Lavender is a Rex and Lions Mane mix. She is kind, loving, cute and gentle. Lavender likes to cuddle and play, but especially loves attention! Lavender lives with her owner, Eva Jordyn Pagni, in Wesley Chapel.
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) will host a Medicare 101 meeting, through Zoom, on Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. The session will provide an overview of the different parts of Medicare, including Parts A, B, C, D, Medigap and available financial assistance. Contact Geralyn Fortney at (727) 570-9696, ext. 273 or , to find out how to register.
Premier Community HealthCare will host a Women’s Health Screening & Education Day on Aug. 31 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at several locations. Participants can receive a free clinical breast exam, pelvic exam, pap test, blood pressure test, body mass index (BMI), and giveaways and health information. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome, too.
Local offices include:
- Dade City Family Health Center, 14027 Fifth St.
- New Port Richey Family Health Center, 2114 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity
- Women’s Health Center, 38030 Daughtery Road in Zephyrhills
- Zephyrhills Health Center, 37920 Medical Arts Court
Other locations include Spring Hill and Brooksville.
For information or to make an appointment, call (352) 518-2000.
Staff receives grant for PPE
A grant from the Pasco Aging Network (PAN) has enabled the team at Gulfside Hospice to provide additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff on the frontlines caring for patients.
The $750 grant was awarded to the nonprofit through PAN’s Annual Grant Program, which awards funds to organizations or projects that are focused on the needs or services for senior citizens in Pasco County.
At Gulfside Hospice, the funds were used to purchase PPE, including gloves, thermometers and disposable stethoscopes, in an effort to continue protecting its nursing staff during the current pandemic.
“Our team is on the frontlines caring for the most vulnerable during this pandemic,” said Tara Still, Fundraising Communications coordinator for Gulfside, in a news release.
“These funds will go a long way in purchasing much needed supplies to help protect them while they are bravely caring for patients,” Still said.
Gulfside Hospice, a division of Gulfside Healthcare Services, has been caring for patients and families in Pasco County for more than 30 years. The nonprofit offers patient care for those facing life-limiting illness, in addition to caregiver support and bereavement services, at no charge.
For information about Gulfside Hospice or to make a donation, visit Gulfside.org, or call the Philanthropy Department at (727) 845-5707.
Giving a ‘boost’ to patients in need
For years, the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club has provided comfort pillows for post-surgical patients at AdventHealth hospitals. Club member Barbara Booth recently delivered 40 pillows to Anthony Cappellini, director of volunteer services at AdventHealth North. Because the entire club cannot gather during the COVID-19 pandemic, Booth stuffed and finished the pillows herself, which were sewn by members Susan Corcoran, Barbara Booth and club booster husband Lonnie Lykins. For information about the woman’s club, visit GFWCLutzLandOLakesWomansClub.org.
BayCare resumes surgeries
BayCare Health System has resumed all non-urgent surgeries and procedures as of Aug. 10, at its six acute care hospitals in Hillsborough County, according to a BayCare news release.
The change comes roughly five weeks after BayCare voluntarily curtailed inpatient, non-urgent surgeries to provide more hospital bed capacity in the community for COVID-19 patients. BayCare is now able to resume those services after working to increase its staffing resources and after seeing a downward trend in COVID-related hospital stays in recent weeks.
The change impacts these hospitals: St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s and St. Joseph’s Women’s in Tampa; St. Joseph’s-North in Lutz; St. Joseph’s-South in Riverview; and, South Florida Baptist in Plant City.
BayCare’s acute hospitals in Pinellas, Polk and Pasco counties resumed all non-urgent surgeries and procedures on Aug. 3.
BayCare began voluntarily pausing some non-urgent surgeries at its acute care hospitals in early July, to ensure the community had adequate hospital beds to address the second peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitals continued surgeries for all life-threatening situations. The hospitals also continued non-urgent surgeries that did not require overnight recovery in the hospital.
During the month of August, LifeLink of Florida will celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM) to bring heightened awareness to organ and tissue donation, and transplantation in minority communities.
Minorities often experience higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, which can contribute to organ failure, especially kidney failure. African Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to suffer from kidney failure, and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
During NMDAM, LifeLink of Florida will highlight the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities, provide donation education, encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.
