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Easing the Toll of PTSD for Military Veterans Only 10 VA facilities offer the game changing SGB procedure COMING AUGUST ’22
Senior Health & Living” See pages 11 & 12
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same questions as your kiosk. The QR automatically
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checks your location to make sure the customer is close
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basic questions needed for the check in process.
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TBI Traumatic Brain Injury TBI
LEAD Easing the Toll of PTSD for Military Veterans PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT For Michael Wolak, MD, PhD, Patient Care is Personal
EOCC It’s that Time of Year – Rise & Shine at Business Expo!
How to Become the Leading Medical or Dental Practice Using Google Business Profile
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Easing the Toll of PT
Only 10 VA facilities offer the game By LYNNE JETER
An intricate shot in the neck has proven to be a much needed “reset” for military veterans suffering from the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans who have received the treatment – Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) – call it “a godsend,” “a gamechanger,” with one confessing after learning about the procedure: “I’m bawling. Hope came back.” Another confessed: “I had nothing to lose” by trying it. Used for decades to treat chronic pain, SGB has only recently been tried for PTSD on veterans. Popularity of the treatment gained ground after the VA realized its impact on countering suicide, which affects roughly 20 veterans a day and has become “an epidemic.” However, only 10 VA clinics across the U.S. offer the breakthrough procedure that has a Stellate Institute published success rate of 85 percent. “This treatment’s moving at a snail’s pace,” said Lance Price, a veteran, and director of the Florida chapter For the Love of a Veteran, Inc. “The why is somewhat unclear but if we had to guess, it would be because SGB isn’t considered an established first-line treatment for PTSD at this time because the evidence is not conclusive.” The procedure is typically completed in the pain clinic of a VA facility and may require a referral from psychiatry. Because Florida doesn’t have a VA center for SGB treatment, For the Love of a Veteran refers veterans to Richard Gayle, MD, founder of Lake Nona Medical Arts, specializing in pain management and regenerative medicine. Also, four Stella Centers throughout Florida offer the treatment. Veterans who cannot find a venue or afford the treatment typically “continue to use standard care, which consists of mental health services and pharmacological therapy,” explained Gayle. Financially strapped veterans may receive assistance via For the Love of a Veteran, which covers the medical costs for SGB shots “because the VA is very limited and most
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TSD for Military Veterans
e changing SGB procedure insurance won’t cover this life changing procedure,” noted Price. “We also cover travel and lodging cost if needed.” Price, who received SGB treatment in October 2021, said “my flashbacks, night terrors, insomnia … have dramatically decreased. The SGB has given me a quality of life that I’ve not had since 2007.” Post-injection, Price slept “the longest … 15 hours. I woke up refreshed like a cloud had been lifted or I literally was rebooted. If nothing else, the SGB treatment has given me the opportunity to get closer to my friends and family without constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario.” Price hasn’t needed a second SGB shot, which many veterans do. SGB is not perceived as a miracle drug and may not work for all patients, many of whom may need multiple shots to receive continuing benefits. Shay Seaborne, CPTSD, has had five SGB procedures. “I find great relief with each,” he said. “Unfortunately, my trauma is severe and complex, so the relief only lasts a couple of weeks. But each (shot) builds on the last, so I hope this will help me reclaim my nervous system.”
Her son “jumped up and took off running like he had a 100-pound backpack,” she said. “I found him in the house crouched down in a corner. He was back in war. I cried seeing my son in that place in his head. I can’t wait to see him with the shot.” After years of continuous war, the number of veterans suffering from PTSD has reached an all-time high. Sgt. First Class Jonathan Zehring, who spent 455 days as part of the American offensive in the Kunar province of eastern Afghanistan, was asked, as part of therapy, to share his worst combat memories on paper. “They wanted me to read it 20 times before I went to bed,” he told 60 Minutes. “And I did it one or two days (then) crinkled the piece of paper and threw it away. I’m like, ‘Why am I doing this? I watched people I know die.’ Like, that’s always gonna bother me.” Zehring saw zero improvement through talk therapy but was an improved man after SGB treatment. A similar situation was going on with Marine Sgt. Henry Coto, who spent months patrolling war-torn Iraqi towns, and self-medicated post-military with alcohol and marijuana. He told 60 Minutes he’d tried a dozen medications that didn’t help. “I thought if I kept going the way I was going, there’s only two ways that’s gonna end: dead or in jail.” After Coto received two SGB shots, his brother observed: “Dude, I don’t know what they did, but it’s amazing.” Coto couldn’t stop smiling.
Otherwise, A Living Nightmare During a recent Fourth of July celebration, a veteran’s mother heard “a big homemade boom go off.”
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Sean Mulvaney, MD, who administers SGB treatment, said: “These people … wrote a blank check to their nation that included their life. As citizens, we need to help them when they come home, when they’re broken.”
More Research Needed Researchers are toiling to pinpoint changes in the brain associated with PTSD. The newest theory is based on research that shows PTSD isn’t only psychological. Repeated exposure to bomb blasts and the protracted stress of hazardous re-deployments may cause physical changes to the brain, making it hyperactive, according to Michael Alkire, MD, general anesthesiologist at UCI Medical Center in California. He noted that post-treatment, four of five veterans reported relief from depression and suicidal thoughts. “There are very few things in medicine that work that quickly,” he marveled. Price pointed out “more conclusive studies need to be done to prove what this treatment is truly capable of doing.” He encourages veterans to “never stop fighting” for the life-changing treatment just as diligently as they never stopped defending the U.S. “If one treatment doesn’t work, find another,” he urged. “The answers are out there for everyone to have a successful and fulfilling life. Never give up.” Repeated calls to VA Media Relations to learn about plans for expansion of the SGB program to treat veterans with PTSD and how the referral system works were unreturned by press time.
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For Michael Wolak, MD, PhD, Patient Care is Personal CLERMONT – For Michael Wolak, PhD, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon with the Orlando Health Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute Neurosurgery Group at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital, healthcare should be personal.
the Chicago Medical School where he earned his Medical Degree along with a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics and a master’s degree in Pathology. He completed an internship in general surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Wolak also commenced his neurosurgery residency training at Dartmouth and went on to complete his training with the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Wolak focuses primarily on non-traumatic neurosurgery involving the spine. Many patients come to him when they need treatment for matters such as degenerative spine disease, disc herniations, or tumors that affect the spine. Orlando Health Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute Neurosurgery Group is a highly specialized practice, and the first of its kind to offer expedited care for neurosurgery patients. The group promises to take patients within 24 hours for urgent cases or within two days for non-urgent cases. Orlando Health offers a full range of neurosurgical services, including cerebrovascular surgery, radiosurgery, epilepsy treatment, spine and spinal cord surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, brain tumor surgery and the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. “Neurosurgeons are relatively small in number,” Wolak
“I want to know my patients,” Wolak said. “And I make no compromises when it comes to spending time with my patients and getting to know them.” It’s this interest in the human side of medicine that drew Wolak to South Lake Hospital and Clermont. Wolak grew up in a rural community in the Midwest, and when he came to Florida, he wanted to be in a place that has the close-knit connections he found in Lake County. “I like smaller communities,” he said. “I like getting to know the people in the community. There is a level of familiarity and accountability in a smaller town.” Developing a bond with his patients is important to Dr. Wolak, but it was pure science that first drew him into medicine. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for his undergraduate study in Biology and then attended
said. “So, it’s exciting to be part of Orlando Health and to be able to extend world-class neuroscience and neurosurgery to a smaller-but-growing community.” Wolak emphasizes, “I really want to ensure that my patients receive the same level of care that I would provide to my family or friends.” And that’s one of the things he enjoys about South Lake Hospital. “It’s been a wonderful collaboration with Orlando Health,” he said. “We’re able to keep that balance between being part of a world-class healthcare system and of being a true community hospital.”
