South Florida Hospital News
Monday February 27, 2017

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February 2017 - Volume 13 - Issue 8



HeartWell LLP announced that its 23-physician cardiology practice has been accepted into the AvMed 2017 High Performance Network (HPN). This decision was based on consistent quality outcomes and cost efficient care provided by HeartWell doctors. HeartWell is the only cardiology team in the HPN that takes hospital call at Baptist Hospital.

According to Jeffrey Kaplan, Chief Operating Officer at HeartWell, this is excellent news for patients and referring physicians. “AvMed Medicare patients who use an HPN specialist provider will have a $5.00 co-payment instead of $40.00, and they will be receiving outstanding care from our integrated team of cardiologists, vascular specialists, lipidologists and electrophysiologists,” he said.
Every year, AvMed selects specialties using its quality and/or cost efficiency criteria and methodology. Through this process, AvMed recognizes physicians who consistently meet or exceed its performance criteria and acknowledges the value of all physicians that meet NCQA credentialing standards for network participation.
 “HeartWell is committed to providing the best possible patient care and care coordination,” added Kaplan. “Inclusion in AvMed’s HPN is a testament to our dedication and a benefit to all our patients.”

Broward Health North is proud to announce a new grant funded research study “Does loratadine dosed pre and post pegfilgrastim (Neulasta) injection decrease flu-like syndrome symptoms and increase quality of life in patients receiving outpatient chemotherapy?”

The DAISY Foundation funds research grants “to qualified nurses carrying out clinical research studies that directly benefit patients and/or families involving treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases.” BHN is the only facility in Broward County to receive a grant from the DAISY Foundation.
Maria Stevenson, RN, is chemotherapy-certified from the Oncology Nursing Society and will be the study’s Principal Investigator. 

Florida Medical Center proudly honors the hospital’s first DAISY Award winner, Samuel Villegas, R.N. As a nurse in the Operating Room, Samuel Villegas is being recognized for being a team player and collaborating with his fellow nurses to deliver the best patient care possible. Sam goes above and beyond to help his patients and care for them with compassion. He always has a smile on his face, and his positive energy is contagious. Sam was nominated by his colleague, Lauren Walk, for his outstanding performance in the OR.



Broward Health Imperial Point is proud to honor Judith Gallagher, R.N., as the recipient for the prestigious DAISY Award for January 2017. According to one of her patients, Judith “has been a wonderful blessing during my hospitalization, she went out of her way to make sure I was comfortable and ensure my stay at the hospital was very nice. My girlfriend and I really appreciated the love, kindness and compassion that she showed us. It is the little things she did, like getting me a sandwich at 3:30 in the morning. I wish all nurses were as caring as Judith because she goes above and beyond for everyone.” Judith does more than just provide great care to her patients, she also supports hospital advancement by playing an active role in the Holistic Care Council.


Congratulations to December’s Broward Health Coral Springs DAISY Award Winner, Kirsten Franzese. She works on 4 West and is still within in her first year as a new nurse. What an honor to be nominated so early on in her career! She was nominated by one of her patients who described her as “…a gem and asset to any patient who benefits from her genuinely compassionate attention. She is an exceptional role model of a caring, professional nurse and made the stay pleasant and bearable under difficult circumstances.”



Holy Cross Hospital has named Fort Lauderdale resident Carla Spina, MHA, as its 2016 Director of the Year. Spina services as executive director of the central billing office of Holy Cross Medical Group.

The Director of the Year Award is presented to a staff member who demonstrates leadership, serves as an inspiration to others, embraces new responsibilities and offers innovative and thoughtful insights.
Spina received her education in Philadelphia where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Temple University and her master’s degree in health care administration from Saint Joseph’s University.

Christopher R. DeMassi, M.D., Medical Director of the Memorial Neuroscience Institute Spine Center of Memorial Healthcare System was among 1,823 initiates from around the world who became Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).

As a key member of the Memorial Neuroscience Institute, Dr. DeMassi has been leading the development of the spine center at Memorial Neuroscience Institute. He also was an instrumental part of the team that helped certify the Epilepsy program as a Level 4 epilepsy center by NAEC. Dr. DeMassi was the first neurosurgeon in South Florida to implant the Neuropace device and has done a number of these procedures with this innovative technology.

Dr. Victor A. Velez-Aldahondo has joined the Holy Cross Medical Group.

Dr. Victor A. Velez-Aldahondo is a board certified neurologist with specialty in movement disorders. He recently served as a clinical instructor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and worked as a fee-basis physician for the Miami Veterans Affairs healthcare system. At the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, he completed a fellowship in movement disorders and clinical neurophysiology, a residency in neurology as administrative chief resident, and an internship in internal medicine. Dr. Velez-Aldahondo graduated as a Medicine Doctor, magna cum laude, from Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine. He received a B.A. in industrial microbiology and B.A. in biology, both magna cum laude, from Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Universitario de Mayaguez.

Board-certified neuro-interventional radiologist Michal Obrzut, M.D., has joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Pauline Braathen Neurological Center.

Dr. Obrzut completed fellowships in interventional radiology and endovascular surgical neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed additional advanced training in neuroradiology and diagnostic radiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and completed a medical residency at Georgetown University Hospital.

Dr. Juan A. Fernandez, nephrologist on the medical staff of Coral Gables Hospital, joins the hospital’s leadership team as the chief of staff.

Dr. Fernandez has been a member of the medical staff at Coral Gables Hospital since 1995.
He graduated from the University of Northeastern Catholic University and completed his Doctorate in Medicine Doctoral Thesis on Medical and Surgical Therapy for Peptic Ulcer Disease. He is certified with the Federation of State Medical Boards, American Board of Physician Specialties and Good Clinical Practice. 
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