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Health Matters Observer

APRIL 2019


Caregivers often put loved ones first. When is it time to ask for help? PAGE 2

Katie Johns


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The search for balance

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Around Christmas 1995, Julie Cook Downing’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As an only child, Cook Downing decided she was going to help her then 84-year-old father care for her mother, and the nearly 400-mile distance between them wasn’t going to stop her. She cared for her mother until she died, but two years after her mother’s death, her father suffered several strokes that caused blank memories and again, Cook Downing took on the long-distance caregiver role. Eventually, her father moved in with her and her husband, and she cared for her father until his death in 2006. Now, after Cook Downing’s many caregiving experiences in a variety of situations such as skilled nursing, independent living, assisted living and memory care, she has become a caregiver adviser and support group facilitator.

Her free support group meets at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, and while there, participants discuss the hardships of caregiving. The No. 1 thing the group does, Cook Downing said, is prioritize the caregivers who often don’t prioritize themselves. Dick Pelton, whose mantra in life is to have a purpose, found prioritizing himself a challenge. Pelton, a founder of The Paradise Center on Longboat Key, has found that having a purpose is necessary when being a caregiver. Pelton’s wife was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in 2010, which led to dementia. In turn, he became her caretaker. He began going to a support group and caregiver course at The Friendship Centers. There, he learned tips, like counting to 10 to calm down when overwhelmed or frustrated. Additionally, the course prompted him to get out of the house and do something fun. “Two-thirds of caregivers die before the person they’re caring for, that’s a fact,” Pelton said. “So there are tricks in here, things to

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Below is a list of some of the many local resources and support groups available. n Doctors Hospital of Sarasota Caregivers support group: Meets from 10-11:30 a.m. every third Monday of the month . n Cornerstone LifeCare: Consultants can help caregivers and families make the best choices for their patient. Call 809-7298. n Veterans Support Group: Meets from noon to 1:30 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month at 2688 Fruitville Road. n Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s offers various support groups at various times and locations. Visit n Friendship Centers in Sarasota: Offers various groups and programs. For more information, call 941556-3268. n Tidewell Hospice: Offers various programs for caregivers and patients. Visit n The Alzheimer’s Support and Education Network: A free program that has counseling, education and ongoing support. Call 3647508.

Katie Johns

Peter and Beth Shimlock have gotten used to having to do more together ever since his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

stand their boundaries with a patient and plan accordingly. “One of the biggest deficiencies of a caregiver is not reaching out for help,” Cook Downing said. “Caregivers need to make a list of people they know with the talents they have and match those talents up with what they need.” Beth Shimlock, who cares for her husband who has Parkinson’s disease, said at first the diagnosis was scary and overwhelming. To her, it seemed like it was her and her husband against the world. Now, after her husband had two focused ultrasound brain surgeries in Switzerland, and they

learned more about Parkinson’s through the Neuro Challenge Foundation, Shimlock said they are in a better place. Shimlock has found that giving her husband some errands and chores keeps them both accountable. “I just need to leave because he can get it done, but if I’m there, I want to take over,” she said. “I want to do it better. I want to talk louder. I want to be more organized, but he can still do it.” No matter how caregivers choose to prioritize themselves, though, Cook Downing said they need to understand they are on a

path that will end in the death of their loved one. After a death, Fitzgerald said caregivers can experience a loss of identity because they have gotten so used to a caregiver role. The important thing to understand, he said, is that everybody grieves differently. For those supporting a caregiver after the loss of a patient, Fitzgerald said the best thing to do is be a good listener and encourage the caregiver to stay connected with someone they trust.

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Each week, Pelton would set a goal, such as going to lunch and heading to the driving range for nine holes. Although he didn’t always accomplish his goal, he said he learned that caring for his wife can’t be his only purpose in life. Eventually, he hired another caregiver to come to their home six days a week before moving his wife to a memory care facility in 2015. Because of the stress placed on caregivers, Cook Downing said they have the same biomedical risk as a smoker. The way to combat this, she said, is for caregivers to make themselves a priority. “My philosophy to the caregivers is that when someone can no longer take care of their regular daily activities, you are in charge and you need to paste that on your forehead,” Cook Downing said. “You’re in charge, not them.” Some simple ways caregivers can prioritize themselves include making time to run errands or do something enjoyable, Michael Fitzgerald, director of behavioral health at Serenity Place at Doctors Hospital, said. Group support is something that Fitzgerald said is integral to the caregiving experience, especially after a patient has died. “There’s strength in understanding that there’s commonality that exists within a group of people,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s kind of like a tribe. If you’ve got a group of people who are experiencing a similar loss, even if it’s not exactly the same, there’s an identity that somebody can actually feel.” On a larger level, Cook Downing said caregivers need to under-





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reya Robbins knew it was important to have a plan for her mother, Ruth Davis, as Davis neared the last few months of her life. She couldn’t go into the situation blindly. Planning was one of the most important parts.