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EAST ORLANDO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
EOCC || MEDICAL CITY
It’s that Time of Year
Coffee Club East: Often imitated, never duplicated…the ORIGINAL Coffee Club
Rise & Shine at Business Expo! information for prospects. In the end, Table A communicated they got nothing out of the event and would not return. Table B secured 25+ memberships on the spot and had a basket of solid prospects to follow up on after the event. Participating in the Business Expo is an investment into your business; one you should not take lightly. Promotional products will help you stand out. Using a professional experienced in guiding their clients to select the right quantities, quality and type of products is important. The East Orlando Chamber has several outstanding members ready to assist with your promotional needs. Now is the time to make your selections and order to avoid delays or additional costs for express shipping. Also, don’t forget to register for your table determining if you will need a space with electrical access or want to be included on our Bingo Card, all selections available when signing up. Space fills up quickly, so do not delay. Would you like greater exposure? Consider sponsorship! There are sponsor opportunities available providing great visibility including pre-event billboards throughout East Orange County. Not ready to take the plunge, and prefer to see what it is all about? Then purchase tickets to attend. It is a real bargain at just $10 a piece for a chance to talk to vendors, sample delicious food, connect with others and win prizes. The East Orlando Chamber Business Expo 2022 is Thursday, August 25, 2022, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the DoubleTree Orlando Airport Hotel, 5555 Hazeltine National Drive, Orlando, FL 32812. Register today at eocc.org. For more information or to register for events call (407) 277-5951 or visit our website at eocc. org. The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce everywhere East of I-4.
DOROTHY HARDEE, CHAMBER ADMINISTRATOR
What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer and have a burning desire to succeed - Dave Thomas, Founder, Wendy’s It is that time of year again. Kids are out of school as we slip into the “Dog Days of Summer.” Visions of vacation dance in your head wishing to escape news of supply chain delays, increasing gas prices and shortages at the grocery store. Okay, let us not panic, BUT do get busy. The East Orlando Chamber (EOCC) Business Expo is August 25th from 5-8 PM at the DoubleTree Orlando Airport Hotel. Are you asking yourself why you should invest in participating in a Business Expo? With 100+ exhibitors, it is the best place to connect with EOCC Members and nonmember participants in one place, not to mention another 300-400 potential customers visiting your space during this three-hour event. Not only are you building a potential client base and referral network, but also able check out the competition in a safe environment. Connecting with competitors also helps you get a well-rounded perspective of your industry and challenges others are facing. Believe me, you are not alone. It is the best place to learn from others. The Business Expo is a suitable place to try out your messaging, tweaking it to get the best responses. This is a unique environment to evaluate products, messaging and to reward employees by allowing them to participate as well, not to mention have a little fun, too. There is no doubt that exhibiting can be costly after you pay for your space, purchase branded materials, giveaways, and items to attract attention driving visitors to your table. It is important to be strategic and to not wait until the last minute to order collateral. If you arrive without setting targets and objectives, you will have no way of measuring success. Other key issues that can cause a negative experience is not creating and implementing a lead capture strategy, a poorly executed pitch or demonstration and not targeting your leads properly. Engaging with visitors is how the relationship process begins. If you sit at your table, eating, talking, or texting on your phone or reading a book your potential customer will assume you are too busy and move on to the next table. A fitting example of this was the year the event went from the atrium, convention area spilling into the hall. There were two businesses neighboring one another with a table and two chairs. Each had branded materials, an array of items on the table and people there to work. The difference was that Table A requested an additional chair and chose to sit behind the table, talking to colleagues, and not engaging with anyone unless they specifically walked up to the table asking a question. Table B had two team members standing beside the table they had pushed against the wall. They said hello to everyone that passed, making eye contact, and asking if they knew about their business and liked to save money. You felt welcomed into their space and not like an interruption. They had giveaways and a way to capture contact
THURSDAY, JULY 7 | 8:30 – 9:30 AM FREE to EOCC Members | $10 for Non-Members
EOCC Advocacy Advisory Council FRIDAY, JULY 8 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM Virtual Meeting, Register to participate
Testimonial Tuesday on Location
TUESDAY, JULY 12 | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM LIVE of Facebook & On Location
Misters & Sisters Great Lunch Adventures
TUESDAY, JULY 12 | 12:30 – 1:30 PM Bonefish Grill Waterford Lakes
The Hybrid Member Academy: Roadmap to Member Success
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 | 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM Hybrid Event - East Orlando Chamber office
Ribbon Cutting: Global Sourcing Group FRIDAY, JULY 15 | 7:30 – 9:00 AM Global Sourcing Group
EOCC Real Estate Advisory Council Planning Meeting TUESDAY, JULY 19 | 9:00 – 10:00 AM East Orlando Chamber of Commerce
Quarterly Chamber Luncheon: “Catch The Wave” Taste & Tour THURSDAY, JULY 20 | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM $40 EOCC Members | $50 for Non-Members
Coffee Club Nona: Often imitated, never duplicated…the ORIGINAL Coffee Club
THURSDAY, JULY 21 | 8:30 – 9:30 AM Sam’s Club Lake Nona FREE to EOCC Members | $10 for Non-Members
EOC Foundation Planning Meeting TUESDAY, JULY 26 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM East Orlando Chamber of Commerce
EOCC Nonprofit Roundtable
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 | 9:00 – 10:00 AM East Orlando Chamber
After Hours: Eat, Drink & Get Social with Boardwalk Bowl WEDNESDAY, JULY 27 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM Boardwalk Bowl
EOCC Brain Trust
THURSDAY, JULY 28 | 8:00 – 9:30 AM East Orlando Chamber office
WISE Quarterly Luncheon: Unlocking Potential: Legal Well-Being
WEDNESDAY, AUG 3 | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM $40 EOCC Members | $50 for Non-Members
Ribbon Cutting: Solvera Tech, LLC WEDNESDAY, AUG 3 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM Solvera Tech, LLC
Healthcare Collaborative Meet & Greet Breakfast THURSDAY, AUG 11 | 7:30 – 9:00 AM UCF Lake Nona Hospital
EOCC Business Expo 2022
THURSDAY, AUG 25 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM DoubleTree Orlando Airport
Visit EOCC.org for a complete listing of July events
How to Become the Leading Medical or Dental Practice Using Google Business Profile BY JORGE CRUZ
NEW TIME - PRIMETIME!
One of the main reasons a physician or dental professional would like to become the best choice in town is because they know that by achieving this position, it will help them gain more patients every single day.
