SEMINOLE - On May 1 there were no cyclists involved in the Project Hero Ride 2 Recovery in Pinellas County. Now there are 30 and more taking part every week.
It is all about helping veterans get back into society and recover from injuries or mental trauma suffered while serving.
Project Hero is part of the Ride 2 Recovery program. HERO is Healing, Exercise, Rehabilitation and Opportunity. It is aimed at helping returning veterans.
Ride 2 Recovery was begun in 2008 when a therapist with the VA decided veterans needed to be more active as a way to speed up the healing process, both physically and mentally. The program steadily grew across the country and has now come to Pinellas County.
Each Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. the riders gather at the Seminole City Park, next to the Pinellas Trail.
“We’re open to both veterans and the public,” said Mitch Lee, Project Hero ride leader. “We have participants who are amputees and those with traumatic brain injuries.”
Lee explained that many of the injured vets cannot ride conventional bicycles so they have specially designed bikes to suit their disability.
“One thing is certain, we leave nobody behind,” he said. “We help one another, we stay together. The object is to have a fun time for everybody.”
TARPON SPRINGS - Around her wrist, Gertrude “Dolly” Zukin wears a dainty gold bracelet with five hearts: each with a name and a date.
It’s a heart for each of her siblings, Sam, Lillian, Norma, Sophie and herself, with their birthdays on the back. When their mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, when the dementia got worse, each sibling would take turns sitting with her and going through the bracelet: These are your children. Don’t forget us.
CLEARWATER - Increasing men’s health awareness while providing a family-friendly race, Morton Plant Mease Foundations fifth annual prostate cancer awareness race, Miles for Men, is open for registration and inviting runners to “Battle the Bridge.”
Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m., the event starts on the Morton Plant Hospital campus before taking runners through surrounding waterfront neighborhoods and over the Memorial Causeway Bridge.
The race is presented by Urology Specialists of West Florida with proceeds benefitting the prostate cancer programs of Morton Plant Mease.
ST. PETERSBURG - Responding to a growing need for more personalized emergency care for seniors, St. Petersburg General Hospital, an HCA West Florida hospital, recently opened a new emergency program tailored to its fastest-growing demographic: older adults.
The Senior Care ER, part of an emerging national trend, is the first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area and among only a handful of similar facilities in Florida. Patients began using the new service in August after part of the hospital’s existing emergency department was refurbished to better accommodate the needs of seniors.
Located at 6500 38th Ave. N. in St. Petersburg, the upgraded facility features:
LARGO - Largo Medical Center hosted an open house Aug. 13 to celebrate the grand opening of +three innovative and technologically advanced units.
The hospital spent more than $4 million creating additions to the Behavioral Health Unit, renovating the Inpatient Rehabilitation department and the relocating and renovating of a new Sleep Disorders Laboratory. These expansions are part of the growth at the hospital’s Indian Rocks Road campus. Construction began in April 2014 with completion of all phases expected by the end of August 2014.
“With our community continuing to grow, Largo Medical Center is seeing the growth and the need for expansion first hand,” said Anthony Degina in a press release. Degina is chief executive officer of Largo Medical Center. “These changes will provide greater access for our patients and physicians.”
Pinellas County residents are invited to nominate deserving family caregivers - including themselves - for the opportunity to win a free, five-day cruise.
The local Home Instead Senior Care office is sponsoring the cruise for one lucky caregiving hero and guest.
To submit a nomination, along with a brief explanation of why the caregiver deserves a cruise, visit www.homeinstead.com/165 or mail the nomination information to Home Instead Senior Care, 1799 N. Belcher Road Suite B, Clearwater, FL 33765. Entries will be accepted through Sept. 30. The winner will be announced on Oct. 15.
ST. PETERSBURG - The American College of Radiology recently awarded St. Petersburg General Hospital a three-year term of re-accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review.
Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. Board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field award it only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
ST. PETERSBURG - The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care recently awarded St. Petersburg General Hospital with a three-year chest pain re-accreditation.
St. Petersburg General Hospital has maintained this accreditation since 2008. Accreditation brings together diverse medical specialties, such as EMS, emergency medicine, and cardiology; clinicians and administrators; doctors and nurses; lawyers; architects and quality improvement professionals.
The SCPC developed the accreditation process to evaluate and improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients who present with symptoms of a heart attack. The intent is to ensure facilities meet or exceed quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of the acute coronary syndrome patient.
