in the various facets of medicine and spent many years studying the entire body before centering his focus

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on the specific field of dermatology. When Dr. Norman first entered into the medical field he started off in family medicine, concentrating on primary care, emergency medicine and geriatrics; it was there that he realized his love for dermatology and continued his education in that field. Dr. Norman specializes in geriatric dermatology, and provides the most innovative treatments in general and cosmetic dermatology to people of all ages. Dr. Norman has such a passion for what he does and it is evident how much he really does care about each and every patient. Dr. Norman says, “I love what I do. People are always very appreciative because they know that I am helping them. I provide a lot of reassurance to people, and that is always a nice thing to be able to do.” His dermatology practice is one of the top practices in the country and one of the very few in the state of Florida to accept Medicaid, which he does solely because he believes everyone deserves the right to have beautiful, healthy skin. Dr. Norman says, “I like taking care of my patients; that’s why I went into Medicine – I wanted to help peo-

ple. I am one of the few providers that takes Medicaid, and because of that I see people from all over the state every day. My favorite part of my job is helping people. When my patients leave and express that they are better, that is by far the best reward of what I do.” The list of Dr. Norman’s credentials is truly impressive and his experience and knowledge regarding dermatology, and general medicine for that matter, ranks him among the very best in not only the state of Florida, but the entire country. Dr. Norman is a faculty member for five medical schools and has been honored with numerous service and teaching awards, including Physician of the Year in 2005, Distinguished Service Award in 2007 for Hillsborough County, and Tampa Bay Medical Hero Award in 2008. He has written 23 books, including a textbook on Geriatric dermatology in 2001, the first textbook on preventative dermatology in 2010, and the recently published The Woman Who Lost Her Skin (And Other Dermatological Tales), which is primarily based on articles he has written in Discover magazine, and Mother

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Nature, Father TimeTales of Medicine. He has been the editor of four textbooks on Geriatrics and Geriatric Dermatology and Dr. Robert Norman, published DO over 100 articles in various major media publications. In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Norman also has a private practice and is the chief physician and owner of Dermatology Healthcare, founded in 1994, which delivers essential skin care services for nursing home patients. Last year alone, he saw over 32,000 nursing home residents throughout the state of Florida. Dr. Norman is also the first in the country to offer mobile radiation for cancer and on-site skin cancer surgery to nursing home patients. In his free time Dr. Norman is

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


very active in his community and likes to spend time with his wife Carol and their five children, who have been brought together in a blended family. When he can he plays tennis, trapshooting, biking, kayaking and the harmonica. Dr. Norman and his staff provide dermatological services in both general and cosmetic dermatology, including the treatment of Eczema, Psoriasis,

Acne, Rosacea, skin cancer, moles and melanoma, as well as cosmetic procedures such as Restylane, Botox, laser hair reduction, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and Sclerotherapy. Dr. Norman also performs all types of skin surgeries. “We practice more comprehensive care,” says Dr. Norman. “I like to get to know my patients and take care of them as a whole; addressing any other

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

medical problems, in addition to those with their skin.” As a dermatologist with a background in primary care, Dr. Norman is able to both diagnose and treat his patients with a higher level of expertise than one might normally find at a dermatologist. Education is of high importance to Dr. Norman and when he is not at his office, he teaches at seven different medical schools throughout the state,

educating students on the various aspects of dermatology. He works closely with local universities and constantly has students in the office shadowing him to help them get hand-on training in the field. He also has his own weekly radio show called ‘Doc Talk’ on 860 AM. With everything that is going on in his life, Dr. Norman explains, “I condition my time to get a lot done during the course of the day. It is a matter of concentration and discipline.” One happy patient writes, “Before visiting Dr. Norman I had been to two other dermatologists and had been put through tests with no results. Dr. Norman took the time to explain my condition and what course of treatment was best for me. He gave me information on support groups and his staff was attentive and patient. I have sent my sister to him and she was very happy with the office.” Dr. Norman’s office is located at 8002 Gunn Hwy. in Tampa. Office hours are Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call (813) 880-SKIN (7546), email info@drrobertnorman.com, or visit their website at www.DrRobertNorman.com.

