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Health Matters Observer

MAY 2014

Chris Davis, a veterans job coach at Goodwill Manasota, visits Springer Mountain, Ga., the southern starting point of the Appalachian Trail, in November.


WALKING Courtesy photo

Goodwill Manasota’s Chris Davis embarks on a five-month hike. PAGES 2-3 GOING GREEN:






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Health Matters | May 2014


IN HIS PACK • First-aid kit with iodine tablets (to help clean water), adhesive bandages, a mosquito bite stick, sleeping pills and other medicine. • Ear plugs “This is the most important item,” Chris Davis says. “People snore in the camps.” • A ski jacket that breaks down into a pillow “Everything has to have a dual purpose,” Davis says. “My ski jacket can become a pillow.” • A pair of socks only worn during sleep “You need that fluffy pair when the mosquitoes are out.”

• Purell handsanitizer “The most dangerous threat on the trail is Lyme disease and hand-tomouth disease.”

Other items in the pack include: Light raincoat, long Johns, a beanie hat, waterproof boots, a whistle, pants that turn into shorts, a bluetooth headset to listen to self-help books, survival kit with batteries, a fire starter, a tinfoil “survival blanket” to combat hyperthermia, a sleeping pad, a 1-pound sleeping bag and a device that sends out signals if Davis falls, among other items.


Josh Siegel

Goodwill Manasota’s Chris Davis, a U.S. Army veteran, will take five months to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Preparation and determination comes easy for Chris Davis, an Army veteran and veterans job coach at Goodwill Manasota, who will fulfill a lifelong dream beginning May 29. BY JOSH SIEGEL To carry his soldiers with him — and the weight of unfulfilled dreams — veteran Chris Davis must pack lightly. The first time he packed his pack, which Davis will carry when he hikes the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail beginning May 29, it weighed 41 pounds.

Today, the pack weighs 27 pounds, even with metal cuff bracelets dangling from it. Each bracelet is engraved with the name and unit of his fellow soldiers — and the date and place of their deaths. “In the Army, you are always taught to have backup for everything,” says Davis, a veterans job coach at Goodwill

Manasota who served as a senior intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army for 14 years. “But backup isn’t good when you’re carrying it on your back for five months. I got my pack down to 27 pounds. It’s pretty exciting.” With the support of his employer, which provides him with financial support, nutritional advice and a



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May 2014 | Health Matters 3

How to hike, from a pro

Dennis Blanchard, a Sarasota resident who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007 to 2008, has wisdom for Chris Davis: “Once you begin the walk, you have to start slowly. You have to get into a good relationship with walking. There will be blisters and shin splints, but then your body gets into a rhythm.” cause, Davis will spend five months hiking the Appalachian Trail to benefit Goodwill Manasota’s American Veterans and Their Families Initiative. The program assists veterans and their families as they transition into civilian life. For Davis, who ended his military career in November 2011 when he moved to Sarasota to reunite with his son, a completed fivemonth, 14-state hike of the Appalachian Trail will be the ultimate symbol of civilian success — and a test of physical and mental strength for which he’s prepared. “Someone asked me once, ‘How do you deal with all of the friends you have lost and the people you killed?’” Davis says. “You have to live their lives for them. Some of my friends say you shouldn’t be happy and moving on. But by doing your dreams and the things you’ve always wanted to do, you’re honoring them for what they died for.” The Appalachian Trail extends from Georgia to Maine and begins just outside Davis’ hometown, Ellijay, Ga., so Davis didn’t have to look far to dream. As a child, he hiked portions of the trail.

After leaving home for military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Davis thought he would never hike the trail in its entirety. When he came to Sarasota, he needed a job and a home. Bucket-list fulfillment wasn’t a priority. By fall 2012, Davis used his GI bill and disability money from the Veterans Administration to enroll at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to pursue a career in clinical or industrial psychology. Davis graduated May 5, winning USFSM’s Most Outstanding Graduate award. About six months after leaving the military, Davis began to venture to Myakka River State Park to hike. Every other weekend, Davis hikes at the park for an average of 12 miles per day. He hones the art of his walk and escapes. “Some can put their mind away when they run,” Davis says. “I do when I walk. In daily life, I am a lazy walker. If you go too fast, you get blisters. I walk comfortable.” A year ago, Davis pitched the idea of linking a walk across the Appalachian Trail with benefiting veterans to

FOLLOWING CHRIS DAVIS Against the norm, Davis will start the trail where most hikers usually end, at the trail’s most difficult point. He will begin in Maine — hiking through Mount Katahdin — and end in Georgia. Davis will write an online journal throughout his travels. Follow it at Support the walk and Goodwill Manasota at