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You may be wondering how to achieve this, in the easiest possible way without having to break the bank. The short answer is: Dominating your Google Business profile. The best news is that Google Business Profile is FREE, but most doctors are not leveraging it. First, what is Google Business Profile? In case you don’t know I'll explain what it is and share with you four simple tips to create a Google Business Profile for your practice to attract new patients. The truth is that Google is the #1 search engine online, with over 5.6 Billion searches per day. Thousands of people in your area are searching for a physician or dentist in a specific specialty. When you search on Google, the first thing they will show you are the Ads. They receive xx% of clicks. Then they show you the “3 Pack”/Google My Business results. Those receive xx% of the clicks. Then under that, they will share the rest. The organic results from investing money for SEO rankings below Google Business Profiles. Those receive xx% of the clicks. Google Business Profile equals the best and cheapest opportunity for any practice to get ranked without having to spend money on ads. That’s the spot that receives the most qualified traffic on the entire Internet. Latest online reviews say 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations Those stars say everything. If you have 5-stars you are trusted. If you have 4 stars maybe, but if you have 3 or less your practice is in big trouble. These days, patients are more informed than ever before. When they're looking for a new medical or dental practice, they're not just looking for a good location and reasonable pricing. They want to know that they're going to get the best possible care from the most qualified practitioners. By prominently featuring your practice's Google Business Profile, you can show potential patients that you're the leader in your field. Patients are also increasingly interested in specialty procedures, so be sure to highlight these services on your profile as well. Patients want to know that they can trust you with their health, and a strong Google Business Profile will help you build that trust. I am convinced that Google Business Profile is definitely the #1 place online where you must pay attention to help become the practice leader in your local area and attract more patients. The question is… Is your practice ranking in that spot? If not, here are four valuable tips, to begin getting ranked there. #1 Make sure that you are the admin of your Google Business Profile. Once Google finds your practice on their radar, they will create the page for you. You want to make sure that you verify the ownership, so you can modify it. When you modify and optimize your page you are, basi-
for engaging discussion on all things Healthcare! Become an educated Healthcare consumer navigating the complex healthcare system.
cally building a mini-website that is even more effective than your regular website. #2 Once you have access, fill out all the information required. This way you will fill the “algorithm” so the robots that read your content/message will get you found locally. Inside this information, make sure that you add the top keyword that you would like to be ranked. Just make sure to not abuse the system. Google detects more than you think. #3 Provide the excellence service that your patients deserve, so they openly leave you a 5-star review. A few years ago, having 50-plus 5-star reviews was awesome. Today, In the healthcare industry, having less than 100 is a signal that your practice is average. Work hard to gather more 5-stars reviews than any other practice. #4 Make sure to point patients to your website or online booking system. You want it to be easy for them to find you and make an appointment. It’s an automatic engine of daily new leads. #5 Bonus tip! Use Google Business Profile as another social media channel. Be active posting content, pictures, videos and more. Google will favor reviews that are active with other Google Business profile functions. I would love to share with you more ideas, but then this article would become an e-book! Doctors are always looking for ways to improve their practice’s lead flow. With so many options available online, it might become confusing and overwhelming. Every “online expert” will recommend you do something different to resolve this. Some people will recommend that you focus on SEO, others on Pay Per Click, others on doing more posts on Social Media, others on your websites, and many other “magical solutions.” By following these simple tips, you can create a Google Business Profile that will help you attract patients and become the leader in your market. This profile gives you the opportunity to showcase your services, highlight your positive reviews, and provide potential patients with all the information they need to make an informed decision. If you are already using Google Business Profile, CONGRATULATIONS. You are one of those few who found this secret weapon. If you have a marketing agency monitoring your Google Business Profile and keeping it on fire, providing new leads every day, give them a strong hug. They are on the right track, and they are up-to-date. If you want to be the go-to healthcare practice in your area, feel free to request a full digital X-ray for your dental or medical practice. See how well you are doing with your Google Business profile reviews. Receive a complementary full report customized for your practice that will show you any opportunities or missing pieces from your efforts online. This real time analysis will give you a visual idea of what things need to be fixed to become the top healthcare dental practice in town! I guarantee you’ll be amazed with all the things you can achieve: optimizing your Google Business Profile and leveraging other innovative automation tools. Schedule your free audit by clicking this linked text. Jorge is a passionate marketer with over 20 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing. Founder & president of Marketing Innovations Group, an agency specialized in helping doctors reach their marketing goals following HIPAA guidelines. For the last 10 years, Jorge have been focused on helping doctors boost their practices, leveraging the potential of the Internet using social media. These years of experience allow him to develop a proven formula to help doctors become the leaders in their local area. If your practice is ready to step up to a next level and receive more patients, feel free to email him: Jorge@marketingInnovationsGroup.com
The Mental Health Crisis We Face in Orlando BY JONATHAN ROMERO
There’s a lot at stake: 71 percent of employees who feel stressed out at work say they’ll look for a new job in the next year.
Too often, friends, family and co-workers don’t see the emotional pain others are in until it’s too late for intervention.
Measure – or you won’t be managing. Any program geared to relieve the mental health pressures the workforce is facing must also be accompanied by a series of metrics to show that time, effort and resources are having a meaningful impact. No emotional wellness strategy should be launched, for example, without capturing baseline insights into the overall health of the organization. What should be measured? Workplace outcomes like absenteeism, productivity, motivation and retention. Measuring outcomes achieved by intervention solutions will help the organization fine-tune its mental wellness offering. In contrast, only 31 percent of employers measure the benefits’ value – even though 94 percent of their leaders say mental health is a key pillar of their wellness strategy.
Even then, communities may well have been lacking sufficient resources to intervene anyway. It is a concern in Florida where public resources are either not available or those who desperately need them are too stumped by the “system” to successfully gain access. There is a good case for employers in the state to intervene with solutions on their own as the crisis state of mental health intensifies – in both the U.S. and globally. When it comes to spending on mental health programs, Florida ranks at the bottom of the list of States – a decades-long pattern of underfunding. It’s State Mental Health Agency (SMHA) has a per capita expenditure on mental health services of $37.28, according to most recent available data, actually declining 33 percent in the decade ended in 2012. The total spending for all U.S. SMHAs during that period, in contrast, grew 8 percent. Meanwhile, Florida has an estimated 660,000 adults and 181,000 children living with severe mental illness like bipolar and severe depression. That doesn’t include all those – perhaps half the state’s population – who struggle with less severe emotional health issues. Society pays the price. Employers are a huge part of the mix, coping with lagging productivity, worrisome absentee and presenteeism trends and higher turnover and healthcare costs. In all, one study found, the tally is nearly $5,000 per person annually in work days lost.
Not just any mental health wellness benefits will do. Access must be provided to evidence-based, high-quality mental healthcare – meaning it is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, equitable and scientifically-based. Access should be through health plans, EAPs and other partnerships with mental health care providers, eased through reduced co-pays and other actions. It is also key to ensure programs span mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services. The more strategies employed to raise awareness and reduce stigma, the better. Over 80 percent of employees thought an awareness campaign would counter the stigma of seeking help, but only 23 percent of employers had put one in place
How Florida’s employers can respond
Integrated mental health into broader corporate wellness program.
Employers that are smart will act swiftly to fill the gap in mental health services. A comprehensive benefits program that provides solutions demonstrates empathy and goes a long way toward cementing a psychologically safe culture. It’s also just the right thing to do. The framework for such a program should be built around six best practices:
Employers are spending more on their wellness programs, partially because so many – 92 percent – are expanding their support for mental health and well-being under that umbrella. That’s the smart way to go, given the
Build awareness to reduce stigma, expand utilization.
tight link between mental health and physical health. Programs should recognize the eight dimensions of wellness linked to emotional well-being and use them as the basis of their efforts. They include emotional wellness (think lifestyle coaching), intellectual wellness (career development and coaching), and financial wellness (guidance on budgeting and financial goal setting).