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The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education When you walk into The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education at 3933 Tampa Road in Oldsmar, you instantly get a sense being amongst family. The entire facility is immaculately kept and a friendly face is there to greet you as you walk in the door. It instantly becomes obvious that the people that built this center put a lot of thought into creating a facility that caters to a young child’s every need. By catering to a child’s every need, The Learning Experience has established itself as much more than a normal, everyday child care center. Although the center is rather new, it is part of a larger franchise system that has been built on more than three decades of experience in providing children with the tools and environment necessary to achieve the

Becky Shield, Director at The Learning Experience.

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highest potential in their stages of early learning. The Learning Experience® is able to accomplish this by giving children the support they need to develop socially, physically and emotionally in a safe and secure environment. Programs like their At The Learning Experience they make learning fun, cutting edge, propri- and cater to your child’s every need, by giving them the etary L.E.A.P. support they need to develop socially, physically and (Learning Experiemotionally in a safe and secure environment. ence Academic Program) curriculum eye-opening destinations that are and Fun with Phonics have nearly shown on the interactive board via 90% of participating children reading Google Earth®. Children can reach by the time they enter kindergarten. out and touch these destinations and Other programs that are part of the everyday curriculum include sign lan- travel the world without ever leaving the classroom. This interactive techguage, technology (computers are nology also allows children to utilize provided in all classrooms for 2.5 this high-tech means of education to years of age and above), L.E.A.P. "fill it," "shape it," "draw it," and into Spanish®, physical fitness and "spotlight it." The touch-screen Manners Matter® and have children gives them the ability to learn handsexercising not only their minds, but on rather than just seeing it in a book their bodies as well. This wellor hearing about it from a teacher. rounded approach to early education This hands-on, next level technology of both the body and mind has made definitely offers children an educaThe Learning Experience the leading tional experience that is rarely offered innovators in the child care industry. or acquired anywhere else. In keeping with their innovative Further evidence of their comways, The Learning Experience remitment to caring for children is the cently introduced their L.E.A.P. Instaff at The Learning Experience. teractive® curriculum. This next Each staff member is a loving and generation of curriculum has been nurturing individual with exceptional specifically designed to enhance credentials. Teachers and assistants TLE’s existing L.E.A.P.® curriculum by having children engage in cutting- must follow strict guidelines, meet all state certification requirements and edge, touch technology on a large, are encouraged to participate in interactive screen. L.E.A.P are supsponsored continuing education proplemented with real-time videos and

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grams. Mandatory First Aid training and CPR courses are provided annually. Consistent evaluations by superiors and parents help maintain the center's high standard of excellence for its staff. If you’re not already thoroughly impressed by the learning and the growing that takes place at The Learning Experience, you should see how they play! The Learning Experience’s unique play area, called Make Believe Boulevard® is a scaled down version of Main Street, U.S.A. that includes a fire station, diner, general store, post office and garage. Within this area, children can engage in socio-dramatic activities that encourages playfulness and role-playing. Whether your child is an infant or preschooler, The Learning Experience offers the very best in age-appropriate care and academic and enrichment programming. The Learning Experience in Oldsmar is located at 3933 Tampa

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


(L) The Learning Experience boasts large classrooms. (R)Make Believe Boulevard® is a scaled down version of Main Street, U.S.A. Road in Oldsmar. Hours are Mon. – Fri. 6:30a.m. – 6:30 p.m. For more information, or to schedule a tour of their facility, please call

The Learning Experience in Oldsmar at (813) 855-7572 or visit them at oldsmar.tlechildcare.com.

