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Health News
Flu activity usually begins to increase in October, and most commonly peaks between January and March, according to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who urge Americans to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible.

CDC data collected over the past 32 years shows flu activity most often peaks in February, followed by December, January and March.

But now is the time to get vaccinated.

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season, the CDC says.

“Yearly flu vaccination should begin soon after flu vaccine is available, and ideally by October,” according to the CDC. “However, getting vaccinated even later can be protective, as long as flu viruses are circulating.”

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection.

Flu versus the common cold

The flu, aka influenza, and the common cold have similar symptoms. They are both respiratory illnesses caused by viruses.

According to information on the CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov, “the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.”
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The Original Crabby Bill’s Restaurant, 401 Gulf Blvd., is hosting a blood drive Sunday, Dec. 21, 1 to 5 p.m., in honor of Kailani, 4, who is fighting leukemia with the help of blood and platelet donors.

Donors will enjoy a free appetizer and two vouchers each for a free movie ticket. Her mother, Amie Suwardhana, shares this story.

“Kailani is a very beautiful, sweet, adventurous kid who loves the beach, animals, her little brother Indie and my little ponies,” said her mother, Amie Suwardhana, in a news release.
 ... Read More 
Shoppers can take back some of their time during the holidays by getting their gifts wrapped at the Suncoast Hospice Gift Wrap.

For a donation, volunteers will wrap gifts. In addition, the Trees of Love event allows the community to remember family or friends by purchasing a dove. Participants can write a special message or name and place them on one of the trees located in the mall or take it home as a decorative keepsake.

Both events are being presented through Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., at Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater; and at Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 Tyrone Blvd., St. Petersburg.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - The American Board of Pediatrics approved All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine as a portfolio sponsor for Maintenance of Certification, helping local physicians stay up to date on the latest medical developments through board certification.

As a sponsor organization, All Children’s Hospital will help local physicians earn MOC part 4 credits for board recertification if they participate in one of its three quality improvement projects that were submitted and approved with the portfolio application.

The three quality improvement projects include:
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 10
LARGO - Sabal Palms Health Care Center, managed by The Goodman Group, recently received five stars - the highest overall rating - from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which sets and enforces federal requirements and standards for nursing homes certified to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

Sabal Palms Health Care Center has moved up in the CMS rating system from a 4-Star to a 5-Star based on their most recent survey. This new rating reflects that the community has achieved a high standard for quality measures in staffing levels of nurses to patients, and overall exemplary operations of the care center.

“We are proud of the recognition Sabal Palms has received,” said Mark Moyer in a press release. Moyer is executive director of Sabal Palms Health Care Center. “This 5-star rating is indicative of the overall improvements Sabal Palms has made in key quality measures, as well as the high level of commitment our associates have to providing the best possible care to the residents and patients of this community.”
 ... Read More 
PALM HARBOR - Dr. William Jarmolych and the staff of the Hollywood Smile Center in Palm Harbor are dedicating a day of free dental care - Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 - for veterans.

Care will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Based on staffing arrangements, the first 75 veterans are guaranteed to be served, according to a press release. Each attendee may select from three treatment options: a free filling, a free extraction or a free cleaning.

Volunteers are being sought and other support of any kind is welcome. The goal is make this a community-supported event.
 ... Read More 
ST. PETERSBURG - The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States, recently recognized St. Petersburg General Hospital as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures.

The hospital was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for Pneumonia and Surgery. St. Petersburg General Hospital is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children&rsquos asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.
 ... Read More 
The practice of Insoft & Hurst Orthodontics will once again choose two deserving children for complimentary orthodontic treatment who otherwise would not be able to afford it.

“We are requesting a short essay by the child detailing why they want braces and how a new smile would be beneficial to them,” the office said in a press release. “Pictures may be included.”

According to the press release, candidates must:
 ... Read More 
The Morton Plant Mease BayCare Health System will offer a number of programs in January at various locations.

Support groups and classes are free to the public unless fee is noted. For information on upcoming programs, call 953-6877 or visit www.BayCareEvents.org. Participating locations include:

- Axelrod Pavilion, 400 Pinellas St., Clearwater
 ... Read More 
Friday, December 5
Two bats tested positive for rabies in December. These are the first reports of rabid animals for Pinellas County in 2014. The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County urges residents to avoid contact with wild and stray animals to protect themselves from the risk of rabies exposure.