Mental health partnerships matter. Everyone benefits when employers partner with community groups that have a stake in the public’s emotional health. These ties make more convenient and cost-effective resources available. They also encourage greater volunteerism by employees – which has been shown to improve mental health and well-being outcomes. Further, by sharing their experiences and successes with these partners, the broader learning ecosystem for mental health organizations is enriched. Jonathan Romero is a commercial advisor with global insurance brokerage Hub International in Florida. He specializes in medical and white-collar professional risks, advising on professional, malpractice and management liability exposures and coverages. He also provides comprehensive property, casualty and benefits consulting to these clients, both for smaller, private clientele and for the large, public groups. Jonathan works with the State of Florida’s medical association and the local medical society in Leon County and the surrounding areas.
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Considerable stigma surrounds mental health, especially in the workplace. The availability of solutions isn’t widely promoted, as a rule. Take Employee Assistance Programs: these are a common and helpful resource, but don’t typically get high utilization, to which 50 percent of employers blame on lack of awareness. In addition to promoting resources, messaging should emphasize that mental health maintenance is a core value. Further, managers need to be trained to recognize and respond to mental health trouble signs, and when company leaders champion the cause, stigmatization is vastly reduced.
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The work environment – from culture to the job itself – has a huge influence on the mental health of employees. Every organization needs to take a hard look at this factor to identify conditions that can lead to or intensify traumatic conditions. Involve employees in decision-making. Make sure work-life integration is a priority. Don’t just pay lip service to “flex” work. Make it real. And identify what other benefits can relieve the stress, like childcare and eldercare support and financial planning resources.
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Living at Home with Dementia • Public senior-support services
The Alzheimer’s Association’s “2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report reveals that 6.5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease. More than 10 percent of people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, including frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, and combinations of dementia types. “As their care needs increase, people with dementia may choose to live in a memory care facility,” reports Nikki Magyar, President of Right at Home Orlando. “Most prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible, among familiar surroundings and their established support system.” But, said Magyar, this requires care support, which often is provided by spouses, adult children, or other family and friends. Today, 11 million people are providing this care. They help loved ones with self-care, such as bathing, dressing and using the toilet. They pay bills and handle other paperwork. They coordinate their loved one’s medical care. They provide “emotional labor,” keeping their loved one’s spirits up and depression at bay while coping with personality and behavior changes caused by the disease. While many caregivers say caring for their loved one is rewarding, dementia caregiving is hard work, both physically and emotionally. “It often affects the caregiver’s career, other family relationships, and their physical and cognitive health,” said Magyar. “And many family caregivers are at an age when they need care themselves.”
• Home safety modifications • Support groups and counseling • Education and advocacy • Aging life care professionals (geriatric care managers) • Respite care Family and friends also can help. And according to the Alzheimer’s Association report, professional in-home caregivers “play important roles in delaying nursing home placement and reducing repeat hospitalizations.”
Memory care at home Professional in-home caregivers provide companionship, supervision, and an array of supports to create an environment that meets the needs of client and family. “Choose a caregiver who is trained in memory care,” advised Magyar. “This creates the understanding that a client’s personality and behavior changes are the result of brain changes, which enables the caregiver to effectively respond to symptoms such as hallucinations, sleep problems, wandering, aggression and anxiety.”
Professional in-home caregivers help in many ways: Keeping the home safe and suitable for the client’s needs. Caregivers can provide housekeeping and laundry. They can remove fall hazards and provide a watchful presence while still maintaining the client’s sense of independence. Hygiene support and personal care. Sensitive to preserving the client’s dignity and to normalizing family relationships, trained professional caregivers can assist
Help is available for dementia caregivers. As their loved one’s condition progresses, it’s important for family caregivers to access support services, which might include:
with toileting and incontinence care, bathing, dressing, and grooming. Meal planning and preparation. Dementia doesn’t change a senior’s dietary needs, but it does pose challenges to consuming those nutrients. Professional in-home caregivers can shop for groceries and prepare meals and snacks as recommended by the client’s health care provider. They can provide supervision, assistance and company at mealtime. A day filled with meaningful activities. “Exercise, mental stimulation and spending time with other people all provide a sense of well-being for people with dementia, and can help lessen troublesome symptoms,” said Magyar. “The caregiver and client might do household chores together, listen to music, play games, work in the garden or go for walks.” Health care reminders and transportation. Many people who are living with dementia have additional chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis or osteoporosis. In-home caregivers can provide health and medication reminders, pick up prescriptions, and transport clients to the doctor’s office and other health care appointments. Respite for family caregivers. Professional in-home care allows family to take time off for their own needs, confident that their loved one is well cared for. Magyar points out another valuable benefit: “With the professional caregiver providing basic day-to-day care, the person with dementia and family are freed to spend their time together doing things they enjoy.” The Orlando office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, LLC, serving the communities of Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. For more information, contact Right at Home of Orlando at www.seniorcareorlando.com, at 407-757-0981 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Price Transparency in Healthcare BY MATT CLEMENTS
Here are some key takeaways from our own experience:
Price transparency is a hot topic in the healthcare industry.
Patient Benefits include the following: • Improved Adherence: We all know that an estimated 24 percent of patients (source NIH) avoid medical care due to their fear of surprise healthcare costs. Almost everyone has heard the story of a patient getting a shocking bill six months after a hospital stay or procedure. The anxiety and worry associated with healthcare bills can be traumatic. Recognizing that financial concerns are a part of the treatment process will help your patients now and in the future.
You know it has hit the mainstream when the May issue of Inc. Magazine featured business icon Mark Cuban on the cover for his direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical startup. Many more entrepreneurs have plans to disrupt current health insurance models and healthcare with lower prices, price transparency and upfront billing. But price transparency and upfront billing are more than an entrepreneur’s dream. In 2022, the No Surprises Act went into effect. Currently, this applies to emergency services, non-emergency services from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and services from outof-network air ambulance service providers. If a patient requests it, even physician offices are required to provide a good faith estimate. One day soon, up front pricing may be a requirement for all practices. For the independent physician or healthcare provider, who already feels burdened with paperwork to begin with, this may seem like a daunting task. How can you comply when the system is already layered with complicated processes that consume staff time and energy, without lessening the patient’s overall experience? The good news is that transparency in healthcare pricing is obtainable and can have benefits for your staff and patients in ways that you may not even realize. Over the last three years, Sage Infusion’s mission has been to offer our patients increasingly transparent pricing, including upfront price estimates. This practice has led to a better experience overall for everyone involved—the patient, our office staff, our clinicians, and our referring physicians. Even the insurance companies we work with are aligned with our practices. And the response from our patients has been overwhelmingly positive.
• Lower Cost: In addition to no surprises billing and upfront pricing, other financial aspects of treatment can include committing to lowering the cost overall. Figure out your operational cost and what margins you need to be successful and provide the best care. We were able to negotiate with our pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide pricing at Medicare rates. That helped us set a price (quarterly) that we could build from. • Financial Assistance: Additional ideas to help patients with the financial component include, being a resource for patients about cost-savings from other sources such rebates or programs from the pharmaceutical companies. Your patients might not know about these opportunities and will appreciate your guidance.
Organizational Effectiveness. Your office may see improvements in: • Reduced Insurance Denials: Price transparency and upfront billing allows you to streamline the administrative part of your business. Once your program is set up, billing is easier and more efficient. Office staff reduces lost time from managing insurance denials.
collected at the time of service, medical providers will have less lost revenue and staff time collecting payments from patients. Upfront billing also helps reduce medical mistakes.