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

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“Schomers Lawn” Continued from page 1 travel a lot and the fact that we can rely on a clean, well-kept yard and lawn means a lot. We don’t have to worry about the condition of our landscaping while we’re gone. I have received many words of appreciation from the people we have referred to them. They have a long list of satisfied clients." With April being the start of his busy season, Schomers and his crews are prepared to mow each customer’s yard once a week from April through October, and then every other week in December, January and February. He has had his same employees for the past six years, with the exception of one who has worked for him for three years. He prides himself on the longevity of his employees, because they are all familiar with each yard, making their care more personalized. “Since I’ve been a homeowner for 23 years, I know what you need,” says Schomers, as he talks about his 20 years of observations living in Central Florida. Because of his experience, he has learned what does and doesn’t work. He says, “This area is its own

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animal, as far as the climate. Something that might work in Fort Lauderdale or Tallahassee might not necessarily work here, just because it’s Florida.” With a niche in residential yards, Schomers Lawn Service prefers customers who are going to want a yearround yard. Most of his customers come from word of mouth, and a lot of people call him because they are unhappy with their current service. Happy to help, Schomers takes the time to find out what’s wrong and what his crews can do to make it better. “I have spent 20 years building up customers,” says Schomers, and as a testament to his quality service, he still has one of his very first clients, and has been caring for her yard in Westchase since the very beginning. “I have had a lot of return business.” Although Schomers mowed grass

as a kid, he didn’t get into the lawn service business until after purchasing his own home. The house next door was for sale and the yard was left uncared for, as it was pending being pur-

chased. Schomers called the Realtor and asked if he could mow it, which in turn lead the Realtor to give him more jobs. During this time he was offered a job with an established lawn care serv-

Schomers Lawn Service will give your yard the attention it deserves!

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Westchase Area Neighborhood News


ice, where he worked for a year. He learned a lot and was able to start his own business simultaneously. Before getting into the lawn care business, Michael used to be a fulltime musician; traveling and playing all different types of music. “We had two little girls and he got tired of being away from them every night,” says his wife, Gail Schomers. With a studio in his home, Schomers still plays and records music as a hobby, and now his daughters join him in singing. “I’ve actually written songs while mowing,” adds Michael. “I’ve just got my own thoughts and plenty of time.” A family man with a love for the

outdoors, Schomers is happy to be cutting grass. He joked about sometimes feeling like a referral service as well. His customers often ask him if he knows a dog sitter or any pest control businesses. “Whatever you need, of course you’re going to ask the lawn guy,” says Schomers. “I do usually know somebody.” He doesn’t charge extra for his referrals, and as far as price for lawn care, Schomers decides this based on the yard and what services the customer wants. His prices are very fair, and as far as quality is concerned, you are getting the very best for your money. Quality customer service is what really sets his company apart from their competition in the Westchase area. “Taking care of someone’s lawn is more than just riding a mower,” says Schomers. “Most people want detailed, customized lawn service – that’s our specialty!”

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

Also, Schomers points out that larger companies focus on commercial lawn care, and they don’t always give residential yards the attention they need. “Just mowing some homeowner’s yard isn’t on their list of priorities, but that’s what we do,” says Schomers. “Just showing up regularly and on time and doing a good job – that’s half the battle.” Customer Pam K. of Westchase writes, "Schomers Lawn Service has been maintaining and landscaping my yard for the past four years. The business itself is run very efficiently and its staff is very accommodating. The

owner and employees make sure my lawn is in prime condition and, if not, they work diligently to perfect my landscape. I have complete confidence in them, knowing that my lawn care will be done and my garden beds are perfectly manicured each week. I am so appreciative of everything Schomers Lawn Service does for me and my yard." For more information on Schomers Lawn Service or to get a free quote, please call (813) 7921492 or visit the website at www.SchomersLawnService.com.

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APRIL 2013

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“Delatorre Dental” Continued from page 1 of PSI Omega Dental Fraternity. She completed a one-year residency in Advanced Education of General Dentistry, where she studied at the Dawson Center for the Advancement of Dentistry. Dr. de la Torre’s enjoyment of community involvement has carried over into her practice. She is a an active member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Hillsborough County Dental Association, West Coast Dental Association and the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. Dr. de la Torre is certified in Botox and Dermal Fillers, as well as Invisalign. Dr. de la Torre is very involved in dentistry on both a local and state level, and she attends extracurricular training every year in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Spear Education Campus. She is compassionate about being involved around the local area and participates in the Give Kids A Smile program, which allows her to choose a children’s home and provide free dentistry to kids who may not otherwise be able to receive the care. As a member of Dentist Day on the Hill, Dr. de la Torre joins others in Tallahassee

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every year to lobby for issues within the dental industry. Dr. de la Torre’s passion for her profession is evident in all aspects of her work, especially the quality, professional care she provides to each of her patients.

