On the Pulse: New Locations, Positions, Credentials, and More

Winter Haven Hospital (WHH) has once again earned the coveted Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), signifying excellence in nursing. The credential is the highest honor given in the professional nursing practice.

“Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to this community,” says Steve Nierman, WHH president. “To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses.”

To achieve the Magnet designation for the first time, an organization must apply electronically and submit written documentation on its patient care. When that written documentation warrants, an on-site visit follows. Then the Commission on Magnet Recognition reviews and votes on applications. If an organization has previously earned Magnet status, it must show how it maintained and improved upon Magnet concepts, performance and quality since its initial approval.

Magnet organizations typically have higher patient satisfaction with nurse communications, the availability of help, and discharge information. There is a lower risk of 30-day mortality and failure to rescue, as well as higher job satisfaction among nurses.

“We’re a better institution today because of the Magnet recognition we achieved four years ago,” says Mary Jo Schreiber, WHH Chief Nursing Officer. “It has raised the bar for patient care and inspired every member of our team to achieve excellence every day. It is this commitment to providing our community with high-quality care that helped us become a Magnet facility, and it’s why we continue to serve as a Magnet hospital today.”

The credential is held by 397 out of nearly 6,000 healthcare organizations in the United States. A 527-bed facility, WHH is part of BayCare Health System based in the Tampa Bay area, which includes South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City.

In other area medical news:


Gessler Clinic’s MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and Nuclear Medicine departments have been reaccredited for another three years by the American College of Radiology, the Winter Haven-based clinic announced.


Wendi Romano has been named the new Director of Emergency Services at Davenport’s Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center. A registered nurse, she will be helping ensure the staff focuses on organizational goals including clinical excellence and exemplary service.

She recently served as Pasco Regional Medical Center’s director of Emergency Service and managed the Labor and Delivery department. She previously worked as a registered nurse with LRMC for six years, serving as the chest pain coordinator from 2009 – 2010. After graduating from Polk State College, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida Southern University.


Dr. Timothy J. Regan, who has been working as assistant medical director of Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department,has been named chief quality officer and chief medical informatics officer for the hospital. He will provide executive oversight for patient care at the 851-bed medical center, the LRMC cancer center, and more than 100 clinicians. His new duties include overseeing initiatives to ensure collaborative approaches among caregivers, as well as assuring clinical systems help caregivers.

Dr. Regan took a leadership role in developing LRMC’s electronic health record system and the multi-disciplinary performance enhancements at the Emergency Department. He will continue his physician practice at the Emergency Department.


Lake Wales Medical Center (LWMC) is seeking volunteers at least 18 years old to work at the front desk, gift shop, medical staff office, and parking shuttle. For information, call Maryemma Bachelder at (863) 679-6869 or Julie Sing at (863) 679-6802.

Its Voluntary Auxiliary funds scholarships for local students pursuing healthcare degrees through purchases made in the gift shop in the main lobby.

Employee of the Quarter was Monica Pryce, who has worked with the hospital since 2007. Amanda Hulett, an employee since July 2011, was named Manager of the Quarter. Both designations were for the fourth quarter of 2013.


Watson Clinic is expanding its presence in South Lakeland, where work has begun on a new two-story facility on East County Road 540A. The building will house specialists in obstetrics/gynecology, dermatology, otolaryngology, audiology, and primary care, plus a fully-staffed XpressCare office for walk-in care.

Many of the practices are currently located in the Highlands Square building a quarter mile east of the new site. They will be moved to the new facility to accommodate growing community demand. “Watson Clinic’s move is in response to the tremendous growth and development experienced in this area over the past few years,” says Dr. Louis Saco, the clinic’s chief executive officer. “This new location will allow us to expand the services we provide and more effectively meet the medical needs of the residents living and working in the surrounding communities.”

The 35,000-square-foot medical office building, called Watson Clinic Highlands, is part of a three-building center to provide full services to South Lakeland and Bartow. The first phase is scheduled for completion in early 2015. Plans for the two additional buildings are under way.

Watson Clinic also has become part of the Moffitt Oncology Network, a distinction not held by any other Polk County health organization. Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida.The network shares Moffitt’s knowledge and expertise to outside providers to offer premiere personalized cancer care.

Watson Clinic received “Level 3 Recognition” as a Patient Centered Medical Home from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a non-profit group working to improve healthcare. The NCQA highlighted five clinic locations as Patient Centered Medical Homes, including the Main Clinic, Bartow, Lakeland Highlands, South and Plant City facilities that focus on primary care for new and established patients. Additional locations are devoted to more diverse specialized care.

The clinic has been named the official medical provider again for the Detroit Tigers Florida Operations and Lakeland Flying Tigers.

Its foundation donated a 2014 Kia Soul to Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE), which helps the elderly by providing transportation to medical appointments, among other things.

Dr. Shaily Shah, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, has joined Watson Clinic as a board-certified internal medicine specialist. She will serve patients from offices on the third floor (3W) of the Main Clinic at 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard, Lakeland.

The clinic’s Program for Employee and Recognition (PEER) awards went to Ryan Foreback, January; and Suzy Spath, February.

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