South Florida Hospital News
Friday April 3, 2020

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April 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 10




Holy Cross Hospital, in collaboration with Trinity Health, has announced the launch of the Military and Veterans Health Program (MilVet), a new pilot program to provide military service members, veterans and their families convenient access to high-quality, people-centered health care service designed for their specific needs.

“Thanks to Holy Cross and Trinity Health for this collaboration,” said Danny Burgess, U.S. Army Reserve, Captain, and Florida Department of Veteran Affairs executive director, who spoke during the ceremony. “There are gaps in need and as a community we need to step up to fill those gaps. That’s why programs like MilVet are so critical.”
The on-site training at Holy Cross includes helping staff better comprehend the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental impact of operational deployments on service members and their families, as well as how to provide competent and compassionate care for current and former female service members.
“We must take care of the 85 percent of veterans and their families that do not get their care at the VA,” said Dr. James (Greg) Jolissaint, U.S. Army, Retired, Colonel and Trinity Health MilVet program director. “As veterans, we want to be understood and communicated to. It’s more than just ‘thank you for your service,’ it’s also delivering to them patient-centered care. That’s what this program accomplishes.”
Making sure the heath care team is aware of the presence of a service member, veteran and/or family members, the program has created and supplied patient bracelets, patient room magnets, special badge clips and military branch flags/posters.
“As a society, we owe this service to our veterans and their families who have selflessly sacrificed their time and well-being for our country,” said Elyce Bishop, Navy Spouse and Clinical Education Coordinator at Holy Cross Hospital. “I am very proud to be a part of this magnificent team that is launching this project in Fort Lauderdale.”
More information is available at or

Nicklaus Children’s Health System recently announced that its multispecialty group practice has been renamed Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists (NCPS). Established in January 2015 as Pediatric Specialists of America, NCPS is a physician-dedicated, multi-specialty pediatric group with a regional, national and international presence in providing pediatric-centric care through a collaborative team approach, excellence in clinical care, education and research.

“Adopting the Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists name will better align our physicians and other providers with the branding and visual identity of the health system and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital,” said NCPS Board Chair Alex Soto. “This rebranding is a great advancement in helping families more easily recognize providers that are part of Nicklaus Children’s Health System as we continue focusing on our patients-and-families-first philosophy.”
The rebranding to Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists will involve a phased rollout of branding changes that will impact signage, patient communications, billing, marketing and other materials. The process is expected to be completed in mid-2020. The rebranded enterprise strives to enhance patient access to the highly sought after care provided by its physicians, while advancing research and medical excellence in all aspects of the group practice.

VITAS Healthcare announces the addition of Vietnamese and Tagalog languages to its recently redesigned website, joining existing versions in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

VITAS, which has seen steady growth in multiple markets across the nation, also saw an increase in non-English users of its website (38,000 new users in 2018). This growing demand for non-English content led VITAS to add two of the highest in-demand languages, Vietnamese and Tagalog, to meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals with unique and diverse backgrounds. “Xin chào” and “kumusta” mean “hello,” respectively, in Vietnamese and Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines.
“Providing the highest quality of care means giving patients, families and healthcare providers easy access to information in their preferred language and to hospice providers who understand their cultures and values,” said Drew Landmeier, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of VITAS Healthcare.
“By extending our website’s reach through careful translations, more people can easily access end-of-life-care resources from any device, resulting in an overall enhanced patient experience,” Landmeier explained. “This initiative also reinforces our longstanding investments in resources that meet the needs of our diverse communities, including patient and caregiver hospice training materials in Spanish, Mandarin, Creole and several other languages.”
Diane Deese, vice president of community affairs for VITAS, said an earlier translation of the website into Mandarin involved cooperation from Mandarin-fluent clinicians and religious leaders who continue to use it as a valuable educational resource.
“We want to remove language barriers and knowledge gaps that keep eligible patients from experiencing the benefits of compassionate, end-of-life care. Adding Vietnamese and Tagalog supports our goal of expanding access to hospice care in minority communities by providing information in their own languages,” Deese explained. “Further, by translating our resources that support health care professionals, clinicians have the necessary information to care for these communities.”

The Conine All-Star Golf Classic, now in its 26th year, raised $262,000 to underwrite expenses at the Conine Clubhouse at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood. The clubhouse is a hotel-like facility that provides free lodging to parents and siblings during a child’s hospital stay.

Since 1995, fundraising done at this tournament by former major league ballplayer Jeff and Cindy Conine has raised nearly $7 million to underwrite the facility’s operating expenses. To date, more than 12,000 families have stayed there to remain close to sick kids during critical times in their lives.
Celebrity attendees included: Pudge Rodriguez (pictured), Ki-Jana Carter, Tony Nathan, Gaby Sanchez, Bob Brudzinski, Luis Alicea, and many others.

VITAS® Healthcare expanded access to quality hospice care in North Naples and began accepting patients at the VITAS Inpatient Unit (IPU) at Solaris HealthCare Imperial.