Office Culture. When your whole staff can talk about pricing, everyone can rally around your transparency, and it can become a source of pride for your practice. We not only post our pricing on our website and in the office, we also make printed copies available to patients and referring physicians. We let everyone know that we update our pricing quarterly to stay in line with Medicare changes. This empowers everyone in the office from the front desk to the clinicians to talk about our pricing and answer patient questions. No one feels nervous or unsure. The overall result is that the physician and the patient are empowered. Now is the right time to learn about price transparency in healthcare. While it may seem like something far off in the future, solutions do exist, and they are not too complicated to implement. Let’s keep talking about it as part of the patient care journey. Physicians who make financial discussions a part of service to patients will be ahead of the game. Communicating our fees and costs upfront is what we need to do to keep health care affordable for future generations. Matt Clements is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer with Sage Infusion. Matt is seeking to create a superior patient experience at a significant savings to the patient and insurer. As a Type 1 Diabetic, he knows what it is like to live with a chronic condition, and his goal at Sage Infusion is to always put the patient first. Matt brings years of business and finance experience to Sage Infusion. Started in 2019, Sage Infusion offers expert infusion care for patients with autoimmune diseases and chronic medical conditions without the hassle or cost of the hospital. Sage Infusion is patient focused, employs highly trained and certified medical staff and provides financial assistance to patients to get the best price possible for their treatment. Sage Infusion’s vision is to offer the highest quality infusion care at the lowest cost possible to patients in a serene and comfortable environment. The company serves patients throughout Central and Southwest Florida.
• Improved Billing Collection: Because the patient knows what they are responsible for and the co-pay amount
Coming August ’22: Senior Health & Living in Central Florida
Working with Florida’s Senior Population? Physicians, APRN’s, PA’s, Physical Therapists, Trainers, Home Health Companies & Senior Living Facilities
Experience Based Knowledge Is Power! Contributed Editorial or Blog Advertising • Podcast, Videos
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New Clinical Guidance in Neuropalliative Care Training is needed for serious illness communication.
Senior Living & Healthcare Section Coming
BY LYNNE JETER
Neurologists provide palliative care to people living with lifealtering neurologic illnesses not just at the end of life but throughout the course of a disease, improving their lives with symptom control ... Lynne P. Taylor, MD, University of Washington School of Medicine
with established goals of care,” the report continues. When they have a longstanding relationship with a patient, or when withdrawal bias is present, clinicians run the risk of overestimating or underestimating prognoses and “must remember to use evidence-based estimates and explore personal biases when offering prognostic assessments,” according to the paper. “The statistical language clinicians use is easily misinterpreted by patients and their families,” particularly among lower-educated patient families. Established strategies for decision-making in the setting of prognostic uncertainty include the best/worst case scenarios and most likely functional outcomes for a particular illness. To improve accuracy and flexibility, the paper suggests framing predictions of longevity in vague time intervals rather than specific time frames, adding that routinely addressing goals of care “may destigmatize conversations around the potential for worsening illness and help patients and families be more prepared to make decisions when clinical deterioration occurs.” Challenges surface when the prognosis is uncertain. In that case, time-limited trials may be suggested to allow maximum recovery before further decisions are made. “A prolonged period of aggressive life-prolonging care should not be pursued if the surrogate is confident that this type of care would not be in line with the patient’s preferences, even if a degree of recovery is believed to be possible. “When treatments are physiologically futile, it’s the clinician’s responsibility to remove the burden of decision-making entirely by explaining that such interventions will not be offered,” noted the authors, who concurred “it’s counter to the principle of nonmaleficence to offer such treatments, as they may cause harm in the absence of potential benefit. Futility exists in the context of all medical specialties; a specific example in the setting of neurologic disease includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the setting of cardiac arrest due to irreversible herniation.” The paper glosses over the role of the neurologist in “lawful physician-hastened death (LPHD).” Some states –and Washington, DC – now allow neurologists to approve requests for LPHD for adult patients with serious neurologic illnesses. They include California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Montana allows LPHD via court ruling. The authors noted an in-depth discussion of LPHD is beyond the scope of the position paper, referring readers to a 2017 AAN position statement on the topic. “I anticipate this will be an area of further discussion in the neurology and palliative care community,” Brizzi said, “as requests for hastened death are frequently encountered from patients with serious neurologic illness.”
The task: to support neurological patients by focusing on improving their quality of life through symptom control, both physical and psychological, instead of the diagnosis and treatment of their underlying diseases. Updated guidance may be found in a new position paper, “Clinical Guidance in Palliative Care,” developed by a joint committee of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, published March 8 in Neurology. It’s a long-awaited revision to the AAN 1996 position statement. The revised position statement is “well-timed,” said Kate T. Brizzi, MD, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital with hospice and palliative care expertise. “In the last several years, I’ve witnessed a significant increase in trainee interest in the field, and there’s growing recognition of how a palliative care approach can improve patient care,” said Brizzi. The position paper states that given the high prevalence of life-altering neurologic conditions, neurologists need training in serious illness communication. This dire need is reflected in the 42 percent of respondents in 49 neurology residency programs admitting their dissatisfaction with palliative care education. “Necessary communication skills include delivering bad news, assessment, explaining prognosis, assisting patients and families in the process of decision-making, and setting limits when certain types of care are objectively futile,” according to the report. “The familiarity that neurologists have with these tough conversations supports the argument that all neurologists should attend to their patients’ palliative needs and be able to recognize when the demands of the situation require assistance from palliative care specialists.” Lynne P. Taylor, MD, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and an AAN fellow, pointed out “neurologists provide palliative care to people living with life-altering neurologic illnesses not just at the end of life but throughout the course of a disease, improving their lives with symptom control.” Many neurologic illnesses such as stroke, postanoxic coma, traumatic brain injury, encephalitis, and demyelinating disease inherently involve unknown degrees of acute survival, functional recovery, or chance of recurrence, according to the paper. “Neurologists often cite prognostic uncertainty as the reason they feel uncomfortable discussing decision-making with patients and families, but the literature supports that patients desire prognostic information even when prognosis is uncertain and appreciate when their physicians disclose the presence of that uncertainty. Discussions of prognosis are critical to facilitating disease understanding and empowering patients and surrogates in the decision-making process to achieve care consistent
Leveraging the momentum of its June 29th Senior Living & Healthcare Event at Dolce in Thorton Park, coupled with Florida’s exploding senior population, Orlando Medical News announced it is devoting a full section of its monthly publication to Senior Living & Healthcare. Publisher John Kelly said, “Looking at the tremendous advances in Senior Fitness, Healthcare and Living opportunities, the content and knowledge must be mainstreamed. We hope the Orlando Medical News can be part of the solution.” Interested Physicians, Senior Living Facilities, Physical Therapy Practices, Primary Care Providers – Internal Medicine Practices, Geriatricians and Home Health should call 407-701-7424 or email email@example.com. Editorial content, podcasts, videos, and advertising will be components of the section.
