South Florida Hospital News
Thursday December 18, 2014
December 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 6



While oxygen is essential to our planet’s life force and the way we function and stay healthy, high concentrations referred to as oxidative stress may very well be the cause of more than 70 widely-spread diseases such as cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and eye diseases including macular degeneration.
Scientists at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, as well as the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, have found that sulindac, a known anti-inflammatory drug, can protect against oxidative damage due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the primary causes of vision loss in the elderly. Their findings were released in an article titled “Pharmacological protection of retinal pigmented epithelial cells by sulindac involves PPAR-α” in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“What happens in age-related macular degeneration is that the retinal pigmented epithelial or RPE cells, which are essential to nourishing the retinal cells, are damaged by oxidative stress,” said Herbert Weissbach, Ph.D., director and distinguished research professor in the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “Our studies show that sulindac can protect RPE cells in culture against oxidative damage, suggesting that it could be an inexpensive and relatively non-toxic therapeutic approach for treating age-related macular degeneration."
Oxidative stress is mainly due to the imbalance between the free radicals produced within our bodies from the oxygen that we breathe in and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by “antioxidants systems.” This imbalance is the underlying basis of oxidative stress. Oxygen free radicals can also be produced by environmental agents including air pollution, radiation, cigarette smoking, excess stress and increased exposure to sunlight.
Florida Medical Center is the first hospital in Fort Lauderdale to remove blood clots from a patient using groundbreaking minimally invasive technology called the Angiovac® system. Ali P. Shahriari M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and medical director of the Aortic Disease Institute at Florida Medical Center, successfully performed the procedure.
“The AngioVac system provides patients with an alternative to open heart surgery,” said Dr. Shahriari. “In addition, they usually experience less pain and have a much quicker recovery compared to traditional open heart surgery.”


Palmetto General Hospital and North Shore Medical Center are dedicated to eliminating the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and build a healthy, sustainable food supply. In honor of Food Day on October 24, alongside Health Care Without Harm and more than 300 other hospitals across the country, Palmetto and North Shore served meals featuring meat or poultry raised without non-therapeutic antibiotics.
Every year, thousands of Food Day events throughout the country bring Americans together to push for improved food policies. This year, Palmetto General Hospital prepared rosemary roasted naked chicken with sundried tomato relish and Mediterranean braised tilapia. The chicken and fish were raised with no antibiotics, hormones, growth stimulators, animal by-products or pesticides in a stress-free and cage-free environment. The protein was accompanied by roasted tomato, fried boniato and steamed vegetables that were all locally grown. North Shore Medical Center prepared spicy Catalan pork stew, made with white beans, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, kale and grilled telera bread. They also served a roasted chicken breast baguette with fig marmalade, peppers and goat cheese. All the meat and poultry was raised without using antibiotics.
HealthFusion, maker of MediTouch EHR, was ranked as a Top 3 Electronic Health Record (EHR) for Clinical Quality and Support in the Medical Economics' National Provider Survey. Of those Top 3 EHRs, MediTouch is unique because it is the only one to offer full functionality on the Apple iPad. The Medical Economics National Provider Survey is a critical EHR ranking study because it asked thousands of physicians to rate their systems, on a scale of 0 to 10, in the key areas that matter most to them.
MediTouch EHR is an important solution for managing the chronically ill, optimizing the health of populations, and in the process, right-sizing healthcare spending such that medical care becomes more affordable. The program utilizes tablet devices such as the Apple iPad and smartphone touchscreen interface, as well as cross-compatibility with traditional desktop and laptop devices.
New technology is allowing current and future physicians, to examine the human body like never before through the use of a life-sized, virtual anatomy imagery called the Anatomage table.
Like a gigantic tablet, the table allows students to practice segmenting the anatomy by virtually slicing, dicing and dissecting it layer by layer. This innovation allows visualization of the skeletal tissues, muscles, organs, and soft tissue that can be customized.
This new technology allows for medical schools to have an alternative to traditional cadaver study because donations are skim. Supporters of the 3-D virtual image say inexperienced students can practice their skills and redo their incisions time and again in a way that real cadavers do not allow. By the time they are ready to work a real person, the medical student can be better accomplished.
The same reigns true for experienced physicians who use real scans of actual patients and can use them to inspect body images before surgery to minimize any surprises during surgery. Surgeons can use it to locate specific pathology in several views and decide on treatment plans and post-surgical reviews. These can also be used to teach their resident physicians and patients to learn about their body and to know what’s there before making that first cut.
Elizabeth “Liz” Tracy, a RN Unit Manager in John Knox Village’s Health Center, was recently honored with the 2014 Joan Anne McHugh Nurse Leadership Award.
The award recognizes “aspiring leaders who provide excellent clinical care to their residents while demonstrating leadership in long-term care nursing and a commitment to the profession.”
Liz graduated from Broward College with her Associate of Science in Nursing degree. It was three years ago when she landed a job at John Knox Village.
One example of Liz’s excellent leadership and as a resident advocate was illustrated this past year when she helped spearhead an initiative to eliminate the piercing alarm noises in our Health Center when residents at risk for falling attempted to stand without the assistance of others.
Broward Health Imperial Point (BHIP) has achieved the Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). According to the ANCC, BHIP is one of only five hospitals in the state of Florida to receive this designation.
The Pathway to Excellence designation identifies the elements of work environments where nurses can flourish. The designation substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses at BHIP and identifies it as one of the best places to work.
The Pathway to Excellence designation is granted based on the confirmed presence of characteristics known as “The Pathway to Excellence Criteria.” For an organization to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, it must successfully undergo a thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives in creating a positive work environment — as defined by nurses and supported by research.
The Edward J. Healey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riviera Beach, which is owned and operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, has earned a Five-Star Quality Rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare web site. The online comparison tool,, rates nursing homes around the nation on overall quality as well as in health inspections, staffing and quality measures. Of the 55 skilled nursing facilities in Palm Beach County, the Healey Center was one of 15 that earned a Five-Star Quality Rating.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awarded its annual Magnet® Honors Award to Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) in recognition of the hospital’s Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Program™. The program was developed by MCH clinicians to identify patients at risk and prevent falls in the care environment. The Magnet Honors Award is presented to a Magnet hospital that embodies excellence in patient care by creating and managing a transformational program that makes a difference for patients and nurses alike.


Nearly 100 freshmen Florida Atlantic University nursing students recently took part in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s first-ever white coat ceremony at the Boca Raton campus.
In addition to being the first nursing white coat ceremony of its kind at FAU, the College also welcomed its first class of freshmen nursing students this fall as part of the College’s new freshman-direct admission program, which allows outstanding freshmen to begin their nursing studies immediately, while in their first semester at FAU.
Pictured (l-r) are Freshmen FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing students Angel Hick, Kathryn Davies, Molly Yao, Michelle Oh, Sydney McDonald and Emani Stewart proudly wearing their white coats.
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