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TERMS TO KNOW n Palliative care — A comprehensive approach to treating serious illness that focuses on the physical, psycho-social and spiritual needs of the patient. Focuses on quality of life for patients, and can continue during treatment of an illness. n Hospice — Care to make patients comfortable, usually within the last six months of life. Occurs after treatment has been ended. n Long-term care — Medical and social services needed to support people with chronic health problems that affect their ability to do everyday activities. Insurance can be purchased to help with these costs. n Medical aid in dying — Allows terminally ill adults to receive a prescription for medication that they may take to end their life.

n Call Tidewell Hospice if

you have been given a diagnosis of six months to live by at least one physician: 894-1777 n For information about all of your options, reach out to Compassion and Choices Sarasota: n To finish estate planning at any stage of life, call Zollinger Mediation: 3660202

Courtesy photos

Ruth Davis and Freya Robbins recently underwent an end-of-life process.


Tidewell Hospice is the premier hospice in Sarasota and one of the options to chose from when thinking about the last couple of months spent alive. Hospice focuses on comfort care and has programs beyond the basic medical needs to treat symptoms. Suzanne Barksdale works for Tidewell Hospice as the director of My Life, My Choice, an advanced-care planning program offered to the community. My Life, My Choice is a program offered to all ages and stages of life, which allows participants to have directives, such as a living will, on how to make those final choices, like who will be someone’s health care surrogate. Tidewell usually requires people to be in the end stages of life,


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band have discussed how they want things handled and how to control these decisions to make their wishes known. She said they even have do not resuscitate (DNR) orders on the back of their front door so EMTs know their wishes if called to the house. Compassion and Choices is more than just medical aid in dying. It asks people to think about all of their options as they plan the end of their life. Dr. Joelle Vlahakis, the medical director of supportive care services at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, says it’s common for people to come to her in the last few weeks and months of their lives, without any kind of plan for palliative care. “Most patients do not have a plan in place. Nobody wants to

typically in the last six months, with the recommendation of a physician. But hospice might soon not be one of the only options for endof-life care. Sarasota has 433 members in a group called Compassion and Choices, which advocates for medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying, which isn’t yet legal in Florida but is in eight other states, allows for people who have an illness that will kill them in six months and a recommendation from two physicians to take medicine to end their own life. Winnie Downes, the president of Compassion and Choices in Sarasota, said she lives and breathes thinking about her endof-life plan. Downes said she and her hus-

leave and people are hoping it doesn’t happen to us. It’s just human nature. I don’t get frustrated by it anymore,” said Vlahakis. “Here’s what I tell people: Begin with the end in mind. Think of the ideal death and how you would achieve that. If it’s not in a hospital, make sure you’re not in the hospital for that. Who would be your support system if you were at home? Most of us have a level of infirmity at that point. What if you can’t talk? What if you can’t walk? Can you deal with that at home? It takes thought and planning to get everything sorted out and know all of your options.”


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take care of her mother full time. Robbins has experience many people in her situation might not by working at Zollinger Mediation, where she helps people with estate planning and elder mediation. “We think it’s never going to happen to us. There are ways to plan and prevent these things and prevent calamity and chaos if you put a plan in place,” said Robbins. “And those plans need to be looked at and revised every year. I have a life plan and it states everything important. There can’t just be a plan after you die, but before you die, too. There is planning that needs to be done prior to that. Does anyone have any idea of the cost of living in a nursing home? $12,000 to $5,000 a month.” There are options for every end-of-life plan. Robbins, like many others in the Sarasota area, used hospice care in the last few days.


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sessions it started to feel better. A lot better.” It is not always a comfortable experience. Bay said getting his traps worked can induce a hot, stabbing pain, but one that leads to more relief and movement once the session is over. Neumann said his clients often joke around with him during sessions to lighten the air of inherent awkwardness — and distract from the discomfort. They hate him when it’s happening, but thank him later, Neumann said. “The hardest part is teaching the world that there is more out there than just weight rooms,” Neumann said. For information, email Neumann at neumann.ais@gmail. com.