ORLANDO || GRAND ROUNDS Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital celebrates anniversary by announcing enhanced patient Safety Measures
Thibaut van Marcke, Aparna Sharma, MD; Jessie Reid St. Cloud - Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital is observing two years of operating under the Orlando Health umbrella by announcing patient safety and quality measures that have been introduced since being acquired by Orlando Health July 1, 2020. “One of the first steps in our quality-enhancement program was to bring in a physician champion,” said Thibaut van Marcke, president of Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and senior vice president of Orlando Health’s southeast region, which includes Orlando Health St. Cloud. “Aparna Sharma, MD, joined the organization in April 2021, becoming the hospital’s first-ever chief quality officer. She has implemented processes and procedures, such as safety checklists and daily huddles, that promote a system-wide focus on providing the highest quality of care to our patients,” added Mr. van Marcke. Included in the process and procedural changes is an extremely successful hospital-wide hand hygiene initiative, the compliance of which is monitored daily. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when integrated with other critical measures, appropriate hand hygiene is the single most effective action to stop the spread of infection. Under Dr. Sharma’s leadership, the hospital now provides 24/7 physician coverage in the intensive care unit
St. Francis Reflections Foundation Receives Donation to Support Grieving Children
(ICU) with additional advanced practice providers (APP) support during the day, further increasing safety and care for these very critically ill patients. Chief Nursing Officer Jessie Reid has also been instrumental in leading the charge on many of the nursing and patient care improvements. Under her guidance, the hospital has begun work to become stroke accredited and make sure that every stroke patient who enters the hospital gets treated in accordance with the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) performance and quality measures. Orlando Health St. Cloud has partnered with EMS in conducting education programs and drills on GWTG, and has established a stroke coordinator to help monitor stroke patients to ensure timely and evidence-based care. These and numerous other changes have resulted in a 60 percent reduction in hospital acquired infections in just two years. “We recognize improving safety in a healthcare setting is a constant journey,” said Dr Sharma. “All of our quality and safety achievements may not be fully reflected in national hospital quality measures for several years. But we continue to look for ways to improve how we treat our patients. It’s a shared value across the hospital.” Technology has also been an integral component to Orlando Health St. Cloud’s intense focus on patient safety and quality. In 2021, the hospital implemented Epic, the industry’s most comprehensive health record (CHR) system, which streamlines health data and care delivery for patients and clinicians. The new system gives physicians the ability to manage a patient’s orders through entering medications and procedures. With nearly 100 percent participation from clinicians, these entries have helped increase efficiency and reduce errors. The hospital has also implemented barcode medication administration technology, which is the most consistent way to ensure the correct dosage of medication is administered to patients at the most appropriate time. Additionally, a falls committee was established to improve the safety of patients by preventing falls and injury.
TITUSVILLE – St. Francis Reflections Foundation has received a grant from the Geraldine L. Cabic Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Brevard to support the NorthStar Child Grief Program. The grant is earmarked to provide materials and resources for the year-round programs designed to support children who are suffering from grief. The program aims to honor their loved ones while also fostering the coping skills to navigate with their loss. “The support we receive from our community helps us serve the increasing number of children and families referred to our NorthStar Program,” said Mary Larson, Director of Community Engagement at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. “Funding for this vital program allows us to provide much-needed materials and resources where each member can understand and support one another as they navigate their new normal without their loved one. Gifts to our program send a powerful message to these children and families that their community cares about them. This gives them hope for the journey ahead.” The NorthStar Program provides grieving children and their families free access to professional counselors who help them work through their grief by teaching healthy coping skills in a safe and supportive environment. This allows them to begin the process of healing. Currently, nearly 160 children and youth are being cared for through the NorthStar Program. “We are not born knowing how to grieve, and often when a death affects a family, children are not given as much time and space as they need to process their emotions,” said Lynn Kiefer, Program Coordinator for NorthStar. “I’m grateful to the Geraldine L. Cabic Foundation for investing in our children through this grant. The NorthStar Program provides critical grief support to children in Brevard County for free, thanks to contributions like this generous gift.”
Brian Wetzel named President of Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital
Robotic Surgery Specialist Joins Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital
Orlando Health has named Brian Wetzel president of Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital effective July 1, 2022. He replaces Ohme Entin, who will become the chief operating officer for Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) effective June 27. Mr. Wetzel is currently president of Orlando Health Horizon West Hospital, a hospital he opened in January 2020 as chief operating officer. “This transition to Orlando Health St. Cloud is exciting for Brian and for the organization,” said Thibaut van Marcke, president of Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and senior vice president of Orlando Health’s southeast region, which includes Orlando Health St. Cloud. “Brian, who has lived in St. Cloud nearly 40 years, began his healthcare career at this hospital in 1996 as an entry-level employee registering patients in the emergency department. Now, more than 25 years later, he is returning as hospital president. We are very proud of him.” “My story is one that I share often with new Orlando Health team members,” said Mr. Wetzel. “I’m a living example of how one’s career can progress if you’re willing to accept new challenges, do the best job you can and be committed to continually learning. You can achieve almost anything, especially here at Orlando Health.” Mr. Wetzel has been with Orlando Health since 1996 where he has served numerous roles including assistant vice president and chief operations officer for the oncology service line, as administrative project lead for the $320 million Orlando Health ORMC renovation and redesign project and he oversaw operational planning and expansion activities at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. “I’ve spent the last quarter century learning how great, high functioning, hospitals operate and how exceptional quality and compassionate care is provided to our
Dr. Francisco Couto, a board-certified general surgeon specializing in general and minimally invasive surgery, has joined the Orlando Health Medical Group Surgery, and will be practicing at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital in Longwood, Florida. A noted researcher and highly skilled robotic surgeon, Dr. Couto’s areas of interest include abdominal wall reconstruction, hernia surgery, para-esophageal hernia repair, and surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux. He received his medical training from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and completed his residency in surgery at the Hahnemann University Hospital at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Couto performed his fellowship in bariatric and advanced gastrointestinal minimally invasive surgery at Greenville Health System at the University of South Carolina College of Medicine. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Couto has written extensively on his surgical experiences and practices. Among his articles and presentations are short-term preoperative weight loss and postoperative outcomes in bariatric surgery; the role of robotic assisted surgery in benign esophageal disease; factors affecting salvage rate of infected hernia mesh; and the robotic versus laparoscopic approach to hiatal hernia repair. Dr. Couto is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Hernia Society, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Society of Robotic Surgery and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
patients,” added Mr. Wetzel. “Now I get to bring all of that experience back to my hometown, St. Cloud. It’s extremely satisfying.” Mr. Wetzel holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management from Florida Southern College and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis.
Nemours Children’s Health President & CEO Named to ’50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’ Modern Healthcare has named R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, president & CEO of Nemours Children’s Health, one of the nation’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives for 2022, the second consecutive year. This recognition acknowledges clinicians in the healthcare industry who are deemed by their peers and an expert panel to be the most influential in terms of demonstrating leadership and impact. “Clinician leaders have shouldered a heavy load for healthcare organizations and the country at large throughout the past few years. We are proud to recognize those leaders who have risen to the occasion and then some,” says Fawn Lopez, Publisher of Modern Healthcare. “These 50 honorees have demonstrated leadership and innovation in a time of crisis and made a vital impact on the success of their organizations, the well-being of the healthcare workforce and the health of their patients and communities. We congratulate and thank them for their dedication to the advancement of healthcare.” Under Dr. Moss’s leadership, Nemours Children’s has increased its focus on the health of populations, beginning with children. This direction attracted a major gift in early 2022 that established the Alan H. Ginsburg Institute for Health Equity at Nemours Children’s Health. Part thinktank, part health-pilot incubator, the Ginsburg Institute will spur discovery and innovation to address the underlying social determinants of health, work toward health equity for all children, and ultimately change children’s health for good. Dr. Moss has continuously advocated for urgency in changing healthcare reimbursement and care models to focus on paying for health and wellness rather than the volume and complexity of procedures. He continues to lead and expand Nemours’ work to negotiate with payers to reimburse for prevention, social determinants of health, and care coordination that improves outcomes. “Recognition among this distinguished group of clinical leaders is truly an honor,” said Dr. Moss. “It is likewise an honor to lead an organization and an outstanding group of associates willing to think boldly and act quickly to achieve our vision of creating the healthiest generation of children.” A renowned pediatric surgeon, biomedical researcher, educator, and health system executive, Dr. Moss realized that his impact on the future of children’s health would be enhanced if he could contribute to broadly address the underlying determinants of children’s health. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Moss led Nemours to create a five-year strategic plan that reimagines Nemours’ role in children’s health to focus on health rather than medical care, as well as value and equity. This fundamental shift from reactive care to proactive wellness is the cornerstone of his vision of going well beyond medicine.