Creating Beautiful Smiles “We have a mission to guide our patients along a path of optimal health and wellness for life, while non-judgmentally delivering the highest possible level of care with empathy and understanding”, says Dr. de la Torre. “We continuously pursue excellence through continuing education, personal and team growth, and mastery of the leading-edge technology.” Delatorre Dentistry focuses on restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile through the use of conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that result in long lasting smiles. By providing comprehensive dental care, Delatorre Dentistry is able to help patients reach the highest oral health possible and throughout the process, provide a learning experience that leaves you with the education needed for preventative care. As a practice, Delatorre Dentistry believes that “preventative care and education” are the main ingredients for optimal dental health. Exams focus on check-

Delatorre Dentistry is conveniently located at 10830 Sheldon Road in Tampa. ing the overall health of teeth and gums, performing oral cancer checks and taking digital x-rays to ensure prime care. Dr. de la Torre says, “Routine cleanings, flossing, sealants and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. We focus on the beauty of your smile as well as your health.” Delatorre Dentistry maintains sterilization and cross contamination processes using standards recommended by the American Dental Association, the Occupational Safety and

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Health Administration and the Center for Disease Control. Building trusting relationships with patients leads to positive experiences, and at Delatorre Dentistry the caring staff strives to build a foundation of trust by treating patients as special individuals. Dr. de la Torre says, “We give more personal attention to patients. We give them options and allow patients to make choices in their dental care.” Dr. de la Torre is bilingual, speaking both English and Span-

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ish, and together with her experienced staff at Delatorre Dentistry, all of which have been working at the office for the past 10 to 25 years, pride themselves on providing quality customer service to all of their patients. Delatorre Dentistry has four doctor operatories and two private hygiene operatories for your comfort. Delatorre Dentistry specializes in cosmetic dentistry through Invisalign, and smile makeovers, as well as general cleanings and prevention, periodontal disease, restorations and orthodontics. The practice offers sedation dentistry, which is a technique that aims to pharmacologically alter your central nervous system (CNS) to produce an overall calm and relaxed (sedated) sensation. Sedative drugs (tranquillizers, depressants, sleeping pills, anxiolytics, etc.) are used to induce sedation and can be administered in a variety of ways to accommodate people who have dental phobia. Sedation Dentistry allows patients to relax in a safe, environment while receiving the necessary treatment needed for oral health. Delatorre Dentistry provides the following sedative options: · Local anesthesia – the most common method – which can be administered via injection in the mouth. Convenient, because they leave you

The professional staff at Delatorre Dentistry is dedicated to your comfort, and strives to make personl, lasting relationships with their patients. conscious and fully aware, local anesthetics are best used for minor dental procedures. · Inhalation Analgesia (also known as Laughing Gas or Nitrous Oxide), which is administered through a small nose-hood placed over the nose prior to and throughout the treatment. Nitrous Oxide is one of the more commonly requested types of anesthesia from people who have anxieties about their procedure and patients typically experience an overall feeling of well being, tingling and

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

numbness. · Oral Sedation: In the form of a small pill, oral sedation is given before dental procedures to diminish awareness of pain, sounds, and smells. Oral sedation is most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. As an Invisalign provider, Dr. de la Torre is able to help you get the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted. With custom-made clear molds and less treatment time, Invisalign might be the best alternative to braces for you. With her expertise,