Manasota Goodwill President Bob Rosinsky. Rosinsky, an avid track runner, scuba diver, tennis player and hiker, will meet Davis in West Virginia to complete a portion of the hike. With Rosinsky on board, Davis ramped up his preparations starting in January. In early April, Davis found the Celery Fields in Sarasota, the only hilly place in East County he could find, to build his leg strength. Yen Reed, Goodwill Manasota’s director of communications, became Davis’ selfproclaimed “food and beverage director,” formulating recipes to fatten him immediately before the hike — and keep him energized during it. During his preparation — which also included gym workouts and incline walks on the treadmill — Davis lost 35 pounds. But, just before leaving, Davis hopes to gain 10 of those pounds back. “You don’t want to shock the system,” Davis says. While he hikes, Davis will carry a five-day supply of food. One day’s allotment consists of three meals and four snacks — 5,000 calories in total. Reed will mail a fresh pack of food every week. Its destination will depend upon Davis’ progress on the trail. Reed has dry food at the ready, having ordered cartons of it from Bulk Nation. “He can’t live on mashed potatoes for five months,” Reed says. “You have to keep it interesting.” Because some of the trail traverses towns, Davis will pick up the food at various post offices along the way, as well. Used to the precision of the military, preparation comes easy to Davis. He tests his camping equipment and sleeps in a tent in his backyard to learn how to be efficient. Davis can pitch his tent in 10 minutes and break it down in 14 minutes. He connects often with Dennis Blanchard, a veteran Sarasota hiker and author of “Three Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT During the hike of the Appalachian Trail, Davis will eat a mix of high-calorie processed foods, such as Pop-Tarts, trail mix, candy bars and Goldfish crackers, as well as water-based foods, such as couscous and meat, prepared on a small stove. Below is a recipe Davis will prepare on the trail:


1/2 packet Spanish rice 1/4 cup dried ground beef 1/4 cup dried bell peppers, onions and tomatoes 1 tablespoon cheese-mix powder 1 tablespoon dried milk 1 1/4 cup water INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Cook ingredients in water until they are

hydrated and rice is fluffy.

Blanchard began hiking the trail in 2007 but finished in 2008. With 600 miles left to walk, Blanchard experienced chest pains that required artery bypass surgery. After taking 300 days off, he completed the trail. Blanchard’s advice to Davis: “It’s more mental than physical. You will see the big brawny hiker along the trail and then you’ll see a scrawny girl. The scrawny girl makes it through. It’s about how determined you are to finish it. How badly do you want it?” Davis wants it badly. He can’t quit. As per tradition, Davis will use a code name when he hikes. His will be “Goodwill Walking.” “In the military, once the thought of quitting comes, it’s impossible to get rid of it,” Davis said. “I’m carrying my guys with me. If you put one step in front of another, you get through things.”


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Health Matters | May 2014


+ Mental MAKEOVER Test your mental health with these brain teasers.

Brain training isn’t just about sitting at a computer and playing a program. To have optimal brain health, you should do an array of brain-stimulating activities, including socializing. The following riddles will help you exercise your cognitive flexibility.


you can buy pear brandy with a real pear inside the bottle? The pear is whole and the bottle is whole glass; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How do they get the pear inside the bottle?

— Brain teasers courtesy of Sci-Brain

Your allergist gives you three pills to help you deal with the spring pollen. He instructs you to take one pill every half hour. How long will the pills last?

Try to see if you can solve these riddles.

The person who built this didn’t want it. The person who bought this didn’t need it. And the person who actually used this never saw it. What is this item? The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?

+ Vital stats 35 14 Pediatric-care providers nationwide encouraged parents to immunize their children during the 20th annual National Infant Immunization Week April 26 through May 3. Children should receive immunizations from 14 serious diseases, including polio, whooping cough and measles, before age 2. Parents and guardians are encouraged to keep a record of a child’s vaccinations and should ask their pediatrician at each doctor visit if their child’s immunizations are up to date.

40 million ANSWER: The pears are grown inside the bottle. The bottle is placed over tiny pear buds and wired in place on the pear tree. The bottle remains in place during the entire growing season. When the pears mature, growers cut the pears off at the stems. The pears drop to the bottom of the bottles, and someone fills the bottles with the brandy.

Local urgentcare facilities and physicians offices will see more patients in May and June as patients seek relief from seasonal allergies. More than 40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies. The most common triggers are tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mite and cockroach allergens and cat, dog and rodent dander. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient visits annually.


The new statistic for children diagnosed with autism or a related disorder is one in 68. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released findings that autism-spectrum diagnosis have increase 30% compared with two years ago, when rates were one in 88 children.

Research shows only 35% of Floridians are considered a healthy weight. The Department of Health is building collaborations and providing assistance to counties, community groups and other partners to implement programs on increasing the initiation, duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding, promoting improved nutrition and physical activity in early care and education, encouraging improved nutrition in schools, promoting health-professional awareness, counseling of patient body mass index (BMI) and other factors. The Florida Department of Health has named Manatee County one of 37 communities honored as a “Healthy Weight Community Champion.”

