SEMINOLE - As a former mayor, lawyer, business executive and mother, Jody Armstrong has dealt with challenges in her life. But none were as scary as dealing with a tumor found near her pancreas. Her upper digestive tract is gone.
Nevertheless, Armstrong, 57, exudes enthusiasm and warmth in conversation. Perhaps, in her words, that’s because every day is a gift.
CLEARWATER - When disease strikes an individual, it cannot only affect the individual, but the entire family.
In the United States, the National Cancer Institute estimated that 1,685,210 new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in 2016 alone. Women with Purpose seeks to make this battle a little bit easier.
The primarily northern Pinellas County organization centralized in Clearwater is a nonprofit committed to helping families with nonmedical assistance, providing financial aid to cover the basic necessities. They do some work in Hillsborough as well.
DUNEDIN - By now, the story has been told many times by many people, but it hasn’t lost its luster after 80 years.
The story is about a man who was born on an Indian reservation in Utah and worked in a pharmacy as a 14-year-old. He would go on to medical school, move to Florida and invest his life savings to build a hospital at the behest of a community.
Dr. Jack Mease moved to Dunedin with his wife, Gladys, and young family in 1926 because he heard the town had “the best drinking water in Florida.’’ With only one other doctor in town, Mease enjoyed a thriving practice in the beginning and opened a 10-bed sanatorium in 1929.
The CVS Health Foundation recently announced more than $1 million in grants to 33 free and charitable clinics as part of a multi-year grant program with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics.
Over the past four years, the foundation has donated nearly $5 million to NAFC to increase access to quality care and support the management of chronic disease.
“As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health in the communities where we live and work,” said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation, in a press release. “Our support for the National Association of free and charitable clinics has yielded significant results over the past four years that demonstrate how increased access to quality care and innovative approaches to chronic disease management can affect the lives of the most vulnerable Americans.”
It all started with a small group of associates over two decades ago, and now Publix is the No. 1 National March for Babies Corporate Partner.
It’s a giant leap for the six-state based grocer, whose companywide campaign today involves over 190,000 associates in 1,145 stores with the support of their customers.
Publix’s annual register campaign launches on Saturday, April 29, and runs until May 20 in all stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. At checkout, associates will sell cutouts on which customers can write their name or the name of a baby they love.
CLEARWATER - Morton Plant Mease health experts will offer skin-cancer screenings to the community at the 21st annual Morton Plant Mease Melanoma Monday event Monday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion, Meeting Rooms A and B, on the Morton Plant Hospital campus, 455 Pinellas St., Clearwater.
Melanoma Monday is a nationwide annual campaign to encourage early detection and raise awareness of skin cancers. Morton Plant Mease physicians and health care practitioners participate to help educate the community.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of new cases of melanoma has been steadily rising for a decade with more than 76,000 Americans receiving a melanoma diagnosis last year.
CLEARWATER - According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. The good news is that skin cancers are easily treated if diagnosed early.
Riverchase Dermatology, at 1122 Druid Road in Clearwater, will offer free skin cancer screenings through May 31. New patients to the practice may call 1-800-591-3376 or visit riverchasedermatology.com/melanomamay to reserve their free skin cancer screening.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month and Riverchase Dermatology - named Top Practice for 2016 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for conducting the highest number of free skin cancer screenings in the country - is again opening its doors to new patients of the practice for a complimentary skin cancer screening. This is Riverchase Dermatology’s largest Melanoma May screening event in the company’s history, expected to offer more than 700 complimentary screening appointments at 16 different office locations spanning from Marco Island to Zephyrhills.
ST. PETERSBURG - Tyrone Square recently announced its spring 2017 More Than Pink movement in support of Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer.
As part of its pledge to donate $1 million each year in 2017 and 2018, more than 180 participating Simon Malls, The Mills and Premium Outlets nationwide will be participating in a range of activities during the months of April and May.
“It has been wonderful to see the positive response that the More Than Pink movement has generated over the past year,” said Kristen Esposito in a press release. Esposito is Simon’s vice president of tourism and marketing alliances. “Our shoppers, retailers and employees have embraced the opportunities we’ve offered to support Susan G. Komen in its tireless efforts to reduce breast cancer deaths, and we look forward to continuing that momentum this year.”
CLEARWATER - The Clearwater branch of Tetra Health Care, located in an office building at 2963 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., resembles a typical medical office.
The lobby features clean carpeting, bright walls and sleek graphics displaying the company’s logo, and the staff members, dressed in medical scrubs, are professional and courteous. Only Tetra Heath Care, or THC, is not your typical clinic - at least not yet.
It’s a “premier medical marijuana recommendation clinic,” according to the company’s website, a place where patients consult with physicians and attend seminars to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana use.
CLEARWATER - BayCare Health System sports medicine experts will join with a noted sleep and performance expert to offer strategies to help everyday athletes achieve their goals at the 2017 BayCare Sports Medicine Conference, Awaken Your Inner Athlete.
