On The Pulse: Heart of Florida forges new partnership

What’s Happening: Heart of Florida forges new partnership with Nemours and other medical news

Under a new partnership, Nemours Children’s Hospital of Orlando is providing hospital-based pediatrician care to newborns and children at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Haines City.  “When a child needs to be hospitalized, it is best for the patient and family if the hospital is close to home,” explains Ann Barnhart, Heart of Florida’s chief executive officer. “This partnership [. . .] makes it easier for families in and around Polk County to spend time with their hospitalized child while being cared for by the physicians employed by Nemours, an organization that solely focuses on the care of children.”

Dr. Carolina Echeverri-Arranz, a board-certified pediatrician, is serving as medical director for the Nemours – Heart of Florida Pediatrics Program. She trained at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) opened in October 2012 in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City close to Orlando International Airport.  NCH offers advanced pediatric specialty care never before offered in Central Florida, including two pediatric interventional radiologists, a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, and the only surgeon in the southeast who treats children living with intestinal failure.

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, a 200-bed acute care facility, offers a full spectrum of services supported by more than 200 physicians representing various medical specialties.

In other medical news:

* Lake Wales Medical Center

Andrew D. Howard, assistant chief executive officer of Lake Wales Medical Center (LWMC), has been named the center’s interim chief executive officer.

A search for a permanent chief executive officer is underway. It includes internal and external candidates. Howard is replacing Scott Smith, who is relocating to Hillsborough County to accept another healthcare position.

Howard, 37, joined LWMC in April as assistant chief executive officer, coming from Corinth, Mississippi, where he served four years as director of operative services at Magnolia Regional Health Center. He has 15 years of leadership experience and 10 years of experience in hospital operations. He is board-certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He holds Masters’ degrees in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration, both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also serves as a Major in the Air Force Reserves. He and his wife, Candace, have three children.

* Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3)

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is conducting a research study to learn more about how to prevent the disease.Called Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3,the study will gather data from survey participants to help the ACS better understand the genetic, behavioral, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.

To be eligible, participants must be between the ages of 30 and 65, live in the United States or Puerto Rico, and be willing to respond to periodic surveys for the next 20 to 30 years. Additionally, they must never have been diagnosed with cancer, with the exception of some skin cancers.

The sign-up process includes making an appointment at cancer.org/cps3florida and completing a survey. The second step involves a local enrollment event, where a blood sample will be taken.

The events take place Tuesday, November 12, and Friday, November 15, at Watson’s Main Clinic in Lakeland. On November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. enrollment is open at Winter Haven Hospital. On November 14, enrollment is open between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Winter Haven Hospital’s Regency Center for Women and Infants.

* Winter Haven Hospital

Patients can find out if they are at risk for diabetes at a Diabetes Health Fair scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, November 9 at Winter Haven Hospital Wellness Center, 1st Floor, Grande Lobby, 200 Ave. F Northeast, Winter Haven. Admission and parking are free. The fair also will help those with diabetes make positive changes in their health.

Hospital officials also announced Dr. Jason T. Atienza,a board-certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, has been appointed medical director of the Joy-Fuller Rehabilitation Center.As medical director, Dr. Atienza develops and implements individualized treatment plans for patients and provides direction for overall program planning.

Dr. Atienza completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at Stanford University in Stanford, California. His areas of interest and expertise include spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, musculoskeletal and sports medicine, prosthetics/orthotics, electrodiagnostics, and Electromyogram (EMG)-guided motor points and nerve blocks.

In October, Winter Haven Hospital was a Florida co-host hospital for the annual American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference®. The annual conference held at Orange County Convention Center attracted nearly 8,000 nurses and nursing executives from top hospitals to celebrate Magnet recognition and share evidence-based practices. The hospital was one of three cohosting Magnet hospitals in Central Florida. Winter Haven Hospital has been a Magnet hospital since 2008; Magnet status is given as a “gold standard” for nursing distinction by the ANCC.

* Watson Clinic

Watson Clinic is the first medical facility in the area to offerthe world’s first high definition Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scan system, Discovery CT750 HD.The system produces images of greater clarity than ever before, performs imaging tasks up to 100 times faster, and reduces radiation exposure by up to 50 percent compared toprevious scanners. It also enables clinic doctors to examine structures as small as a grain of sand.

Five new doctors have joined the roster at Watson Clinic: Dr. Kerry M. W. Fike, mohs micrographic surgery, Bella Vista Building, Lakeland; Dr. Geetha L. Krishnan, internal medicine, Main Clinic, Lakeland; Dr. Milan M. Lombardi, dermatology, Lakeland South; Dr. Bernard (Rusty) Tortorice, anesthesiology, Lakeland Regional Medical Center; and Dr. Janet M. Kong, family medicine, Main Clinic, Lakeland. Kathryn Peeples has joined Watson as a nurse practitioner with family medicine specialist Dr. Jeremy Katzmann at the Lakeland Highlands location.

Dr. Richard Cardosi, a gynecologic specialist at Watson, is one of six physicians in Florida to offer Single-Site Robotic Hysterectomy.  Recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a Single-Site Robotic Hysterectomy provides the benefit of a smaller, one-inch incision that is less painful.It also shortens the hospital stay, reduces complications, and allows patients to return to normal activities quicker.

The Watson Clinic Women’s Center and Center for Cancer Care and Researchare offering a series of support groups to provide guidance and expertise to patients and families dealing with life-altering medical conditions. Facilitated by experts, most classes are open to the public, as well as to Watson Clinic patients. These resources include support for breastfeeding, breast cancer, diabetes, chemotherapy, prostate cancer, and smoking cessation.

* Gessler Clinic

Dr. Mathew Oommen, a urologist, will be joining Winter Haven-based Gessler Clinic December 2.

* Bond Clinic

Maria Kelley has joined the Winter Haven-based Bond Clinic as a nurse practitioner working in the Cardiology Department with Dr. Sirisha Reddy.

* Lakeland Regional Medical Center

David LaRose, LRMC’sdirector of Safety, Security and Emergency Management,has been named the 2014 president-elect to the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) Executive Board of Directors. He has served on the board as vice-president secretary since 2010.

In other LRMC news, Tim Boynton has joined the team as Director of Advancement for the LRMC Foundation.  Prior to his tenure at LRMC, Tim served as the development manager for Maine Children’s Cancer Program at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospitalin Portland, Maine. Karen Page has been appointed to a Clinical Practice Committee for the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).

Dr. Mark G. Bandyk,a urologic oncologist at Lakeland Regional Cancer Center, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Florida Urological Society and will serveas secretary-treasurer. His nomination and subsequent election are due to his recognition as a pioneer of Robotic Urologic Surgery, with nearly 10 years at LRMC and 20-plus years of urologic surgery practice.

* Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center achieved the Healthgrades® 2013 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ from Healthgrades®, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare, and connect with physicians and hospitals. The recognition distinguishes Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center as a top performing hospital in bariatric surgery.  It is one of four Florida hospitals to receive the award this year.







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