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May 2014 | Health Matters 5 + Center for Sight surgeon joins editorial board

+ Health

REPORTS + Davidson Drugs announces customized packaging solution Davidson Drugs has implemented a new medication packaging solution to help its customers take the correct medications. The Parata Patient Adherence Strip System (Parata PASS™) pre-sorts multiple prescriptions into a single package that corresponds to a specific time of day. The system makes it easier for caregivers to administer medications, and it makes it easier for seniors to adhere to medication regimens. Davidson Drugs prepares each customer’s medications in a sealed, clear, plastic packet, called a PASS Pack™. Each PASS Pack is custom-printed with the customer’s name; day and time of dose; medication names, strengths and descriptions; and other details. Davidson Drugs supplies a monthly strip of PASS Packs, which are rolled into a dispensing box, providing an easy way for caregivers to verify doses are taken. Davidson Drugs is the first pharmacy in the region to offer PASS Pack packaging for customers. “Davidson Drugs is proud to offer our customers the safest, most convenient prescription-filling options available, promoting higher compliance and reducing medication waste,” said Elizabeth Martin, RPh. “It’s always a challenge for pharmacists to ensure patients adhere to their medication regimen, but it’s reassuring to know that PASS Pack is helping our customers make home medications more manageable.”

Dr. William J. Lahners, FACS, LASIK and cataract and lensreplacement surgeon with Center for Sight, has been appointed to the editorial board of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. Read by approximately 11,000 cataract and refractive surgeons, the monthly publication delivers cutting-edge information in ophthalmic care and covers topics such as the latest surgical and technological

advances and practice management. “I am honored to be asked to join such an exclusive group of top surgeons,” said Lahners, medical director and director of Laser Vision Services at Center for Sight. “I look forward to working alongside accomplished physicians from around the world in helping shape the publication’s coverage of the latest in ophthalmic care.”

+ Weiss Pediatric Care participates in pediatric care project Weiss Pediatric Care, in Sarasota, is one of 14 pediatric-care practices in Florida to participate in a demonstration project aimed at strengthening the medicalhome model and promoting family health care. The Florida Pediatric Medical Home Demonstration Project is designed to provide physicians and their staff with strategies, tools and resources necessary to strengthen medical homes’ capacity to provide highquality, family-centered care for all children and youth, including those with special health care needs. The project launched in 2010 with 20 pediatric practices; Weiss was among 14 practices in Florida selected to participate in phase 2, which will be completed this year. “It’s a huge undertaking, but one we are proud to be part of,”

said Dr. Rob Weiss, FAAP, whose practice is on track to become Sarasota’s first recognized pediatric medical home. “We are dedicated to and working toward a very important goal — developing a new model of care that will ensure better access to high-quality care and, most importantly, better health outcomes for Florida’s children.” The 14 pediatric practices assess the effectiveness of the systems of care they provide and implement tests of change with the aid of tools, strategies and measures to improve these systems. Weiss Pediatric also began offering Saturday office hours to make care more accessible for established patients, and, rather than delegate after-hours calls to a back-up group, the team personally answers all calls and questions that can’t wait till the next business day. Visit for more information.

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+ Braden River High School touts pilot salad-station program

Students lined up for all things green May 2, at Braden River High School, as the Manatee County School District’s Food and Nutrition Services Department piloted a new salad-station concept at lunch — and used lettuce Braden River High students grew in the school garden. Testing of the salad-station concept, which normally will feature commercially grown lettuce, will last about four weeks. Students can pick toppings such as broccoli, cucumber, black beans and corn for their salads. “We brought the idea back here (from Hillsborough County) and modified it to make it work for us,” said Skye Grundy, dietician/nutrition coordinator for Manatee County Schools. Grundy’s department will review pilot data this

+ Cancer Specialists join network The Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute will join the Center for Building Hope’s Health Support Network, an initiative to provide free online programs for cancer patients and their families. HSN and its partners, including Moffitt Cancer Center and Ringling College of Art and Design, are producing video programs on fitness, nutrition, caregiver support, the latest in cancer treatments and other quality-of-life topics. “This service is perfectly aligned with our mission as a community-based oncology practice to provide the most advanced and personalized care to our patients in local communities, both large and small, close to where our patients live,” said Brad Prechtle, CEO of Florida Cancer Specialists.

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+Green Cleaning In honor of spring-cleaning season, we rounded up a list of common household products and foods that double as green-cleaning machines. So, stock up on lemons, salt, vinegar and baking soda and start discovering the myriad of uses for each of these pantry staples. — Jessica Luck Garbage disposal: Cut a lemon in half and run each half through the garbage disposal. The lemon helps neutralize any odors that may be lingering.


The acid in lemons helps break down tough stains and remove dirt.


Counters: Cut a lemon in half and dip it in baking soda. Rub the cut side of the lemon on your countertops and wipe with a wet sponge. Don’t use on delicate stone such as marble or stainless steel. Dishes: Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwashing detergent, which helps tackle grease.


Salt’s grainy texture makes it great for scrubbing surfaces.


Pots and pans: Sprinkle salt onto your pots and pans to absorb extra grease. Dump out the salt before washing. (Do not use on nonstick surfaces.)