Dr. de la Torre ensures that you will receive the perfect, comfortable fit for your mouth. Along with wonderful comprehensive dental care, Dr. de la Torre offers Botox and Juvederm treatments for patients looking to enhance their youthful features. Confidence shines bright, and with Dr. de la Torre’s dental processes and cosmetic enhancements- you are sure to walk out feeling proud, confident and beautiful. Dr. Alina de la Torre, DMD, is dedicated to your comfort and ease within her office. She will build a relationship with you that allows you to be confident in her professional care. She works with patients from all backgrounds and strives to make personal lasting relationships with each individual that walks into the office. Dr. de la Torre is happily married to her husband Matthew DeDomenico, D.M.D, who is a local orthodontist, and together they share a wonderful son, Tyler, who was just born on February 10 of this year. Delatorre Dentistry is located at 10830 Sheldon Road in Tampa. Office hours are Mon. – Thurs. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, please call (813) 792- 9400 or visit them online at www.DelatorreDentistry.com.

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APRIL 2013

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“Alvarez Audiology” Continued from page 1 live with. But that is not true. Moderate and severe tinnitus can affect your quality of life. Sometimes the ringing is so loud that patients are unable to fall asleep at night or concentrate during the day. They may have a difficult time participating in conversations with others or even watching T.V. People suffering from tinnitus often find they are fatigued throughout the day and sometimes the tinnitus leads to severe depression. Up until about a year ago, there was not a lot that we could do to effectively treat tinnitus, we were only helping patients learn to cope with it. But new advances in neurophysiology mean that we now have a clinically based, FDA cleared treatment to cure tinnitus.” Dr. Alvarez evaluates your hearing and conducts a thorough tinnitus evaluation, so she will know exactly what your tinnitus sounds like. This helps her develop a treatment plan customized for you. Dr. Alvarez says that many patients notice an immediate reduction in the ringing, although the full treatment could take anywhere from 9 to 24 months. After the initial evaluation, consultation, and fitting,

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patients spend between 2 to 4 hours a day wearing the Tinnitus Retraining Device (TRT). The TRT device is about the size of an iPod with earphones, and patients are able to participate in most of their regular home or work activities while wearing it. “We have had a wonderful year helping the people in this community improve their quality of life,” says Dr. Alvarez. “I want tinnitus sufferers to know that they do not have to live with the ringing, depression, hearing loss, and frustration. We can help them.” Dr. Alvarez cautions that frequent bouts of ringing in your ears is one of the first signs of hearing loss or can be a symptom of a more serious condition. If you are experiencing frequent ringing in your ears or notice yourself missing conversations or asking people to repeat themselves, you should have your hearing evaluated. Alvarez Audiology offers free hearing screenings to the community. All you have to do is call and schedule an appointment. Alvarez Audiology helps patients of all ages, from newborns to centenarians. Dr. Alvarez and her caring staff are experts in the most recent research and technologies to help their patients improve their quality of life. Whether you are experiencing tinnitus and want to stop the ringing in your

Alvarez Audiology is conveniently located in the Gunn Executive Center at 6615 Gunn Highway in Tampa. ears; hearing loss and want to make sure you don’t miss another word; or are exposed to loud noise on a regular basis at work and want to protect your hearing, Dr. Alvarez can develop a customized treatment plan for you. “I enjoy working personally with my patients to make sure their treatment works for them,” says Dr. Alvarez. Alvarez Audiology’s patients appreciate Dr. Alvarez’s attention and dedication. Patient Samuel writes,

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“Dr. Alvarez truly cares for her patients. She is concerned that their hearing is improved, regardless of what is involved. Dr. Alvarez never hurries, or pushes her patients to make decisions. She is very patient and sensitive. If a patient is frustrated with their lack of hearing and the resulting communication issues, her counsel is very practical and appropriate. I very likely would not be wearing hearing aids right now if not for the help of

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


Dr. Indira Alvarez, Board Certified Audiologist. Dr. Alvarez. My loss was 20-40% and I was doing ‘OK’ in my profession without aids. She completely understood my vanity issue, being a public speaker, and worked with me through two models of aids until I was comfortable with the aids I use now. Dr. Alvarez is my favorite doctor of all my

