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Health News
LARGO - Without glasses, 11-year-old Richardson Alexis is basically blind. But glasses, especially at “an insane high prescription” of -20, would cost Alexis’ family $250, said missionary Bethany Perissien, who works in the St. Jean de Sud region of Haiti.

“That may as well be a billion dollars to this family,” she explained.

Luckily for Richardson, Perissien was able to fit him with one of the hundreds of eyeglasses donated by the ophthalmologists in the Largo office of the Eye Institute of West Florida, where she used to work. A special pair of glasses, made by the office of optometrist Joel Marantz of St. Petersburg, is on its way to Haiti.

For now, Richardson can see dramatically better.

“I was a little worried he would take them off right away after he left our compound,” Perissien explained.

But a few weeks later, she saw Richardson at his school.

“I was delighted to see him wearing them,” Perissien wrote in an email from Haiti. “(T)o see him wearing glasses in school, to see the blackboard better - that’s why I am doing what I am doing.”
 ... Read More 
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OneBlood, the local blood center, is sponsoring a video contest and encouraging blood donors, blood recipients and anyone else who has a story to share about the important role blood donation has played in their lives, to enter the contest.

The grand prizewinner of the video contest will receive a two-night stay at a Walt Disney World resort and eight park hopper tickets.

“We encourage people to get creative and have fun with this contest,” said Susan Forbes in a press release. Forbes is senior vice president of marketing and communications at OneBlood. “People who have a connection to blood donation have compelling stories to tell. It is our hope they will share their story by entering the contest and help inspire others in the process.”
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, February 18
SAFETY HARBOR - The city of Safety Harbor recently was recognized as a Healthy Weight Community Champion for 2015.

Each year, the Florida Department of Health recognizes communities working toward a healthier weight through best practice policies. Safety Harbor received this recognition due to its commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles through amenities such as:

- Safety Harbor's Bayshore Linear Trail: Extending approximately one mile along the Tampa Bay coastline, the multi-use trail provides connectivity from downtown Safety Harbor to Ream Wilson Trail, an east-west trail in the city of Clearwater.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - Coinciding with February's designation as American Heart Month and the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign, the third annual Healthy Heart Resource Fair will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Cypress Palms Enhanced Assisted Living Community, 400 Lake Ave. NE.

Seating is limited. To RSVP, call 385-9881 by Feb. 20.

Featuring an assortment of informational sessions, the event will educate attendees about the latest advances, newest therapies, adaptive equipment and traditional and alternative approaches to cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association is one of 23 participating vendors.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg General Hospital recently appointed four new members to the board of trustees.

Ahmad Nematbakhsh, D.O., Randy Shuck, D.O., FACOFP, Sue Brett and Janice Balzano will fill the spaces left open by Jim Shatz, Mortgage Investors Corporation (retired); Romeo Acosta, M.D., Gulf Coast Institute of OB/GYN; Jen Holloway, WTTA Channel 38 and Robert B. Conroy Jr., retired CEO of St. Petersburg General Hospital.

Nematbakhsh is a board certified orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in spine surgery. He received his medical education from Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa and has practiced at Pinellas Medical Associates in St. Petersburg since 2009.
 ... Read More 
CLEARWATER - A local psychiatrist, William M. Hervey, M.D., recently opened Advantage Mental Health Center to provide psychiatric care and medication-based addiction treatment to those in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

Advantage Mental Health Center, on U.S. 19 one mile north of Westfield Countryside Mall, offers outpatient medical treatment and counseling for issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders.

Hervey, a board certified psychiatrist, heads a team of physicians, psychiatric nurse practitioners and licensed mental health counselors. The center is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.AdvantageMenatlHealth.com.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, February 12
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LARGO - Caregivers Support Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting youth caregivers in Pinellas County, will host its inaugural Caring Heart Run 5K and 1-Mile Walk Saturday, Feb. 28.

Largo Mayor, Woody Brown, will be among the participants in the 5K run through the property of The Palms of Largo and surrounding facilities of the city of Largo's Recreation Department.

Mayor Woody Brown ran his first 5K 10 years ago at The Palms of Largo and looks forward to returning to participate for this inaugural event.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in collaboration with the St. Petersburg VA Regional Office will host a quarterly Veterans town hall meeting Feb. 25, 6 to 8 p.m., in the JC Cobb room located on the first floor of the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg.

VA Outreach services and special program representatives will also be available prior to the event, from 4 to 6 p.m., to assist Veterans. Services available will include VA health care enrollment and eligibility; VA benefits and claims assistance; patient advocate services and more. New to the outreach portion of the event will be a Claims Clinic operated by the St. Petersburg VA Regional Office. The Claims Clinic will offer Veterans the opportunity to get real-time assistance with VA disability claims, claims status checks and more.

Veterans and their families, congressional stakeholders, Veteran Service Organizations and other community partners are invited to attend.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - The supply of O Negative blood has reached extremely low levels due to high usage in area hospitals. An immediate appeal is being issued for all O Negative donors to donate at OneBlood, the local blood center, as soon as possible.

O Negative blood is the universal blood type, meaning any patient can receive O Negative blood regardless of the recipient’s blood type. O Negative is critical for trauma patients, premature babies, cancer patients and emergency surgeries.

Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit oneblood.org. Blood center donations are available on the website or you can call 1-888-9-DONATE (1-888-936.6283). Appointments are honored, walk-ins are welcome.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, February 11
CLEARWATER - BayCare health experts invite the community to attend upcoming health seminars in March focusing on total joint replacement, spine surgery and weight loss surgery. The monthly seminars are free to the public and are presented at BayCare’s various Morton Plant Mease facilities and community centers around Pinellas County.