Cutting board: Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice on food stains on plastic and wooden cutting boards. Rub the stain with the lemon and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse and watch your food stains disappear. Hands: After handling food such as fish, squeeze lemon juice onto your hands and rub them together. The lemon juice neutralizes the odor.

Coffee mugs: Ever notice a ring around the bottom of your coffee mugs and teapcups after washing? Sprinkle salt onto the outside of a lemon peel and rub over the stain. Oven: If a casserole or pie bubbles over the top of a dish, pour salt onto the spill in the oven to soak up the

HEALTH TIP *Upon first waking in the

morning, squeeze fresh lemon juice into a cup of hot water (adding a dash of cayenne pepper is optional). This mixture is known to help digestion, as well as to promote liver function.


Baking soda is best known as an odor absorber. Just make sure not to use the baking soda that’s been in your fridge to bake.


Furniture: To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda onto the fabric and vacuum it up. Walls: Make a paste out of equal parts water and baking soda and apply the mixture to crayon marks on white walls. Let the paste dry before brushing it off with a cloth.

Soap scum: Cut a lemon and squeeze lemon juice over your bathroom tiles. Rinse the soap scum away with water.


Clothing: Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle to brighten your white clothing.

Artificial flowers: Put the fake flowers into a paper bag and add salt. Close the bag and shake. The salt will dislodge dust and dirt from the flowers.


Clothing: Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your detergent to achieve whiter whites and brighter colors.


Sink: To prevent clogged drains, pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain weekly. Run hot water to rinse the drain.

Floors: Add 1/4 cup vinegar to a bucket of warm water and use that solution to clean floors, except for marble and wood.


Vinegar’s acid can combat soap scum, mineral deposits and more.



Walls: Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spray onto moldy areas of your tiled walls. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.

Coffeemaker: Pour equal parts vinegar and water into your coffeemaker’s water reservoir and turn on the brew cycle. Halfway through, turn off the coffeemaker and let the solution sit for 30 minutes. Turn the machine on again to complete the brew cycle. Follow with running plain water through the brew cycle several times.

liquid. When the oven is cool, wipe it with a damp sponge.

using baking soda. Fill a small container, such as a Mason jar, with 1/2 cup filtered water, two teaspoons baking soda, two drops of tea tree essential oil and two drops of peppermint oil. Shake your mouthwash mixture before each use. Swish two to three teaspoons of the mouthwash in your mouth for one to two minutes. warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Silver: To clean silver, use a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item. Then, rinse with


HEALTH TIP *Make your own mouthwash


Iron: To eradicate mineral deposits from your steam iron, fill the water chamber with equal parts vinegar and water and press the steam button. Let the iron cool. Empty the water chamber and rinse.



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May 2014 | Health Matters 7

+ Green Eating Early summer is a great time for leafy greens, which are significant sources of some antioxidants and low in calories. Registered dietician and wellness coach Pam Mathis offers insight on the nutritional benefits of arugula, watercress, turnip greens, tatsoi and kale.

In general, these greens, which are versatile in daily cooking, boost bone and brain health, lower cholesterol and can decrease cancer risk, she says. — Pam Mathis, MEd, RD, LD, CWC, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and wellness coach in Lakewood Ranch. She can be reached at (941) 907-3757.



8 ounces bag of arugula Navel orange, peeled and diced 3 yellow potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds 2 thin slices of red onion, quartered Red wine vinegar Olive oil Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Spray grill pan with cooking oil. Heat to

medium heat. Place potato slices on the pan to cook, about 7 minutes each side, or until tender. 2. In large bowl, toss arugula, orange slices and red onion. 3. Drizzle salad with equal parts olive oil and vinegar. 4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 5. Top salad with potatoes, once cooked through. 6. Toss salad and serve.

Picked fresh, arugula’s sharp, spicy taste will add a kick to any salad or dish. One serving contains 3.5 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 2.6 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids. Arugula contains vitamins C, A and K. It is also a good source of potassium and calcium. 


Also called spinach mustard, spoon mustard and rosette bok choy because of its dark, spoon-shaped leaves, tatsoi originated in China, but is becoming more popular in the U.S. Worden Farms grows it locally, and it is available at its stand at the Sarasota Farmers Market. Tatsoi is a versatile green, equally suited to being served raw or lightly cooked. Use tatsoi anywhere you’d use spinach. Add it to salad mixes, an omelet, soup, stirfry  or casseroles. Lightly steam or sauté tatsoi, wilt the leaves with a warm dressing or add them to a soup at the end of cooking, Mathis says. Nutritionally, tatsoi is a good source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron. It is similar in taste to swiss chard or other mild-tasting greens. 


When it comes to greens, watercress is a powerhouse for nutrition, with plenty of calcium (120 milligrams per 3.5 ounces) and more vitamin C than an orange (43 milligrams per 3.5 ounces compared with 40 milligrams per 3.5 ounces). Watercress is high in iron, calcium, iodine, potassium and folic acid. Research shows watercress may have anti-angiogenic cancer-suppressing properties and is believed to help prevent lung cancer and possibly breast cancer. The plant is used to make medicine and treat ailments, such as swollen breathing passages, constipation and scurvy and to increase appetite and digestion. It’s also a diuretic, meaning it can increase the amount of urine the body produces.