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the clients and their families feel as comfortable as possible, like he does with Sarasota’s Daniel Heed, 20, who raced in the 250 C division of the 2018 Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amatuer National Motorcross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Lakewood Ranch sophomore softball player Jillian Herbst and multiple NCAA Division 1 athletes. But this year Neumann has also worked with Lakewood Ranch Little League (LRLL), setting up his massage table in the league’s office on game days and scanning from game to game in case a coach calls him over to work with an aching player. Neumann said it is just as important to teach coaches proper stretching technique as it is the players. That way, he said, the people making sure kids are using proper technique actually know what they are doing. Neumann, who played baseball at Riverview High, said for a long time coaches in all sports have neglected learning this information, and it has led to athletes developing more longterm aches and pains as adults. “You hear it all the time, ‘Kids bounce back fast, they heal quickly,’” Neumann said. “But what if a muscle is out of place when a kid heals? Why have them feel it when they are 40 when it would take 10 minutes to fix it properly now?” On April 1, Neumann held a stretching session with Braden River High sophomore wrestler Chris Bay, the son of LRLL president David Bay, while watching the games. Chris Bay said he has been working with Neumann for a year and has noticed a difference in his body’s ability to recover. “I hurt myself during this past season,” Bay said. “I fell on my knee. Well, half fell. After a few

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10 CBD-related questions, answered CBD is a hot topic right now, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding it.

uses. Probably the most popular reasons people come in are for chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and sleep, because it helps to calm that monkey-mind that keeps you going all night long. We also have people coming in to help treat their cancer, chronic migraines and autism. It really helps with a wide variety of conditions.


Health fads may come and go like the tide but lately, one trend has remained prominent due to its hazy legal status: CBD. A hemp product that is considered marijuana’s cousin, many people have been turning to the cannabinoid to mollify a variety of ailments. But, considering the legal limbo CBD currently faces in the state of Florida, why wouldn’t somebody simply turn to traditional prescriptions instead? “I think people are tired of being jerked around,” said Katie Starling, owner of local CBD company Siesta Key Sea Bee Dee. “Like, half the time they prescribe something that doesn’t work ... So, I think this is more of wanting something better than that for themselves, their future and their families.” But educating oneself on a product that is clouded by legal jargon and technicalities may not be the easiest thing to do. To answer some of the most commonly asked questions concerning these products, we turned to two local CBD owners and entrepreneurs: Shelby Isaacson, the owner of Second and Seed Neighborhood Apothecary, and Katie Starling of Siesta Key Sea Bee Dee.

5. Do you need a prescription for CBD? Starling: Not right now. For marijuana, you’d have to go to a dispensary, but for CBD you don’t. Samantha Chaney

Katie Starling, owner of Siesta Key Sea Bee Dee

1. What is CBD? Isaacson: It is a cannabinoid found in industrial hemp. So, hemp is the sister plant to marijuana. It is non-psychoactive, so you’re not going to get the high, but you are going to get the medicinal properties. Starling: CBD can be an isolate or come in a full-spectrum form. Isolate is made from the whole plant’s extract, and then they isolate the CBD out of that extraction. Meanwhile, fullspectrum is the whole entire plant extract, and that has all of the cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC. 2. How does CBD work? Isaacson: Hemp does not heal you, and that is one major misconception out there. It actually

helps your body heal itself by helping it go back to homeostasis (a state of internal equilibrium of the body’s systems). Ultimately, it’s food, and your body is going to absorb whatever your body needs to absorb. 3. How is CBD different from THC? Starling: THC gets you high and can make you euphoric. CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and targets inflammation. They can work well together, but not everybody responds well to THC ... You can find relief from CBD all by itself without the uncomfortable effects of being high or groggy or drowsy. 4. What is CBD used for? Isaacson: It has a broad range of

6. So, is CBD legal? Isaacson: It is federally legal ... Now, state laws can be different and city laws can be different. It’s not legal in Florida, but we have support from the State Attorney’s Office that says, ‘We’re not going to do anything.’ The county [of Sarasota] isn’t worried about it. But the city did come out and say they were going to do some cease-anddesist letters, and I was really upset that they were lumping this shop in with gas stations and sex shops. 7. How do you know what you’re actually getting in a CBD product? Starling: You need to make sure you’re going to somebody that’s trusted, or maybe find [a CBD provider] through a friend. Make sure your company has their lab results provided. You don’t want

to buy CBD from a gas station … You want to go somewhere that’s more of a wellness setting where they might have some education provided for you. It’s important to always have your lab results as a CBD company, and it’s good to have your products tested from a Florida company. 8. What should people know about CBD dosages? Isaacson: Dosing is kind of that million-dollar question in the industry because of the fact that you and I could eat the same salad for lunch and I could be hungry again at 1 p.m. and you could be hungry at 1:30 p.m. Our bodies metabolize it differently. We also say less is more. 9. Are there side-effects? Can you become addicted to CBD? Starling: You might feel better, and not everybody is used to feeling better. But, otherwise, you might have some medication interactions. You’ll definitely want to consult with your doctor before that. Do your research. But, other than that, it’s not an addictive substance. 10. How much does CBD typically cost? Isaacson: A quality CBD product typically starts around $75 and can go as high up as $400.​ Starling: Our price range starts with basic tinctures at $50 and then go all the way up to $180. You can start at $25 and go up to a couple hundred dollars.



