SEMINOLE - American Legion Post 252 Cross Bayou has teamed up with Dive Care to support scuba divers with disabilities - both civilians and veterans.
On Sunday, May 19, the nonprofit organization will hold a daylong course for those interested in becoming Dive Buddies for disabled individuals in the swimming pool at Cross Bayou, 11433 Park Blvd. Once certified following the training, Dive Buddies will then be able to assist those with disabilities in the pool or in open water.
While the class is only open to divers of a higher skill level and who have more experience under water, anyone is free to come down to watch the training.
“If you’re curious, you’re welcome to come observe and help get the word out about what we’re doing, and what Dive Care is doing,” said Raymond Kruse, the post’s historian and an avid scuba diver who organized the class with Dive Care. “It’s really interesting to see.”
In order for Dive Buddies to be able to assist those with disabilities, they need to experience those disabilities for themselves, Kruse said. So training includes the use of blacked out masks, to simulate blindness, and various ways of limiting the use of arms and legs.
Volunteers don't get paid, but the benefits are great, starting with feeling good about helping those in need. For medical doctors, dentists and other health professionals who give their time and skills to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County, there are other benefits, too.
Those who donate as little as an hour of their time a month can earn CEUs and apply the hours they give to their license renewal fees. Hours are flexible and locations can include health departments from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg, community clinics or the volunteer's own practice.
Volunteers are covered by sovereign immunity that protects them from malpractice while they are donating their time and health skills.
Many retired doctors and dentists find that becoming a health department volunteer is a great way to help others while maintaining a flexible schedule.
Early detection is the key to the successful diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and cervical cancer, but women who have no insurance and are too young for Medicare often cannot afford to get these lifesaving screenings. In Florida, there's a state resource that can provide these screenings at no cost for those who qualify.
Women between the ages of 50 and 64 who cannot afford mammograms and cervical cancer screenings can apply to receive these tests at no cost through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.
The program provides no-cost breast and cervical cancer screening exams to women in that age group who are low income, uninsured or have insurance that doesn't cover these screenings.
Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired Hearing loss currently affects more than 36 million American persons younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.
On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging, and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, the Better Hearing Institute in conjunction with Bob Evans Hearing Center is celebrating Better Hearing Month this May.
As part of Better Hearing Month, Bob Evans Hearing Center is encouraging consumers to be more aware of their hearing health. “Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises; ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum; illness or certain medications; and deterioration due to normal aging process,” explains Bob Evans.
SEMINOLE - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System recently received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-
Heart Failure Silver Quality Achievement Award.
The recognition signifies that Bay Pines VAHCS has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.
LARGO - Largo Medical Center recently earned a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International.
CARF is an independent, nonprofit organization focused on advancing the quality of services used to meet the patient’s rehabilitative needs for the best possible outcomes.
“This remarkable achievement shows that the staff at our hospital is dedicated and committed to improving the quality of the lives of our patients each and every day,” said Anthony Degina in a press release. Degina is CEO of Largo Medical Center.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Bruce Sobut has just finished a 167-mile bicycle ride across Florida. For that effort he will collect more than $4,000 from various sponsors to help fight polio in countries where it still exists.
A 167-mile bike ride is no small feat; neither is raising thousands of dollars for a cause. You might think Sobut, 55, of Indian Rocks Beach, has been doing this for years but in fact he’s relatively new to the world of long distance cycling and to the realization that polio still exists in some countries of the world.
SEMINOLE - Summer is fast approaching in the Sunshine State and Bay Pines VA Healthcare System employees are gearing up to “beat the heat” to help veterans.
The Bay Pines VAHCS will host its third annual VA2K “Walk and Roll” event Wednesday, May 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on the main medical center campus. The 2-kilometer event coincides with National Employee Health and Fitness Day and also raises awareness of the VA’s commitment to ending veteran homelessness.
“Organizational wellness activities promote a healthy workforce, improve morale and ultimately increase employee satisfaction and productivity,” said Suzanne Klinker, director of Bay Pines VAHCS. “This event not only benefits the health and wellness of our workforce, it also helps raise awareness of our commitment to homeless veterans. It’s a win-win.”
As part of registering for the event, participants will have the opportunity to donate goods or money to benefit homeless veterans. Goods accepted for donation include new hygiene products like soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, toilette paper, cleaning supplies, alarm clocks and clothing.
LARGO - Largo Medical Center recently received national recognition for its Internal Medicine program residents ranking fourth in the nation on the most recent American College of Osteopathic Internal Medicine in-service exams.
IM residents in more than 140 D.O. and M.D. residency programs take this in-service exam annually nationwide.