One cup of cooked turnip greens has 220% the daily value of vitamin A and 662% the daily value of vitamin K, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Turnip greens also are a good source of calcium (20% of the daily requirement) and manganese (24%) and copper (18%). It also contains 42% the daily value of folate, which supports the production of red blood cells.


Every variety of kale — curly, ornamental and dinosaur — packs a nutritional punch. One cup of chopped kale boasts 684% of the daily value of vitamin K, as well as 9% of calcium, 134% of vitamin C and 206% of vitamin A. It’s full of carotenoids and flavonoids, antioxidants associated with fighting cancer, and the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health. It’s also high in copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorous. The fiber content of uncooked kale, in particular, also helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. Kale belongs to the brassica family, which also includes vegetables such as cabbage, collards and broccoli, among others.

Brain Talk - A Community Forum

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Important Conversations: Topics to be Discussed Before a Serious Neurological Event Occurs - Bruce Robinson, MD, MPH

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Health Matters | May 2014


Alive Sciences launches life-saving index for patients Ten years after his mother’s death while recovering from surgery in a hospital, Steven Rothman returns to Sarasota with the Rothman Index to transform health care, one patient at a time. BY HARRIET SOKMENSUER For 10 years, Steven Rothman has been charting a new course for health care. What started as a way to help doctors and nurses monitor a patient’s health is now known as the Florence Rothman Patient Monitor Index (Rothman Index). And, soon, it will be available to the public. The index, named after Rothman’s late mother, allows doctors to visualize an overview of how their patient is faring; the index is created based on electronic medical records that measure a patient’s condition. Rothman was spurred by the death of his mother, who died in 2003 while recovering in a hospital after an operation. After their mother’s death, Rothman and his brother, Michael, wanted to create a better monitoring system for patients. The two created the index. The index is an algorithm that displays each patient’s condition on a continuous line graph by extracting information from electronic medical records and using health indicators to form an easy-to-use composite score. In addition to data from existing

standard medical assessments, vital signs and lab results, the index uses information garnered from 13 questions that medical staff can enter into a system. Questions include whether a patient has a regular pulse, whether the patient verbalizes “no,”has difficulty eating, chewing or swallowing and whether a patient is oriented. The index displays longitudinal trend lines of a patient’s

condition and includes customized alarms based on change of points on the index. “By analyzing the electronic medical records, we can improve the patient’s outcome,” he says. In layman’s terms, the Rothmans created a line graph doctors can use to assess a patient’s health from the time he walks in to the hospital to the time he leaves.

Duncan Finlay, chief medical officer with Alive Sciences and past SMH CEO, Darlene Arbeit, chief operating officer for Alive Sciences, and Steven Rothman, president and CEO of Alive Sciences Courtesy photo

The graph was originally designed for general medical and surgical patients but is becoming part of a long-term monitoring system. Doctors are able to sign in to their collection of patient indexes, called a “quilt,” which nurses update throughout the day, before they see their patients. They can see an overview of multiple patients at one time. “I wanted to take the data nurses were entering and make it useful by drawing a simple image of the patient’s condition,” says Rothman, a former MIT think-tank analyst. The index, which was piloted at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, has been implemented in more than 30 hospitals nationwide, including Yale-New Haven Hospital and University of Florida Shands Hospital. This year, Rothman joined forces with Alive Sciences, the company behind introducing the index to non-acute practices, such as assisted-living communities, general practitioners and consumers. Darlene Arbeit serves as chief operating officer of Alive Sciences, and Duncan Finlay, past Sarasota Memorial Hospital CEO, is chief medical officer.

The company is working with retirement centers, nursing homes and home-health care agencies to close the communication gap between hospitals, practices and homes. That way, doctors can track a patient after he is discharged from the hospital. “We want to create a continuum of information,” says Rothman. The index is currently in development at Sunnyside Village, The Pines of Sarasota and Plymouth Harbor, although it is not yet available to the public. “We are excited about it,” says Diane Marcello, administrator at Sunnyside. “It’s going to be extremely helpful to our staff, and it’s going to make a difference in long-term care.” Rothman wants to expand the index outside of hospitals so individuals can track their health for themselves. By taking a four-and-a-halfminute questionnaire over the phone — answering questions regarding food intake and respiratory patterns as well as psychosocial responses— participants update their index as many times per day as suggested. The information then becomes accessible to family members, doctors and participants online or via a smartphone. “It’s just a line graph. Anyone can understand it,” Rothman says. Self-monitoring allows participants to remain independent while loved ones and doctors have access to an up-todate gauge of their health. “We’re not just delivering a graph, we’re changing the system of providing medical care,” Albeit says.