SEMINOLE - Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) will meet with a group of local veterans and volunteers at Thursday’s Project HERO (Healing Exercise Rehabilitation Opportunity) Pinellas bike ride.
Jolly will meet the riders at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road, next to the Pinellas Trail at 5:30 p.m. Thursday Aug. 14.
Project HERO Pinellas is associated with the national Ride 2 Recovery program, which was founded in 2008 to help with the physical and psychological recovery of our nation’s wounded service members and veterans.
ST. PETERSBURG - On Sunday, Aug. 17, Tropicana Field will become Lou Gehrig’s house, when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees for the annual ALS Awareness Game at 1:40 p.m.
ALS supporters will sit together in a special section and the ticket purchase price includes a T-shirt. To order tickets, visit www.ALSAFL.org.
Rays fans will root not only for Longoria and Price, but also for those who have fought or continue to fight for their lives - people with ALS live on average only two to five years after diagnosis. The Tampa Bay Rays and The ALS Association Florida Chapter hope that the game will increase awareness of ALS, and the difficulties faced daily by people living with the insidious disease. Nearly 500 supporters of The ALS Association Florida Chapter are expected to attend, all wearing commemorative Lou Gehrig 75th anniversary Strike out ALS T-shirts. Gehrig retired from baseball with an emotional farewell speech on July 4, 1939.
Connections @ Park Station
PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce hosts Connections @ Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd., Room 101, a free networking event, on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 8:30 a.m.
Contact Carl Lucchi at 458-7863 for more information.
Scottish American Society social gatherings Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin.
The cost is $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
Snow ski club’s kickoff meeting CLEARWATER – Pinellas County’s only snow ski club, Clearwater/St. Petersburg Ski and Sports Club, will host its 31st annual kickoff meeting on Friday, Aug. 22, 6:30 p.m., at the Yard of Ale Gastro Pub, 2675 Ulmerton Road.
The event will showcase the club’s six winter ski trips for the upcoming season and kick off its fundraising efforts for the Bay Pines Disabled American Veterans.
Social meetings held at the same time and location are also set for the following dates: Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Jan. 13, 2015, Feb. 10, March 10, April 14 and May 12.
There are trips planned to Telluride, Colorado; Cooper, Colorado; Keystone, Colorado; Big Sky, Montana; Sugarloaf, Maine; and Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
This season also marks the 31st anniversary of the not-for-profit club, commonly known as the “Snowsharks.”
Funds raised at the event will benefit those veterans that attend the Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado in March 2015. This unique rehab clinic is held each year, but due to the cost of travel, only a handful of the veterans have been able to attend.
Back-to-school open house LARGO – Join Largo’s Recreation Parks and Art Department for a free back-to-school open house Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Highland and Southwest recreation complexes and Largo Community Center.
Visit one facility or all three for back-to-school giveaways, class demonstrations and more. Learn more about Largo recreation membership.
Recreation members enjoy access to all recreation facilities and discounted programming for $10 a year.
Highland Recreation Complex is at 400 Highland Ave. Call 518-3016.
Southwest Recreation Complex is at 13120 Vonn Road. Call 518-3125. Largo Community Center is at 400 Alt. Keene Road. Call 518-3131.
WalMart Missouri, Largo High School PTSA and Largo Middle School PTSA will sponsor this open house.
Chamber Night at the Ballpark PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce plans Night at the Ballpark Saturday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. when the Clearwater Threshers host the Brevard County Manatees at Bright House Field.
Those attending can enjoy and evening of fun at the Hot Corner Café ticket holders can eat and drink all they want from 5 to 8 p.m. The deal also includes 16-ounce draft beers for $2 for three hours.
Tickets are $14.50 per person and available by contacting Dan Madden at 712-4403.
Great Scallop Search TIERRA VERDE – Tampa Bay Watch is seeking volunteer boaters to participate in its annual Great Scallop Search Saturday, Aug. 23, 9 a.m. to noon. Boaters will meet on the east end of the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp.
The event is a yearly resource monitoring of scallops. Volunteers will snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa bays.
UPARC benefit concert CLEARWATER – Employee Leasing Strategies and AXA Advisors present an end of summer celebration concert to benefit the UPARC Foundation set for Saturday, Aug. 23, 6 to 11 p.m., at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort Ballroom.
The concert will include live music by ’60s recording artist Mercy with the hit single, Love Can Make You Happy, as well as dance band Act III.
Come dance the night away while listening to great music, hors d’oeuvres and bidding on silent and live auction items. There will be a cash bar, and the attire is casual.