In Florida, raccoons, bats, foxes and unvaccinated cats are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies. Other animals that are at high risk for rabies include skunks, otters, coyotes, bobcats and stray or unvaccinated dogs and ferrets.

Rabies is transmitted through exposure to the saliva and nervous tissue from a rabid animal through a bite, scratch or contact with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 3
LARGO - Largo Medical Center recently announced it has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States.

The hospital was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Largo Medical Center is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction. This is the fourth year Largo Medical Center has been recognized as a Top Performer. The hospital is one of only 147 hospitals to achieve the Top Performer distinction the past four consecutive years.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.
 ... Read More 
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  Entertainment Calendar
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Community Calender
• Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
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 
Craft sale at Palm Gardens
LARGO – The Palm Gardens of Pinellas is having a craft sale to raise funds for its residents Tuesday, Dec. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 200 15th Ave. SE. The sale is open to the public. For more details, call Etta Netherton at 495-1320.
 ... Read More 
Evensong series
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Calvary Episcopal Church will present Evensong services Wednesdays, at 6 p.m., from Dec. 3-17, at 1615 First St. The services will feature ancient hymns and chants. Call 595-2374.
 ... Read More 
Holiday Lights in the Gardens
LARGO – The 14th annual Holiday Lights in the Gardens event will be run Nov. 28 through Dec. 31 at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Parking is available at either 12520 Ulmerton Road or 12211 Walsingham Road.

The gardens are magically transformed into a star-studded venue of more than 750,000 twinkly LED lights daily from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

A stroll through the shining gardens has become a tradition for visitors from both near and far as they are wowed by colorful lasers, animated figures and entertainers at this festive celebration of the holiday season.

A donation of $4 is requested for visitors 13 and older. Children 12 and younger are free. For information, call 582-2147 or visit www.flbg.org.
 ... Read More 
• Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
Countryside Library book club meeting
CLEARWATER – The Countryside Library, 2741 State Road 580, is continuing its popular book club that meets the third Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. Titles for the monthly sessions are as follows:

• Feb. 20 – The Dressmaker, by Kate Alcott

• March 20 – Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

• April 17 – The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian

• May 15 – Still Foolin‘ ’Em, by Billy Crystal

• June 19 – The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, by Naomi Ragen

• July 17 – My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

• Aug. 21 – Breakfast at Sally’s, by Richard Le Mieux

• Sept. 18 – Making Rounds with Oscar, by David Dosam

• Oct. 16 – The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon

• Nov. 20 – Luna, by Julie Anne Peters

• Dec. 18 – My Life with Charlie Brown, by Charles Shultz  

Call 562-4970 or visit www.myclearwater.com /cpl.
 ... Read More 
Gaming Club
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The Seminole Recreation Division now offers an adult Gaming Club that meets the third Thursday of every month, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Holland G. Mangum Recreation Complex, 9100 113th St. N.  

This group is open to individuals 16 and older. Various board and card games will be available. This program is free for members and $3 for nonmembers.  

Call 391-8345 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Garden tours
LARGO – Vegetable, herb and tropical fruit garden tours will be offered Thursday, Dec. 18, 9 to 11 a.m., at Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road.

Participants will explore the vegetable garden and compost demonstration areas in the Botanical Gardens and learn about growing their own food. Tours are free and limited to groups of four to 16 people.

Tours are recommended for adults only. Registration is required. Call 582-2100 or visit tinyurl.com /p9rxa6d.  
 ... Read More 
Historical Society meeting
PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park Historical Society meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd. Refreshments will be available. Call 541-6206 for more information.
 ... Read More 
Holiday Lights in the Gardens
LARGO – The 14th annual Holiday Lights in the Gardens event will be run Nov. 28 through Dec. 31 at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Parking is available at either 12520 Ulmerton Road or 12211 Walsingham Road.

The gardens are magically transformed into a star-studded venue of more than 750,000 twinkly LED lights daily from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

A stroll through the shining gardens has become a tradition for visitors from both near and far as they are wowed by colorful lasers, animated figures and entertainers at this festive celebration of the holiday season.

A donation of $4 is requested for visitors 13 and older. Children 12 and younger are free. For information, call 582-2147 or visit www.flbg.org.
 ... 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.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News