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May 2014 | Health Matters 9

Mindfulness Institute offers a peace of mind The Sarasota Mindfulness Institute offers visitors a clean slate in which to learn how to quiet the mind and focus on awareness. BY HARRIET SOKMENSUER Six or seven men and women sit on colorful pillows in a clean white room lit by natural light. The room is quiet and calming. Although some may see Sarasota Mindfulness Institute’s space as bare, others view it as a room of opportunity. “This is a clean and open environment,” says Nancy Saum, a teacher at the Burns Court-based institute. “Our mission is to improve the emotional health of the community one person at a time.” Licensed social worker Betsy Nelson founded Sarasota Mindfulness Institute. Classes taught at the institute range from free instructed meditation sessions, which are open to drop-ins, to instructed courses in laughter yoga and qigong and MindfulnessBased Stress Reduction (MBSR) for a fee. Through movement and non-movement classes, the Mindfulness Institute aims to help participants cultivate awareness of the mind, or mindfulness.

Photos by Harriet Sokmensuer

Nancy Saum instructs MBSR and qigong. The classes teach participants that the mind is busy and provides them with tools to help them tame their mind, bring the mind back to the focus of the

moment and take advantage of a few moments of peace. MBSR, a combination of mindfulness meditation and yoga, is the institute’s most popular course. The course

runs for eight weeks and helps participants reduce anxiety, improve general physiology and learn how to be more present. “Our bodies are always in the present,” says Saum. “It’s our mind that wonders.” It’s the ability to learn how to draw your mind to the present that gives people a way to release stress and become aware of their mind’s habits. “It’s like magic,” says Saum. The Chinese practice of qigong helps participants cultivate one’s life force energy. The slow-moving class leaves participants feeling restful and refreshed. Motions, which are similar to tai chi but slower, can be practiced in nearly any position: sitting, standing, lying down or walking. Saum suggests anyone interested in meditation should sit in on one of the free guided meditation classes held at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, and at noon Fridays, at 1530 Dolphin St., Sarasota. The institute also offers an uninstructed, completely silent class at 6 p.m. Mondays. Beginners should avoid Monday classes. For at-home instructions and more information, go to The next eight-week program of MBSR begins the second week of June. For more information, go to

Mindfulness Mantras

Attendees of the Guided Mindfulness Meditation sessions share what they love about their time at the institute.


What do you focus on while meditating? I focus on breath. It’s important to come back to whatever your focus concentration point is; mine is my breath.

volunteer and meditation facilitator How long have you been meditating? I have been coming to the Mindfulness Institute for four years but have been meditating on and off since 2003.

What do you enjoy most about this session? The group atmosphere is my favorite part; it helps make it more connected. Groups are set up to support each other.

What’s your favorite part about meditation? It’s difficult to push aside the outside world. This is a great time to step away and focus on yourself.

Any tips for beginners? I’d say you can look online and find a lot of guided meditations, but the best thing is to come (meditate) in a group.



What do you like about this session? We actually meditate and then explore different topics, and it’s always interesting when you have a whole group of people.

How do you feel when you walk in before a class at the institute? Walking in, you know you’re going to treat yourself to something special.

What have you gotten from this experience? I like to pause for brief periods throughout the day. I do two long pauses at the beginning and end of each day. What is the first thing you do when you enter the institute? I take off my shoes. What is your focus point while meditating? The breath is a big thing; it’s real and reminds you of what is real and what is not.

What do you like about the meditation sessions? Meditation is a different discipline, so this place is a little haven. The energy is really helpful. It’s wonderful. How long have you been coming to the institute? This is my first year, but I’ve been in and out of meditating for years. What is your favorite part about meditation? You learn more about yourself and the world around you.


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Health Matters | May 2014


Health + Fitness C A L E NDA R


Month. For more information, visit

Caregiver Connection — runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. every second Wednesday of each month, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. Caregiver Connection focuses on the mental health of caretakers by providing local resources and support available to caregivers. The event is free; no registration required. Call 917-4156.

HealthSquare — runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. May 21 and at 1 p.m. May 28, at Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Join the Sarasota Memorial staff for free heath presentations, health-education discussions and other activities. Brian Weiss will discuss relaxation techniques May 21. Miriam Lacher will host “The Power of Resiliency” May 28. For more information, call 302-4271.

Medicare Counseling — runs from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. Sarasota Memorial and Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) are providing a place to receive free consultations that compare Medicare plans and prescription coverage to fit the participants’ needs. Call 1-800-963-5337 and ask for a SHINE counselor.

Medicine Cabinet Makeover — runs from 10 to 11 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. May 20, at the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, 1926 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Participants will learn how to reinvent their medicine cabinets by using 100% pure essential oils. The hands-on event costs $5. Each new guest will receive a free essential oil. Registration is requested. For more information, call 747-6797.