Orlando Health Cancer Institute Welcomes New Gastrointestinal Cancer Expert Dr. Wasif Saif, a nationally-recognized expert in gastrointestinal cancer and experimental therapeutics, has joined the team of specialists at Orlando Health Cancer Institute. He will serve as
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA || GRAND ROUNDS
deputy director of the Cancer Institute and department chair for hematology and oncology. Before joining Orlando Health Cancer Institute, Dr. Saif served in leadership and teaching posts in top-tier programs at the medical schools of Columbia University in New York City, Tufts University in Boston and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He has extensive experience researching and treating tumors in the gastrointestinal tract, including the pancreas, bile duct, gall bladder, liver, colon, rectum, anus, small bowel, esophagus, stomach, and peritoneum. “I am very fortunate to be part of a great team of physicians here at Orlando Health Cancer Institute who are on the cutting edge of cancer care,” said Dr. Saif. “I look forward to working with our specialists to continue to bring the best and most advanced treatments to our patients.” Dr. Saif received his medical training at King Edward Medical College in Pakistan. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington and performed fellowships in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute and in hematology at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Both are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to being an internationally recognized expert on GI cancers and phase I studies, Dr. Saif has been the principal investigator for more than 65 prospective cancer clinical trials for agencies such as the NIH and the American Cancer Society. He serves on the editorial board of numerous peer review journals, is a grant reviewer for competitive grants, and is a highly sought-after lecturer. Dr. Saif has distinguished himself as an eminent scholar, publishing over 600 scientific papers, textbook chapters, and abstracts/proceedings of meetings.
AdventHealth Ocala Foundation unveils garden in honor of local family The AdventHealth Ocala Foundation held an intimate gathering on Tuesday, June 14 to unveil the new McKenzie’s Moment garden at AdventHealth Ocala. McKenzie’s Moment Foundation recently donated $200,000 to the AdventHealth Ocala Foundation in support of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Program, which will allow families to receive high risk obstetrics care close to home. The garden honors the life and memory of McKenzie Kearney Gray who passed away shortly after she was born. Parents Ryan and Kait Gray, and their daughter Palmer, were joined by friends, community members, and AdventHealth leadership to celebrate the tribute. The Gray family, community members and AdventHealth Ocala leaders after saying a prayer over the garden and remembering McKenzie Kearney Gray
AdventHealth Unveils Ambulance Fleet in Marion County AdventHealth Ocala has unveiled three mobile ICU transport ambulances to officially launch the hospital system’s fleet in Marion County. The mobile critical care units will bring the emergency room to the field to provide an extension of the current AdventHealth hospital emergency room locations throughout greater Marion County. The ambulances are equipped with state-of-the-art technology onboard, allowing crews to provide ICU level of care, including ventilation and lab capabilities while transporting patients between AdventHealth facilities. “We have great partners at Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Fire Rescue and bringing this fleet to AdventHealth Ocala allows us to help alleviate some of their burden of transporting patients from facility to facility so that they can focus on incoming community calls as we all work together to serve those who need us most,” said Jeffrey Bogue, Director of Emergency Transport. The three units unveiled are the first of four to launch in Marion County.
HCA Florida Osceola Hospital Announces Michelle Farris as New Chief Nursing Officer HCA Florida Osceola Hospital announced the appointment of Michelle Farris as Chief Nursing Officer of HCA Florida Osceola Hospital (formerly Osceola Regional Medical Center), effective May 16, 2022. In her new role, Farris will oversee the hospital nursing team and a number of departments to include the Emergency Departments, Women’s Services, Medical Surgical and Critical Care Units at the 404-bed acute care hospital and Level II Trauma Center. Farris is a proven and dedicated leader with 28 years of service across HCA Healthcare. She has most recently served as the Chief Nursing Officer at HCA Florida West Marion Hospital in Ocala, Fla since 2017, where she was instrumental in establishing a culture of service and quality excellence. Farris achieved nationally ranked top quartile performance in patient experience, drove the facility’s Leapfrog score to an ‘A’ letter grade and achieved top performance in physician, employee and nurse engagement. In addition, she led several significant expansion projects including new operating rooms and cardiac cath labs, as well as an addition of 139 inpatient beds including an inpatient rehabilitation unit, emergency department expansion, and intensive care beds. Prior to joining West Marion, Farris served as the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer at Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Indiana. She started her career as a staff nurse, rising to the Director of Women’s Services and Director of Surgical Services before becoming the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer. Farris earned her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. “I could not have imagined a better suited leader to advance the nursing, clinical, service, quality, and growth agendas at our hospital”, said David Shimp, Chief Executive Officer of HCA Florida Osceola Hospital. “Michelle’s proven ability to achieve excellence and enhance culture makes her uniquely qualified for this role.”
HCA Florida Ocala Hospital Hiring Expo We’re are hiring RNs, New Graduate RNs, LPNs and Surg Techs to join us at HCA Florida Ocala Hospital. At this event, you will have the opportunity to talk with recuriters and leadership to learn more about us and the many benefits of working with us. At Ocala Hospital you’ll find we care a lot about the communities that we serve as well as our colleagues. Register now and learn about all that we have to offer on a team that cares like family for both our patients and our people. Interview will be held on the spot and job offers may be made to qualified candidates. DATE AND TIME Wednesday, July 20, 2022 10am to 4pm EST
• An average of 137.7 new cases per day • 18.1% positivity rate • A total of 115 people vaccinated
For the week of June 10–16, the period covered by the state’s prior report, Marion County saw: • An average of 113 new cases per day • 13.9% positivity rate • A total of 48 people vaccinated
For the week of May 13-19, the state’s previous reporting period, Marion saw: • An average of 59 new cases per day • 9% positivity rate • A total of 68 people vaccinated
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Latest Report shows uptick in new COVID-19 cases in Marion County Ocala - The number of new COVID-19 cases increased in Marion County during the more recent reporting period. The state’s newest summary, released Friday, revealed the following key points for Marion County for the week
The state’s data do not include at-home tests in Marion County that were not reported. As of June 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Marion County’s community transmission risk as high. “The new report clearly shows that COVID-19 still infects a significant portion of our community,” said Sherry Duncan, assistant director of the Department of Health in Marion County. “We continue to emphasize that good personal hygiene, beginning with hand-washing, and staying home if you are sick are important to slowing the spread of the virus. We also recommend that our residents take any other precautions they believe are necessary to maintain their own good health.” The Department of Health also reminds county residents that vaccines may help reduce serious illness and hospitalizations from COVID-19. From COVID-19 cases reported during the week of June 24–30, Marion County saw:
• An average of 94.6 new cases per day • 12.4% positivity rate • A total of 64 people vaccinated
WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Registered Nurses | LPNs | Surgical Techs New Graduate Registered Nurses
• New cases: 964. That was up from 791 cases recorded in the last state report, published on June 17. • The county’s cumulative case total as of June 30: 89,459. • Positivity rate: 18.1%. That was up from 13.9% as noted in the state’s June 17 report. • Statewide positivity rate: 19.4%. • Vaccines: 115. That was up from 48 vaccines noted in the state’s June 17 report. • Overall ratio of county residents who have been vaccinated: 60%. This section of the state’s report now includes all county residents 6 months or older who have been vaccinated.