The conference, which is a BayCare effort to connect athletes of all abilities to the health care information they need to help support their health and fitness goals, will be held on Saturday, May 13, 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., at the Hilton St. Petersburg - Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg.
CLEARWATER - The Morton Plant Mease BayCare Health System will offer a number of programs in May at various locations. The monthly seminars are free and held at BayCare’s various Morton Plant Mease facilities and community centers around Pinellas County.
- Living Well: Health Care Access - Tuesday, May 2, noon, Largo Public Library, Jenkins Community Room B, 120 Central Park Drive, Largo
- Smoking Cessation Class - Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m., Mease Dunedin Hospital, Education Conference Room, 601 Main St., Dunedin
SEMINOLE - There isn’t much that Marie McCausland, 87, is able to do these days, due to her long-term battle with dementia.
In fact, she often didn’t leave her room, said Diane Lindahl, Clare Bridge programs manager at Freedom Square, a Brookdale senior living community in Seminole. Clare Bridge is the memory care unit at Freedom Square.
But this changed in January, when Clare Bridge introduced two animatronic pets - a cat and dog named Clare and Bridger, respectively - to the unit. The pets purr, bark and move when interacted with.
ST. PETERSBURG - Artistic talents were on display during the 18th annual Veterans Creative Arts Festival local competition at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.
The competition included 51 categories in the visual arts division that ranged from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there were 100 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing.
“The purpose of this event is to showcase the arts as a healing modality for our veterans,” said Erin Todd in a press release. Todd is a music therapist at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. “A lot of veterans are dealing with PTSD, depression, physical ailments, mental health ailments - it runs the gamut. But all of them have found a way for art to be a meaningful activity in their lives and some have even used it to help with their rehab and recovery.”
April is National STD Awareness Month, a time to promote education, testing and treatment about sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea that are treatable.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County provides confidential testing and treatment at STD clinics in its centers from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. As of Feb. 28, 732 cases of chlamydia have been reported year-to-date in Pinellas.
ST. PETERSBURG - Northside Hospital recently named Peggy Gatliff as the new chief financial officer.
Gatliff comes to Northside Hospital from the HCA West Florida Division where she served as division controller for the last five years. She has more than 26 years of financial management experience, 20 of which has been in the healthcare industry, including 11 years with HCA. Earlier in her career, Gatliff was controller at Northside Hospital.
Upper- and lower-body workouts and cardio exercise don’t require gym memberships.
In Pinellas, thanks to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant, outdoor equipment to get fit is available at no cost.
There are more than 15 Fitness Zones around the county in county and city parks. They’re free, fun and easy to use. The equipment includes information on its proper use and which areas of the body it targets.
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg General Hospital earned the Tampa Bay Times Top 100 Workplaces distinction for a fifth year, being recognized in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
St Petersburg General Hospital recognizes that every employee is important and contributes to the overall quality of patient care. Workplace Dynamics and The Tampa Bay Times conduct this annual survey to highlight great leadership, diversity, compensation and training, work culture and flexibility in businesses across the Tampa Bay area.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County received some good news and some not so good news when the 2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool was released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation March 27.
The tool, available at www.countyhealthrankings.org, provides “an easy-to-use snapshot,” to show that where people live is a factor in how well and how long they live. The rankings measure the health of counties across the United States, which can be used to help understand how community factors influence health, according to a media release from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
CLEARWATER - With BayCare HomeCare’s new telemonitoring service, homebound patients now have the opportunity see and talk to their homecare team without ever leaving the house.
Featuring tablet-style devices, the service provides two-way video and audio communication.
BayCare HomeCare has expanded its telemonitoring program by adding an interactive video component and syncing home-based patient monitoring devices such as blood pressure monitors, scales and pulse oximeters to the system.
ST. PETERSBURG - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System recently announced its Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
The designation was reported in the 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index, reflecting on a decade of progress in LGBTQ healthcare. A record 590 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2017 survey. Of those facilities, about 45 were VA medical centers. In addition to active survey participants, the HRC Foundation proactively researched key policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals. Of all those included in the HEI, 302 earned a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality designation.
“We are extremely proud of being recognized as a national leader in healthcare equality by the HRC for the fifth year in a row,” said Suzanne M. Klinker in a press release. Klinker is director of Bay Pines VAHCS. “The designation received from the HRC demonstrates our commitment to equitable, inclusive care for all Veterans and aligns with our strategic goal of becoming a 5-star organization in healthcare quality and customer service.”
PALM HARBOR - Morton Plant Mease’s sports medicine program will offer free sports physicals to student athletes Saturday, April 15, 8 a.m. to noon, in the gymnasium at Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor.
For more than 16 years, the health system has provided free sports physicals to approximately 9,000 student athletes.