“This significant exam scoring achievement is based on cumulative grades over the past three years,” said Joseph Namey, D.O., in a press release. Namey is Largo Medical Center internal medicine residency program director. “The internal medicine faculty at Largo Medical Center should be commended for their commitment and dedication to resident education in a complex time when healthcare is rapidly changing. Our community will benefit greatly from the patient care provided from these physicians-in-training now and for years to come.”
Among Friends conference
LARGO – Award-winning singer-songwriter Kathy Troccoli, along with special guests Lisa Harper and Ellie Lofaro, will present the Among Friends conference May 17-18, at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road.
The conference will consist of two sessions, with the first set for Friday, May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. and the second on Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Troccoli will bring her inspirational and relatable message to the church.
The Among Friends conference is an intimate event to encourage, comfort and inspire women. It offers attendees an opportunity to laugh together, cry together and grow together.
Children’s authors appearing at library
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Library an array of local children’s authors on Saturday, May 18, 1 to 3 p.m. The Palm Harbor Library is at 2330 Nebraska Ave. Call the Youth Services Department at 784-3332, ext. 3018. No preregistration is necessary.
Four authors – Lucy Forsting, Rose DeNaro, Dori Hampl and Francine Larson – will be presenting their children’s stories and discuss how they came up with their ideas, how they became published authors, and even read excerpts from their books. Book sales and signings will follow the presentations and refreshments will be served.
The stories range from mice to dogs to goats and parrots.
Clearwater Garden Club plant sale
CLEARWATER – The annual plant sale will take place Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Clearwater Garden Club, 405 Seminole St. with plants for sale all over the property making for a relaxed shopping experience. Attendees also will have a chance to get to know some of the club’s members and get membership information.
Clearwater Gateway Farmer’s Market CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Gateway Farmer’s Market is open each Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Cleveland Street east of Missouri Avenue. Parking is available at Fifth Third Bank, 1150 Cleveland Street; Greektown Grille, 1230 Cleveland St., and Maxa Enterprises, 1275 Cleveland St.
This family friendly event welcomes customers with children, bikes and dogs as they shop for local food, produce, artisan goods, and enjoy the free entertainment.
Visit www.myclearwatermarket.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coast Guard open house
CLEARWATER – The Coast Guard Station Sand Key is launching National Safe Boating Week with an open house Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plenty of fun activities are planned for kids. The Coast Guard Station Sand Key is located at 1375 Gulf Blvd.
Admission is free.
People can tour the 45-feet, 25-feet and 24-feet Coast Guard Response Boats and learn how the Coast Guard dispatches them for missions such as search and rescue, environmental response, and law enforcement.
On-the-water demonstrations will include towing, flares, and the Coast Guard line-throwing gun. Boating Safety and Education booths will have information on boating classes, vessel safety checks, life jackets, training for kids, federal and state requirements for boaters and their boats, and the CG Auxiliary.
Fire Truck Pull
PINELLAS PARK – The third annual Fire Truck Pull will take place Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave. N. For more information, call 546-2170 or visit www.bethematchfoundation.org/got/firetruck.
This event is free for the public to watch; cost is $100 per team entered. There also will be family-friendly games, face painting, refreshments, photos and more.
All proceeds benefit Be the Match Foundation. The organization helps patients in need of a marrow transplant, but have no donor match in their family, by finding an unrelated donor and receive their transplant.
McGough Nature Park night hikes
LARGO – Night hikes will be presented the following months on Saturdays: May 18, June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at George C. McGough Nature Park, 11901 146th N. St.
This will be a free interpretative nature hike through McGough’s habitats. Call 518-3047.
Open air market LARGO – The open air market continues every Saturday through May 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Largo Community Center.
Browse through a variety of fresh local produce and food vendors, crafters, and jewelry artists. There will be entertainment and plenty of family fun. The market is located at 400 Alt. Keene Road.
For more information, call 518-3131 or go to our website at LargoCommunityCenter.com.
CLEARWATER – The Florida Suncoast chapter of Friendship Force International will host a Scottish entertainment program on Saturday, May 18, 2:30 p.m., at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater campus, 2465 Drew St., in conference room ES 102. The public is invited, and no reservations are required.
The award winning Highlander Pipe Band and Highland Dancers from Dunedin High School will perform a 30-minute program of traditional music and dance to begin the meeting, followed by a brief question and answer session about Scottish culture. Friendship Force-Florida Suncoast officers will be elected after a brief organizational meeting following the performance and cultural information. The public is welcome to stay for this, which will end by 4:30 p.m.
PINELLAS PARK – Zumba classes are offered at Broderick Recreation Center, 6101 66th Ave. N., every Saturday from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Cost is $5 per person. Call 204-0973 or email email@example.com for more information.
Zumba is a high-energy cardio, Latin dance fitness class designed to be fun and easy on the body. All ages and fitness levels are welcome. Wear comfortable workout clothing and sneakers, and bring water.