For the week of May 27 to June 2, the state’s previous reporting period, Marion saw:
WHERE HCA Florida Ocala Hospital 1431 SW First Ave, Ocala, FL 34471
of June 24–30:
For the week of April 29 to May 5, Marion saw: • An average of 43.3 new cases per day • 6.7% positivity rate • A total of 89 people vaccinated
For the week of April 15-21, Marion saw: • An average of 20.3 new cases per day • 3.5% positivity rate • A total of 58 people vaccinated
VOLUSIA/BREVARD || GRAND ROUNDS St. Francis Reflections Foundation Receives Donation to Support Grieving Children TITUSVILLE – St. Francis Reflections Foundation has received a grant from the Geraldine L. Cabic Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Brevard to support the NorthStar Child Grief Program. The grant is earmarked to provide materials and resources for the year-round programs designed to support children who are suffering from grief. The program aims to honor their loved ones while also fostering the coping skills to navigate with their loss. “The support we receive from our community helps us serve the increasing number of children and families referred to our NorthStar Program,” said Mary Larson, Director of Community Engagement at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. “Funding for this vital program allows us to provide much-needed materials and resources where each member can understand and support one another as they navigate their new normal without their loved one. Gifts to our program send a powerful message to these children and families that their community cares about them. This gives them hope for the journey ahead.” The NorthStar Program provides grieving children and their families free access to professional counselors who help them work through their grief by teaching healthy coping skills in a safe and supportive environment. This allows them to begin the process of healing. Currently, nearly 160 children and youth are being cared for through the NorthStar Program. “We are not born knowing how to grieve, and often when a death affects a family, children are not given as much time and space as they need to process their emotions,” said Lynn Kiefer, Program Coordinator for NorthStar. “I’m grateful to the Geraldine L. Cabic Foundation for investing in our children through this grant. The NorthStar Program provides critical grief support to children in Brevard County for free, thanks to contributions like this generous gift.” St. Francis Reflections Foundation exists to advance the mission of St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. For more information or to donate to the NorthStar Child Grief Program, visit reflectionslsc.org/foundation or follow the Foundation on Facebook @StFrancisReflectionsFoundation.
AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway Hospital and Robins & Morton Celebrate Topping Out PALM COAST – AdventHealth and construction firm Robins & Morton recently celebrated topping out the four-story, 153,000-square-foot AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway Hospital. The topping out ceremony celebrates the installation of the final beam of a structure. It is an important milestone signifying structural completion of a building. When the new hospital opens in the spring of 2023, it will include an emergency department, full-service imaging, five operating suites, endoscopy services, a heart catherization lab and outpatient lab. The hospital will open with 100 private rooms. “We are proud to celebrate this milestone in the building of our second Palm Coast hospital,” said Audrey Gregory, CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division – North Region. “This facility will allow us to provide a comprehensive range of care close to home for all
the residents of Flagler County and surrounding areas.” According to AdventHealth, the project represents the single largest healthcare investment in Flagler County and will ensure access to high quality acute care for the rapidly growing community. Flagler County’s population has grown more than 29% since the 2010 census. The new Palm Coast Parkway hospital will augment the county’s only other hospital, AdventHealth Palm Coast. We’re excited to join AdventHealth and our project team in celebrating this significant construction milestone,” said Robins & Morton Operations Manager Angel Colon. “We’re proud to continue our long relationship with AdventHealth as a construction partner and honored by the trust they’ve placed in us to help them fulfill their healthcare mission.” HuntonBrady is serving as the architect. Robins & Morton is the general contractor.
ratory accreditation, the College of American Pathologists (CAP), has selected Parrish Medical Center’s Laboratory for reaccreditation based on the laboratory’s high standards of care. “Parrish Medical Center’s Laboratory demonstrates leadership, innovation, and a passionate commitment to standards of excellence while providing the highest quality services, ultimately for patients,” said Richard M. Scanlan, MD, FCAP, chair of the CAP’s Council on Accreditation. Parrish’s reaccreditation followed an on-site evaluation by CAP inspectors. The CAP accreditation process is designed to rigorously ensure the highest standard of care. Backed by the scientific expertise of board-certified pathologists, inspectors review a laboratory’s records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. “We have an outstanding team of professionals in our lab and this achievement validates that fact,” said Pedro Carmona, MD, Parrish Medical Center Chief of Pathology. Whether it is a routine or highly-specialized test performed in our lab, we know that patients and their providers expect quality, accurate and timely results and that is what drives us to excellence every day.”
Aquatic Therapy Scheduled for a Splashy Debut at Parrish Healthcare TITUSVILLE - Less pain, more gain. That’s the advantage for those with orthopedic arthritis, rheumatic and other health conditions of the aquatic therapy programs that began this month at Parrish Healthcare Center (formerly Parrish Health & Fitness) in Titusville. “Aquatic therapy is a lot gentler on joints,” said Parrish Healthcare Terri Moccio, Doctor of Physical Therapy. “Water provides older adults more confidence to move and is less strenuous and painful on joints for those with orthopedic conditions. Physical therapists work closely with each patient to create goals and customize a program to help people increase their mobility, flexibility, balance and to get back to enjoying their lives.” Physical therapy is prescribed by primary care or orthopedic physicians, and is helpful for a variety of age groups. To learn more about how aquatic therapy can benefit a patient regardless of age or condition, and the programs available, please contact 321-268-6181 or visit the Parrish website at www.parrishhealthcare.com/rehabilitation. Referrals can be faxed to 321-268-6769.
St. Francis Reflections Promotes Dr. Ryan Chapman to Chief Medical Officer TITUSVILLE – St. Francis Reflections is pleased to announce that Dr. Ryan Chapman has been named Chief Medical Officer. He is a proven leader and physician as he leaves his role as a beloved St. Francis physician to continue advancing the life-changing work of the St. Francis Reflections team. Dr. Chapman is the ideal selection to oversee patient care for our hospice and palliative care services. More importantly,
Global Leader in Laboratory Standards of Excellence Reaccredits Parrish Medical Center TITUSVILLE, FL. The world’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of labo-
he brings a deep, life-long passion for enhancing patient care and shares our mission of providing high quality, compassionate care. “We are grateful for the wonderful hospice and palliative care Dr. Chapman has provided our patients as a St. Francis physician since August of 2021 and look forward to the continued care he will provide as CMO,” said Joe Killian, President and CEO of St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. “We are also grateful for the incredible care Dr. Loftis provided during her time here, and we wish her well on her future endeavors.” Dr. Ryan Chapman, DO received his bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and his medical degree from Nova Southeastern University School of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he also completed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship. Dr. Chapman is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He maintains professional associations with the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Chapman will oversee the St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care clinicians, board-certified hospice and palliative medicine physicians as they provide compassionate and intentional care for their patients. His thorough medical background and his passion for individualized patient care make St. Francis confident that he will excel in his new role as CMO, and further elevate the level of care patients receive. “I am honored to step into the role of CMO at a hospice and palliative care organization that puts their patients first,” said Dr. Ryan Chapman, Chief Medical Officer of St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. “I look forward to continuing the great work of giving quality care and support services to ensure our patients and their families are heard, seen and taken care of with the upmost care and expertise.”