To preregister for a health seminar, call 953-6877, or visit www.BayCareEvents.org.

Following is a list of upcoming seminars:
 ... Read More 
Thursday, February 5
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) will offer dental exams, X-rays, fillings, cleanings and more to children and teens ages 4-18 as part of Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday, Feb. 6.

The services will be provided at no cost at three DOH-Pinellas health department locations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Locations include: St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.; Pinellas Park: 6350 76th Ave. N.; and Clearwater: 310 N. Myrtle Ave.

No pre-registration is required, but parents or guardians are required to accompany the child or teen. Children and teens will be seen on a first-come, first served basis.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Alzheimer’s support group
CLEARWATER – Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter will host a new, monthly support group for caregivers with a loved one with dementia who lives at home or in a facility which focuses on intimacy needs and concerns.  

Beginning May 7, the group will meet first Wednesdays, 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the conference room at Alzheimer’s Association’s Clearwater office, 14010 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 709.  

This support group will help caregivers come up with new relationship rituals and healthy alternatives for finding the care, hope, and intimacy every human being needs and deserves.  

Heidi Crockett, MSW, will facilitate. Crockett is a geriatric care manager with Aging Care Advocates. She advocates for improved quality of life for seniors specifically on the subject of intimacy and has presented several seminars for professionals and caregivers including, “Sexual Concerns Associated with Dementia,” and “Intimacy as We Age: Loving our Loved Ones Safely.”  

Call Peggy Macaluso at 578-2558 or email macalusop@alzflgulf.org.
 ... Read More 
Belleair Besties meeting
BELLEAIR – Belleair Besties, a new networking group, will meet Wednesday, March 4, 4 p.m., at the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, 1501 Indian Rocks Road, Belleair.

The event will feature appetizers, drink specials and networking. To RSVP, email Gerri Fortino at gfortino@belleviewbiltmoregolf.com.
 ... Read More 
City Power Toastmasters Club meeting
ST. PETERSBURG – The City Power Toastmasters Club, a nonprofit communication and leadership club, meets Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Municipal Services Building, One Fourth St. N., Sixth Floor, Room 600.  

The club teaches self-confidence and skills to help listen, think, speak and gain leadership qualities. Participants gain poise, positive body language and speak more easily.  

Guests are welcome to visit for free with no pressure to join.  

For more details, call 893-7918.
 ... Read More 
Florida Native Plant Society meeting
CLEARWATER – The Florida Native Plant Society will meet Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m., at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane.

The speaker will be Rosalind Rowe, environmental specialist with Florida Park Service. Rowe will discuss the botany projects in the southwest district of the FPS. She also will offer a tour of the herbaria, discuss highlights of current fieldwork – surveying, monitoring and exotics management – and talk about challenges for conservation.

For information, call 452-3499.
 ... Read More 
Good Samaritan Lent experiment
PINELLAS PARK – Good Samaritan Church, 6085 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, will observe Lent this year with a seven-week experiment.

Each week participants go to the church for prayer and discussion, looking at Jesus’ teachings. Each person will choose one seven-day faith experiment, putting one of these teachings into practice. The following week they return to share what was learned and experienced.

There are two opportunities to participate: Wednesdays, 6 p.m., Feb. 18 through April 1; or Thursdays, 10 a.m., Feb. 19 through April 2.

It is not necessary to attend Good Samaritan to participate in this unusual experience. Those interested in giving this spiritual experiment a try should call 544-8558 for additional information and to register.
 ... Read More 
Largo Toastmasters meeting
LARG0 – Largo Star Toastmasters Club 5933 invites new members to its weekly meeting on Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:05 p.m., at the Young Rainey Star Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road No. 120 in Largo.

The club is open to all residents and workers in the Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole areas.

A Toastmasters club provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their oral communication and leadership skills. Come watch as members present speeches, develop leadership skills by serving in various club positions and participate in Table Topics sessions in a relaxed yet structured one-hour setting.

For more information, call John Rouisse at 488-8010 or email johnrouisse@yahoo.com.
 ... Read More 
• Thursday, March 5, 2015
Good Samaritan Lent experiment
PINELLAS PARK – Good Samaritan Church, 6085 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, will observe Lent this year with a seven-week experiment.

Each week participants go to the church for prayer and discussion, looking at Jesus’ teachings. Each person will choose one seven-day faith experiment, putting one of these teachings into practice. The following week they return to share what was learned and experienced.

There are two opportunities to participate: Wednesdays, 6 p.m., Feb. 18 through April 1; or Thursdays, 10 a.m., Feb. 19 through April 2.

It is not necessary to attend Good Samaritan to participate in this unusual experience. Those interested in giving this spiritual experiment a try should call 544-8558 for additional information and to register.
 ... Read More 
Indian Rocks Beach Library story time
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Story time resumes again at the Indian Rocks Beach Library. The program will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Children of all ages are invited.
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., at Freedom Square’s Town Hall. The group’s next speaker will be Breanne Zsiga, from Career Academies of Seminole, discussing on her steer project. For more information, call Terry Carr at 394-2582.
 ... Read More 
Resume writing class
SAFETY HARBOR – Learn how to create a strategically aimed résumé Thursday, March 5, 6:30 p.m., at Safety Harbor Library, 101 Second St. N., Safety Harbor, FL 34695. For more information, call 724-1525, ext. 4112 or visit www.SafetyHarborLibrary.com.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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