62 years.” Alvarez Audiology hosts events and seminars throughout the year to help educate the community on hearing issues and resolutions. The office also offers a quarterly newsletter available through mail or electronically. Dr. Alvarez says, “When you are suffering from tinnitus or hearing loss in general, your brain is so busy trying to cope with the problem, that you may lose some cognitive ability. It can be mentally and physically fatiguing because your brain has to work extra just to cope with the auditory problem. Hearing loss may be less noticeable and develop more gradually than tinnitus but it can be just as frustrating. Many patients notice a positive effect with their energy level or feel physically better overall after they start a hearing treatment therapy or begin wearing a hearing aid.” Alvarez Audiology is located in the Gunn Executive Center at 6615 Gunn Highway in Tampa . They are open Mon. and Thurs. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tues. and Wed. 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to noon. To sign up for their newsletter, get more information, or schedule an appointment, call (813) 265-2255 or visit their web site www.AlvarezAudiology.com.

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

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Brain Balance Achievement Centers By Alexis Selby As parents, we all want the very best for our children; for them to have the necessary skills and the ability to lead a successful and independent life; to make the right decisions and chart their own path for the future. So what do you do when you realize that there is something amiss – that your child isn’t progressing at the same rate, in some area or another, as other children their age, and is having difficulty with things that come so naturally to others? It can be quite devastating, for both the parent and the child, and many feel helpless, thinking they have no where to turn. But, just know, that there is hope; and, Brain Balance in Oldsmar, located at 4022 Tampa Rd., Suite 6, is seeking to help families dealing with this struggle to regain control of their lives and get their children back on track to success.

Personal Success Stories Cynthia Lucas – A right hemisphere weakness Mother Nancy Lucas first noticed something was unique with her

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daughter Cynthia when Cynthia was over a year old. Nancy says, “She was already talking non stop and by the age of two she was speaking full sentences and paragraphs. Cynthia and I both were born very gifted with language.” But it wasn’t until Cynthia turned three that Nancy recognized that something might be wrong. Nancy says, “By the age of three, we knew something wasn’t right. She had a hard time with self – regulation and calming down; going to bed and taking naps was also a challenge for her. She was hard to manage and it was exasperating. Food was also an issue for her, especially the texture. It had to be a certain consistency or she wouldn’t eat it. She was also hyper sensitive and was greatly affected by noise and lacked the ability to withdraw if she got upset.” After years of dealing with the behavior and endless hours spent searching for a solution, Nancy was at her breaking point. She says, “We tried everything – diets, food allergy testing, counseling for both her and me, attachment disorder training, and had spent over three years and endless dol-

(From L to R) Cynthia Lucas with her mother Nancy and brothers Elijah and Josiah. lars in conscious discipline classes on how to manage children. I would go away for weeks at a time to different seminars and read over a dozen books, and still it didn’t change the outcome. She was also extremely thin; her body couldn't absorb the food. We fed her healthy food but her body wasn't processing her foods. Her motor skills were a big one and sports were a chal-

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lenge for here, due to the lack of coordination of the left and right sides of the brain.” One day while at a Sidewalk exhibit, a miracle happened, and Nancy stumbled upon Larry Polnicky, the owner and Executive Director of Brain Balance in Oldsmar, and, after getting to the subject of her daughter, was in awe at how well Larry knew what she

Westchase Area Neighborhood News


was going through. Nancy says, “He is the first person that really understood what I was going through and what Cynthia was going through. He gave us hope, and when we went to Brain Balance and Cynthia got the assessment – dysfunctional hemispheric imbalance (weak on the right side of the brain) – there was no question in my mind that this approach wouldn’t work. My husband and I were convinced.” Cynthia started at the center in March 2012, which consisted of three one-hour visits each week. With exercises uniquely tailored for her individual needs, Cynthia worked on everything from physical activities and multitasking, to creative writing and logical thinking. The change happened almost instantly. Within the first month Cynthia was willing to eat more foods and her sense on smell improved. Most importantly, she was able to sit down and eat because now she had enough ability to self- regulate to be calm enough to eat. Her outbursts became less frequent and less violent and her overall behavior dramatically improved. “Within three weeks of her starting the program I could see a difference,” says Nancy. “Brain Balance was a complete miracle. “I love Laura Crumley, Center Director and Larry and the rest of the staff at Brain Balance, and I am so grateful for what they have done in our lives. Cynthia is free, she is healed, and she is able to move forward in her life. She is now the delightful little girl that I always dreamed of raising!” Luke Henderson – A left hemisphere weakness Mother Nadine Henderson first became concerned about her son Luke when at 18 months old he was still not speaking words and as he got older, would make up his own lan-