“The Naples community is growing, and our expansion in Collier County allows us to provide comprehensive medical care and comfort-focused support to greater numbers of patients and their families near the end of life,” said Robert Johnson, general manager of VITAS in Collier County. “The VITAS amenities at Solaris provide extra layers of support around the clock from an expert hospice team in a place that feels like home.”
Located off US 41 in North Naples, the IPU features 12 private rooms, a family conference room, in-room TVs and internet access, private bathrooms, local artwork and an outdoor area. Family and friends can visit 24/7, with service animals welcome and pet visits upon request. Family accommodations are available at nearby hotels and restaurants.
To celebrate the opening of the new IPU, VITAS staff members and executives hosted an open house event for healthcare professionals on February 26. VITAS representatives showcased specialty services available to its patients and the community, including bereavement support and veterans’ services.
VITAS IPUs offer a temporary home away from home for patients near the end of life, along with their families, when symptoms can no longer be managed in their preferred setting of care. They receive 24/7 care from an interdisciplinary VITAS team comprising a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteer and bereavement expert who attend to the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

As studies show, going to a museum and engaging with the arts is a great way to improve your health and live a longer and more fulfilled life. Power up a visit to NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale by stopping at the Museum Café where you can now enjoy new Power Lunch menu selections created by nutritionists from Memorial Healthcare System.

The Power Lunch is an extension of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s continuing focus on health and well-being that incorporates creative engagement, social interaction and intellectual stimulation. Power Lunch is sponsored by Memorial Healthcare System.
Diners can choose from delicious options like California Toast with avocado, hummus and feta that’s a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and plant-based protein, a hearty Turkey and Brie Sandwich high in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and a Trio Cobb Salad on Romaine Lettuce loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer E. Randolph Richards has appointed Dr. Phyllis King, professor of nursing, as dean of the School of Nursing.

King is known to her peers as a professional whose passion is preparing nurses for servant-leadership roles from a Christ-centered perspective. She works through team-building and a collaborative leadership style to maximize the potential of her nursing colleagues and her students. Her long career in faith-based academia as well as her experiences in acute and community nursing practice benefit her students, Richards said.
King earned her doctorate from the University of Tennessee in nursing, and is a trained educator for the Robert Wood Johnson’s End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium. Her nursing practice and research in end-of-life care, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research, have resulted in opportunities to present at international and national conferences such as Sigma Theta Tau, the International Nursing Honor Society, the Southern Nursing Research Society, Rutgers University Continuing Education and the Mayo Clinic.
King joined the nursing faculty at Palm Beach Atlantic in 2011. 


President and CEO Nick Westfall of VITAS® Healthcare has been named one of seven new members of the board of directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Westfall joined VITAS in 2012 to lead the company’s field operations, becoming chief operating officer in 2015 and president and CEO in 2016. He previously was director of information and technology and operations for Chemed Corporation (NYSE: CHE), the parent company of VITAS. Prior to Chemed, he was a senior manager at Deloitte and Touche LLP.
Westfall is a member of the Advisory Board to Programs in Health Management and Policy at the University of Miami Business School and a board member The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (CTAC). In 2018, he received a CEO Today Healthcare Award.
Westfall earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Maureen Mann, assistant vice president of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute and Christine E. Lynn Women's Health & Wellness Institute, has recently been elected as vice chair of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

In her role as vice chair, Mann will work with other leadership at the ACS CAN to leverage the power of government to end suffering and death from cancer. She will work with volunteers across the country to educate elected officials on important cancer-fighting policies that positively impact legislation by supporting cancer research, prevention and treatment.
Mann previously served on the ACS CAN’s Board of Directors as treasurer. She was a leader in Florida’s successful effort to raise the state’s cigarette excise tax by $1 per pack in 2009, the first increase in more than two decades. She played a key role in defeating a proposal to cut millions from Florida’s tobacco control program earlier this year and she helped grow the South Florida Policy Forum into one of the largest ACS CAN fundraising events in the country.

Lee Health is pleased to announce the newly elected officers of its Board of Directors for 2020.

David F. Collins has been elected as Board Chairman for 2020. A resident of Lee county since 1984, he has been a mortgage banker for more than 29 years and has served as a board member for PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, and as treasurer for the PACE Capital Campaign. In 2018 he served on the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Committee and serves on the De LaSalle Academy Finance Committee. Graduate of Leadership Lee County Class of 2012.
Therese Everly has been elected as Vice Chairman. She is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and licensed Florida Realtor who also serves on the boards of the Lee County Homeless Coalition and Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulfcoast Chapter. Everly has served as a member of the City of Cape Coral Financial Advisory Board, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships Board and is a former adjunct professor at Florida Southwestern State College. She has over 30 years of health care and management experience accompanied by a degree in health care administration.
Donna Clarke has been elected as Treasurer. She is a former Florida State Representative and has served as an adjunct professor with State College of Florida. Clarke earned a master’s degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has previously owned and operated an environmental consulting firm. She currently is co-president of the Fort Myers Kiwanis Club and has served as vice-chair of the STARS Advisory Board. She has also volunteered as a math tutor at the Pace Center for Girls of Lee County.
Diane Champion has been elected as Secretary. Nine-year Board liaison to the Lee Health Volunteers. She was a business owner/manager for 40 years, resident of Lehigh Acres for 41 years. She has served as the Committee Chair for Children’s Activities of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event and is an elected member of the Community Council of Lehigh Acres as well as a volunteer at Southwest Florida International Airport.
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