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WOMEN’S EXERCISE GROUP The group meets at 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at Woodland Community Church. The group watches videos of Kathy Smith, Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons and more. Each person works out at their own pace. Email for more information.


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BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP Takes place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in conference room 1, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Contact Kim Peterson, with Tidewell Hospice, for more information at 941-928-8845.

Circle. Help create a world without type 1 diabetes. There is no minimum fundraising amount to walk, but each walker who raises $100 will receive a free T-shirt. Light refreshments will be available throughout the walk. To register, visit PEACE HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR Takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at Peace Presbyterian Church, 12705 E. State Road 64. More than 25 organizations will be on-site to offer information on blood pressure, hearing, eyesight and more. Additionally, representatives from Tidewell Hospice, Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s and more will be present. Cost is free. Call 954304-4802.

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Living at The Windsor of Lakewood Ranch

is Comfortable!

• Life Enrichment program to engage mentally, physically, and spiritually • Dining Menus planned with Senior Nutritional needs in mind. • Limited Nursing Services and Physical and Occupational Therapy Available.

Call Today


YOGA AT THE PARK Takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle. Start your Sunday off right with this yoga class on the 500M Restroom Lawn. Call 358-7275.

for a Tour


CBD 101 Takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. at Wild Ginger Apothecary: Studio and Lounge, 6553 Superior Ave. Learn what CBD is, how it works and what its health benefits are. Free. Call 3125630.

2009-2019 Reader’s Choice The Best of the Best! Deficiency Free State Survey 2019


JDRF ONE WALK Takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson




8220 Natures Way, Lakewood Ranch

Do You Have Medicare Part B? Schedule Your Annual Wellness Visit.

QUIT YOUR WAY Quitting tobacco isn’t easy. Finding help should be.

What You Need to Know

Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center is offering classes at:

Many health screenings are available, based on your age, sex and health history. Examples include: • Bone mass measurements for osteoporosis

Blake Medical Center

Sarasota Memorial Health

• Screenings for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and lung cancer

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Care System—North Port

• Preventive immunizations

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Englewood Community

• Personalized Prevention Plan Services

Florida Department of Health in


Manatee and Sarasota

DeSoto Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Fawcett Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Bayfront Health Port

SMH Care Center at Blackburn



Virginia B. Andes Clinic

Physicians at our Lakewood Ranch Offices Can See You Now. Primary Care and Preventive Medicine for Patients Aged 12 and Older

Minor In-Office Procedures Laboratory Services Diagnostic Screenings

Same Day Sick Visits Health Education

North Port Health Center Lakewood Ranch Medical Group Sees Patients Aged 12 and Older

Lakewood Ranch Primary Care Rye Road Cares for Adult Patients

Book an appointment online at: Call: 941.782.2800

Book an appointment online at: Call: 941.216.3939

Call 941-552-1283 to register! Includes FREE nicotine patches, gum or lozenges* More than DOUBLES your chances of success! *if medically appropriate and 18 years of age or older.

Members of Manatee Physician Alliance

For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 190685-0514 3/19



Program covers all forms of tobacco.



APRIL 2019


Now Accepting New Patients!

DIEGO FALLON, MD Board Certified Geriatrics & Internal Medicine (Habla Español)

Physicals for ALL Ages


Flu Shots & Immunizations


Adult and Family Care Physician Assistant Specializing in Allergy and Asthma Family Healthcare Physician, Minor Office Surgery (Habla Español)

Strep & Mono Testing

(pictured from left to right)

Allergy Tests Treatment for ADHD & Binge Eating Spirometer No Appointment Necessary Most Insurance Accepted

10910 East SR 70, Suite 102 Lakewood Ranch 941-896-3900 305585-1

Mon - Fri 8 am - 5 pm Sat (by appointment only) 10 am - 2 pm

Located 1.5 mile East of I-75 on SR70 - Spring Forest Office Park between River Club Blvd. & LWR Blvd.