EVENTS Dakin Dairy Walk 4 Life — event starts at 9 a.m. June 7, at Dakin Dairy Farms, 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The event will support two ministries — Harvest House and Live the Life. Participants can stay after the run and enjoy the Dairy Day Festival, which celebrates National Dairy

National Cancer Survivors’ Day — runs from 1 to 3 p.m. June 1, at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Ave., Sarasota. Local cancer survivors are invited to an afternoon of laughter and music to celebrate life. The annual event is free, but space is limited. For reservations, call 917-7777. School Sports Physicals — runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily throughout the summer, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s five urgent care centers

Quickest Quacky 5K Race for Pace — race starts at 5 p.m. May 17, at Tarpon Point Grill, 801 Riverside Drive E., Bradenton. Same-day registration begins at 2 p.m. The Fit2Run event benefits Pace Center for Girls. Cost is $45. All 5K runners receive one automatic entry into the Lucky Duck Race for PACE, which enables participants to win prizes if their rubber duck crosses the finish line first. Prizes include $5,000 to Publix. To register, visit

in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice. Locations include: 1040 River Heritage Blvd., Bradenton; 5350 University Parkway, Sarasota; 5590 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota; 6331 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; and 997 U.S. 41, Venice. Sarasota Memorial will offer school sports physicals for $20. No appointments are necessary. For more information, call 917-7777.

FITNESS Belly Dancing for Oncology Patients — runs from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, at Blake Medical Center, 2010 59th St. W., Bradenton. Belly dancing improves circulation, complexion and reflexes. It also helps combat fatigue by boosting energy levels, which could also lead to stress relief. For more information, visit blakemedicalcenter. com. Healthy Hearts — runs from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, at HealthFit, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. The program features individualized workouts to promote balance, cardio health and stability. HealthFit members exercise for free. HealthFit also offers customized fitness activities, such as aquatic exercises, indoor cycling, dancing and yoga, for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and progressive neurological disorders. For information, call 917-7000, or visit

company them through the course. Cost ranges from $50 to $100. Children race for free. Visit sarasota-fl for more information. The Great Father’s Day Race 2014 Run/Walk Sarasota — starts at 8 a.m. June 8, at Siesta Key Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Cost is $35 for adults (or $40 on race day); $20 for children 8 to 14; and free for children 7 and younger. Pre-registered participants will receive a race T-shirt. For more information, visit Register at

Team Tony Dirty Duo — race starts at 8 a.m. for adults and 10 a.m. for children May 18, at the Celery Fields, 736 Center Road, Sarasota. Teams of two will race through a 6-mile off-road obstacle course, during which teammates will complete five to eight challenges along the way. One member will run, and the other will ride a bike. The children’s run will require participants to race through a short obstacle course before crawling through a mud pit. Children ages 6 and under must have a parent ac-

Yoga for Cancer Patients — runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, in the Cancer Resource Room, Suite 3400, of Blake Medical Center, 2010 59th St. W., Bradenton. The class will promote circulation and will teach participants how to exercise muscles and joints. For more information, call Ann Silverman, at 465-15990. Zumba Class — runs from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, at Waldemere Medical Plaza, in the Magnolia Room, 1921 Waldemere St., Sarasota. The class combines music, dancing and muscle toning. Cost is $5. For information, email zumbafitnesslena@

Childbirth and Parenting Classes — times and dates vary for the classes designed for families before, during and after children are born at both Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. For more information, visit or

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around the block. “It was like a second chance,” he For years, hairstylist Leo Scherry says. The experience was emotionhelped men and women look and ally and physically exhausting, but feel their best. It wasn’t until his Scherry didn’t give up. close friend suggested he go for “It’s all about setting goals, both a walk around the block that he short and long-term,” Scherry says. thought about becoming his best. Scherry reached his first goal For Scherry, who weighed 340 soon after starting his new life. Afpounds, a walk around the block ter that, he achieved was no walk in the a second goal: walk AGE: 28 park. around the block “I knew there was a NEIGHBORHOOD: twice. He set small problem,” says ScherBurns Court obtainable goals, ry. “I knew I wasn’t which led him to goGO-TO EXERCISE: doing well. My doctor ing to the gym to run Lifting weights and had told me I had a on the treadmill and aerial yoga year left of walking lift weights. (before I’d have to use WORKOUT ROUTINE: Scherry says the Four days in the gym; a wheelchair).” first month was the He realized it was aerial yoga seven days hardest. However, time to turn his focus a week; and running by the end of May on himself. 20 miles each week things were easier. Whereas most When clients and DAILY MANTRA: people would start by friends noticed his “Feel good now.” making small changtransformation, es, such as tweaking Scherry felt great. their diet or cutting “I realized I am my down on cigarettes — own rock,” he said. Scherry was smoking a pack a day After following different diets — the 5-foot, 11.5-inch redhead and working out for five months, overhauled his entire life. Scherry lost 60 pounds. NEW LEO, NEW LIFE: On April 1, 2013, Scherry started his new life. He moved from St. Petersburg to Sarasota — where he worked — broke up with his partner, bought a new car, quit smoking completely, began eating raw fruits and vegetables and set his first goal: to walk

In September, he set another goal: learn everything he could about nutrition and fitness, so he joined Studio South Fitness. At Studio South Fitness Scherry worked with four experts who helped him find a personal regimen. He took up aerial yoga and began bodybuilding.