guage which sounded much like Chinese. The older he got, the more she began to notice that he had a really short attention span and had several sensory issues. She says, “We could never take him to a grocery store or restaurant because of all the distractions; he would misbehave from sensory overload.” Transitioning was also a big challenge, but more on a long span as opposed to immediate. For example, if he stayed with his grandparents for the weekend, it would take 2-3 days for him to adjust to his schedule; the same thing would apply if he had time off of school, etc. Due to lack of comprehension, Luke’s exhibited ‘bad behavior’, which resulted in lots of frustration for the whole family, and especially Luke. When Nadine had Luke tested at the age of 3, they were told he had severe delays in language, speech, comprehension and fine motor skills and was showing signs of autism. But, despite all this, Luke was never given a specific diagnosis. Nadine says, “Since age 3 he was in the FDLRS program, and continued with IEP’s in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. He had Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and language therapy.” The breaking point came in the third grade, when Luke was placed with a new teacher that Nadine felt was not suited for him. “He had a new language therapist who he would complain about, which never happened before,” says Nadine. “He always loved the therapists. He could not focus with her because he was highly distracted by her breath and foot smell – a sensory issue.” After his teacher was out half the year due to her daughter’s illness, Luke had substitute teachers most of the time, and with his transition challenges, it caused him to come home, having broken all sorts of rules. He couldn’t keep focused, which in turn ended with no

Westchase Area Neighborhood News

self confidence in school. Nadine says, “I fought hard for Luke, and no one was listening. I wanted to scream. I kept driving by this place called Brain Balance and looked it up. I was on their website for a couple of hours and watched Dr. Robert Melillo’s speech. I really felt this could help Luke. After school, when I saw Luke’s face of yet another disappointing day, I pulled into Brain Balance and met Maria Mogollon, Assistant Director, who greeted me ever so kindly It was at this time that Nadine met Laura Crumley and set up an appointment to have Luke assessed. It was a two day assessment. At Brain Balance, they don’t diagnose; instead they pin point the problem - Luke had issues with weakness on the left side of the brain. “A lot of their non invasive tests showed us why he was having issues; for instance – his eyes,” says Nadine. “His vision was fine, but it’s the way his eyes communicated with his brain that was the problem. They had a solution which included a series of different exercises to strengthen his eyes. We learned the importance of core strength and brain function – and they had exercises for that as well. We also learned all about the importance of food sensitivity and how that can affect your child’s behavior and learning.” It was then that Nadine decided to sign Luke up for Brain Balance, which consisted of one hour sessions three times a week, in addition to home exercises, and nutrition changes. Nadine says, “We started seeing a remarkable difference in his overall attitude within the first week. He stopped complaining so much and he was happy all the time. Towards the end of the program I was able to have a full blown conversation with my son, with

Luke Henderson him being able to understand and comprehend what I was saying. His relationships with his father, brother, aunt, and friends all got so much better. Instead of everybody being frustrated all the time, we were all happy and having fun. As far as his learning challenges go, he is in a normal range now. For the first time ever he has just made honor roll. Thanks to Brain Balance he now has confidence and feels smart. He actually says that his brain is working right now. I just wish we would have found Brain Balance sooner; but better late than never!” Brain Balance Oldsmar is located at 4022 Tampa Rd., Suite 6 in Oldsmar. Hours are Mon., Wed. and Fri. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information please call (813) 475-6977 or visit www.BrainBalanceCenters.com.

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Westchase Area Neighborhood News


Westchase - Vol. 2, Issue 4, April 2013