Bringing Health & Independence Back to Over 1,600 Patients

A Not-for-Profit Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility accepting Medicare, Insurance & Private Pay Patients.

5381 Desoto Road, Sarasota, FL 34235 (Just East of Honore on Desoto Road) License #SNF130471051 EOE


CALL 941-355-6111 TODAY



Commitment is key to fitness The Lakewood Ranch resident says prioritizing fitness is a must. ANDREW ATKINS STAFF WRITER

Garrett Pope describes his life of fitness as an addiction. Case in point: On his 21st birthday, he was in a head-on car collision. He took 51 stitches in his head and ear, he said, and needed plastic surgery to reattach his ear to his head. His doctors told him he couldn’t work out for a minimum of four weeks. Forty-eight hours later, he was back in the gym. “And yes, I was popping stitches out,” he said. “It was stupid.” Pope, 45, is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant. He owns his own business: Pope Training and Performance, where he offers private, one-onone personal training for muscle building, weight loss, rehabilitation, stability work, nutritional and supplementation guidance and more. Originally from New Jersey, the certified personal trainer has a degree in exercise science from Montclair State University in his home state. The Lakewood Ranch resident said he used to have the strength contract for a number of New York Mets players in the early 2000s.

Pope now primarily focuses on strength training with some highintensity cardio mixed in. He usually works out for two hours four days a week. As a kid, he played football and baseball and began working out at 15. That’s when he became “addicted.” “I work out myself, religiously, all the time,” he said. Pope finds himself motivated by the feelings of well-being and health he gleans from his lifestyle and said he’s been training people for about 25 years now. “Everybody has aches and pains as you go along, but I see other people my age in pretty bad shape,” he said, noting that his healthy lifestyle has helped him. The former Mr. Teenage New Jersey — and former Mr. New Jersey, too — said he’s reluctant to share numbers of his heaviest lifts. “I’m not big on trying to get numbers out there,” he said. “When people try to hit numbers, their form goes to crap.” Instead, he said, people should focus on lifting what they can comfortably. Lifting a heavy weight 6 to 8 times is better than lifting a “super, super heavy weight” once, he said. Pope doesn’t seem one for vices: he only has a cheat day once a month. On those days, he enjoys something like pizza or lasagna. “I just don’t feel the need,” he said. “I eat very bland. So I’m used to it. It doesn’t really affect me.”

Make Hawthorne Village Part of your Healthcare Plan!



APRIL 2019


ABOUT GARRETT Age: 45 Residence: Lakewood Ranch Occupation: Personal Trainer (Pope Training and Performance) Favorite food: Fish (healthy) or pizza/lasagna (cheat foods) Best advice: Prioritize your fitness Business address: 7353 International place, unit 306

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Courtesy photo

Garrett Pope usually works out for two hours four days a week.

Otherwise, he sticks to healthy foods, starting his days with whey and oat protein shakes and eating fruits, vegetables, grilled chicken and fish. When he’s not working out, Pope spends time with his three dogs. He has a purebred Chihuahua, Pebbles, and two brother Jack Russell/Chihuahua mixes, Bam-Bam and Vader. “You would never know by looking at them, but they’re little

terrors,” he said, laughing. “They hate people. It’s bad.” But in terms of fitness, the biggest thing for successfully getting into shape is committing to it and prioritizing it, Pope said. “You have to commit to working out. You have to commit to the diet. … If you don’t make it a priority, it’s never going to stick.”

Our family wants to care for your family. When in the position to choose private care for a loved one, put your trust in a local, licensed agency.

Everyone deserves the best in care Take Care celebrates 24 years in our community and is locally nurse owned and family operated. We provide all levels of care in any setting from 1 hour up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thank You to Our Lead Investors

Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA, CEO & Owner Courtney Wise Snyder, MSG, CMC, President Erika Wise Borland, MA, Director of Business Development

(941) 927-2292 Best Home Health since 2012


Lic. # HHA 21657096 | 299991405





APRIL 2019

We’re Proud to be Your Hospital of Choice!

24/7 Emergency Services (ER)

Sleep Center

Cardiovascular Services

Physical Therapy Center

Orthopaedic Spine and Joint Center

Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center

Inpatient and Outpatient Surgery, including Robotic Surgery

Breast Health Center with 3D Mammography

Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine

Childbirth Services

Imaging/Radiology Services

Ranked among the safest hospitals in the nation. 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. | Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


Physicians are on the medical staff of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, but with limited exceptions are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatment provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 190094-6921 3/19

Profile for The Observer Group Inc.

Health Matters: East County 4.18.19  

Health Matters: East County 4.18.19