In one year, Scherry has lost 150 pounds of fat, going from a pant size of 46 to 31, and he has lost more than 20 inches from his waist. DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINE: Scherry follows a regular schedule. Four days of his week are focused on studying to become a certified personal trainer and working out, while the other three are spent at work. On a workout/study day, the Burns Court resident wakes up at 8:30 a.m. and starts his day with a breakfast of steel-cut oats, peanut butter and the occasional egg white. Scherry sticks to eating vegetables, carbohydrates and protein (fish, turkey or chicken). He has two lunches, light snacks and never skips a meal. “Eat more than you think,” he says. “Your body needs fuel.” Scherry can always be spotted carrying a gallon of water; he drinks two gallons every day. When he needs a boost, Scherry treats himself to four shots of espresso over ice. “It’s my guilty pleasure,” he says. By 11 a.m., Scherry is halfway through his hour-long workout of weightlifting. The rest of Scherry’s afternoon is spent studying to become a certified personal trainer. Scherry says that since his transformation people have asked him for advice, which he loves to give.

for his home, where he practices outside in his garden.

Courtesy photo

Leo Scherry before and after

In the evening, Scherry returns to the gym for aerial yoga. “I love the yoga community,” he says. “Fitness can be competitive, but the yoga community is so supportive.” Scherry enjoyed aerial yoga so much that he bought a hammock

GOING FOR THE GOALS: As Scherry works out in the gym, other members congratulate him on his transformation. Although some might find the recognition a reason to take a break from their regimen, Scherry continues to push himself. “As soon as you reach your goal, you’ve got to set another one,” he says. Scherry is a natural type-A personality. He credits his ability to stay focused and to reach his goals to his daily mantra: “Feel good now.” “Stop what you’re doing and do something you love,” he says. “We’ve only got one life to live, that I’m aware of, so why waste any more time not being happy?”

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__ 99____ ____ ___ ________57 $ _______ _______ _ _ __ ___ _ ___ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 99 _ _ ___ 84 $ é lose up to 9 pounds! ____ 60 days ( 120 capsules )ia–lisTo _______ _______ h est spéc : _______ _______ _ ce _ : s. hn Jackis _ in an _ Jo ov _ r om 30 _ Pr N eu _ puis Doct ____ Rue : s vonto 99 sement de _______ s saup 114 90endays 12 pounds!: ______________ amaigr(is180 + 60 FREE ) = 240 CAPSULES e : Noulose ____$___ Cou li _ _ a n _ _ o. o tr _ _ N ti s _ _ _ u _ sa _ sen ___ h, d’A _______ _______ n Jackis FTO augmente la variation –______ __$ : ______ Dr Jo+h120 _____99 __ 120 CAPSULES 13 pounds orVille more!! Cette lose ène ) = 360 lon le( 240 ) ___144 gFREE . _ e Sedays rs _ le d _______ u _ e _ e n _ u rt o _ q o ti _ p nt nsa _______ e: ( _ _______ maintena chez les sujets rablement la se effets de Téléphon _ _ _ _ _ _ : __ de faim accroit considé our réduire les . Aucun Signature

Cure 30 days ( 60 capsules ) – To lose up to 6 pounds!

BY TELEPHONE 1-855-495-1330

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e la fo d uconfirmation.S“limma empêch isses. ra g s e ll I 3 de nouve URD’HU • According to Dr. William J. Thomas , New UJOZealand: SA È D Z E “The hereditary fatM isAfinally ND conquered! This method COM weapon to neutralize a gene that is the only effective causes overweight, the FTO gene makes you gain A PO E SLIMM weight no matter your diet. Now that you know what MAtoCUR IS Pou IS – O H s) C JE suffering do, we can reduce the number of people from0 capsule 0 jours (6 3 – Po re s) u C le overweight. “ o : apsu rs (120 c u jo EN 0 6 UIT o Cure 60 GRAT p rs (180 + ur u o corpsm P jo 0 9 o Cure GRAT ÉPHONE 0 + 120 ou PAR TÉL P jours (24 0 2 1 re o Cu ingto 18 h rue Well De 8 h à semaine ix : 380, n li C r oM a a | p joursDREAMS!re de : Pharm SILHOUETTE5 OF | o VISA l’ord montant à piratio t au Ex n e e– __ m qu __ Paie | o Chè ________



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 in the amount of: _________________$

Card # ______________________________________ Expiration: _____ /_____ Security Code:_________ (3 digits on the back) Name : _________________________________________________ Last Name : ____________________________________ No.: ______________ Street : ________________________________________________________________ Apt. :________ City : ________________________________________ Province:____________________ Postal State: Zip Code: ___________________ Telephone: ( ________ ) __________–__________________ Email: _____________________________________________ Signature:





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