On the Pulse

Healthcare professionals across the area finish 2020 on a strong note with accomplishments and awards.

The year 2020 is one for the history books, and what a year it has been! Those working in the healthcare industry in Central Florida have faced new and unique challenges with poise, determination, and true grit to provide the best in healthcare to area residents. Explore all of the new hires, achievements, awards, openings, and new services that have been happening at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office near you!

Gessler Clinic
In new employee news, Gessler Clinic announced the addition of Dr. Yerania Rodriguez-Naveda to its team of accomplished physicians.  Dr. Rodriguez specializes in Rheumatology and is accepting new patients.

Watson Clinic
In new employee news, Watson Clinic welcomed two new expert audiologists to the team. Logan H. Bonadio, AuD, ABAC, and Lindsey Moder, AuD, CCC-A, will both offer their services from the Watson Clinic Hearing Center at the Bella Vista Building location in Lakeland and the Highlands location in Lakeland

Watson Clinic also welcomed registered nurse practitioners Brooke Livingston, APRN, FNP-C, Bertha Harley, APRN, Heidi H. Cook, APRN, M. Allison Fojtik, APRN, William D. Keeler, APRN, and Sara Stephen, APRN. Livingston will be working alongside board-certified family medicine physician Rony J. Alvarado, MD at the Watson Clinic Highlands location; Harley treats patients exclusively at Lakeland Regional Health; Cook serves cardiology patients from the Watson Clinic Main location in Lakeland; Fojtik will be assisting cardiology patients from Watson Clinic Main in Lakeland; Keeler serves patients of board-certified Family Medicine physician Dr. Jason Saylor from the Watson Clinic Highlands location in south Lakeland, and Stephen works alongside board-certified urologist Dr. Mark Swierzewski from Watson Clinic Main in Lakeland.

In community outreach news, November saw the donation of shipments of sanitizer and personal protective equipment (PPE) to students and faculty at the Winston Academy of Engineering in Lakeland by the Watson Clinic Foundation (WCF). According to a Watson Clinic press release, the donation was made in partnership with the Adopt-a-School program, which was devised by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the Love Lakeland non-profit organization. The Adopt-a-School program encourages local businesses and organizations to “adopt” a school of their choice by sponsoring shipments of sanitation and PPE supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Joseph’s Hospital-North
In news of awards and recognition, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North announced that Kimberly Demers, the nurse manager of the Emergency Department, is the recipient of a Patriot Award, an award of the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. The award recognizes Demers’ support of her employee’s participation in the National Guard and Reserve. Per the ESGR’s website, the Patriot Award reflects an employer’s “…efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.”

Nemours Children’s Hospital
In new services news, Nemours Children’s Hospital announced that My Kids’ Doctor, a pediatrics medical group practice in Kissimmee, joined Nemours Children’s Health System on December 1st. Dr. Nora Bolaños and Dr. Dorianne Colón will still see their current patients, and “the care we deliver will remain the same,” said Dr. Nora Bolaños in a press release. The practice is moving less than a mile away from its old location to the Nemours Children’s Primary Care in Kissimmee.

In recognition news, Nemours Children’s Hospital was named in December a “Top Children’s Hospital” nationally by The Leapfrog Group. It is the fourth time the hospital made the list. The Leapfrog Top Hospital designation is recognized in the industry as one of the most competitive awards an American hospital can receive. The Top Hospital designation is given by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers with a reputation for setting high standards for health care safety and quality. 

BayCare: Bartow Regional Medical Center, Winter Haven Hospital, and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital
In employee news, BayCare announced in November that Misty Holland has been named the new Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for the Polk region, which includes Bartow Regional Medical Center, Winter Haven Hospital, and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. Holland brings over 25 years of experience in various specialties including emergency services, intensive care, and telemetry.

Lakeland Regional Health
In employee news, Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group welcomes Daydre Lanier, APRN; Megan Wagner, PA-C; cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon Mohammed Hassan; and Brian Win, PA-C. Lanier is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at Florida Polytechnic University Health Clinic. She is certified by the American Board of Nurse Practitioners. Wagner joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Physician Assistant at Southeastern University’s University Health Center. She is certified through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Hassan joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Outpatient Care Center, located at the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Win joins the Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Certified Physician Assistant, seeing patients Urgent Care locations and through telehealth. Win is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

In recent accomplishments, Morgan Perkins, BSN, RN; Leslie Wood, MSN, RN, ONC; Thaisha Soler, ADN, RN; Kimberly Walker, MSN, RN; Lauren Morata, DNP, APRN-CNS, CCRN, CCNS; April Novotny, MSN, RN, CENP, CEN; and Han Estep, BSN, RN, had their research published in the October issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration. The article is titled “Inpatient Nurses’ Perception of Workplace Violence Based on Specialty.”

In new treatment news, Lakeland Regional Health announced in December that it is now treating COVID-19 patients with bamlanivimab, the monoclonal antibody treatment shown to reduce the severity of the virus and decrease the need for hospitalization by as much as 70 percent. In an LRH press release, Timothy J. Regan, MD, President, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center/Chief Medical Officer, said, “This new COVID-19 drug therapy has great promise. Particularly as we see a rise in COVID-19 cases around our state and country, Lakeland Regional Health is steadfast in its commitment to provide leading-edge, evidence-based treatments and processes to the patients and families we serve. We are pleased to be among the first health systems in the state to offer this drug treatment.”

Accessibility Toolbar