Individuals interested in celebrating this month are encouraged to follow LifeLink’s social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to participate in the education programs offered. Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history; a single donor can save or improve the lives of up to 75 people.
LifeLink encourages the public to register their donation decision at DonateLifeFlorida.org, or when obtaining or renewing a driver license.
Lighthouse is August charity
Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano’s five offices will be collecting donations in August for the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired & Blind. The mission of the Lighthouse is to educate, empower and employ people who are visually impaired and blind.
The organization provides early intervention services for blind babies, programs for children, a teen school-to-work transition program, independent living skills training for adults and seniors, and other services to help people become as self-sufficient as possible.
Services are provided at no cost to program participants and all donations received will help provide more services to more people.
“The Lighthouse has a long history of serving visually impaired individuals in Pasco County,” said Fasano, in a news release.
“It is estimated that over a half million Floridians are sight impaired, with over 27,000 living within the Lighthouse’s service area….I encourage our community to support the Lighthouse either through making a cash donation or perhaps purchasing a specialty license tag, which will help the Lighthouse for years to come,” Fasano added.
Cash donations can be made at any of the five tax collector locations in Pasco County, and checks will be accepted by mail, too.
Individuals interested in switching their current tag for “A State of Vision” specialty tag may do so at any of the same locations.
For information about the tax collector’s charitable giving program, call Assistant Tax Collector Greg Giordano at (727) 847-8179, or visit PascoTaxes.com.
For more information about services provided at the Lighthouse, call Patricia Porter at (813) 713-2492.
Study volunteers needed
Researchers at the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute are looking for participants age 50 and older with no memory loss to take part in an Alzheimer Prevention Trials (APT) Webstudy.
APT is a first-of-its-kind online study that detects if people experience memory loss over time and need early intervention, and matches them with the right Alzheimer’s study, as quickly as possible.
Twenty percent of Floridians, more than 4.3 million people, are 65 and older, making Florida one of the ‘grayest states’ in the nation. Consequently, it has one of the largest populations of people with Alzheimer’s disease — a projected 580,000. This number is expected to skyrocket by 24 percent to 720,000 people in the next five years, according to Message Partners PR news release.
Volunteers take no-cost memory tests online every three months to monitor memory changes over time. If changes are observed, volunteers may be invited to an in-person evaluation to determine eligibility for additional Alzheimer’s studies.
To learn more and enroll, visit APTWebstudy.org.
Meet the teacher
Pasco County Schools will host on-campus Meet the Teacher/Orientation events, specifically for students in transition years — prekindergarten, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade.
The in-person events will take place as follows:
- Aug. 13 and Aug. 19 for sixth grade and ninth grade
- Aug. 20 for prekindergarten and kindergarten
Schools will communicate plans and schedules for students in all other grade levels.
Check your school’s website for more details.
New families should contact schools to virtually enroll or to arrange an on-site appointment.
Shoe & Sock Drive underway
The fifth annual Two Good Soles Shoe and Sock Drive is underway, as the Pasco County government and constitutional offices work together to collect footwear for kids in Pasco County schools, through Oct. 26.
Donations can be dropped off to the collection boxes at Pasco County Government locations, and the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller, Property Appraiser and Tax Collector offices countywide.
Last year’s record-setting drive resulted in 3,057 pairs of shoes and 13,285 pairs of socks.
Items collected will be donated to Pasco County Schools at the end of October, directly benefiting local students.
For information, visit PascoCountyFl.net/civicalerts.
- Marlene Alvarez-Brewer, Lutz: Bachelor of Science-Nursing from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Ricardo Barboza, Odessa: Bachelor of Science-Information Technology from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Laura Hicks-Leck, Lutz: Master of Science-Nursing Leadership and Management from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Mamta Kinsel, Lutz: Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Jenine Kopet, Lutz: Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University, Alabama
- Leia Randall, Land O’ Lakes: spring Dean’s List at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
CareerSource info sessions
CareerSource Tampa Bay has more than $500,000 to assist recent high school graduates, ages 16 to 24, to begin post-secondary training, paid work experience, or entrepreneurial training, according to a news release.
In response to COVID-19, CareerSource Tampa Bay’s (CSTB) Young Talent of Tampa Bay program is hosting virtual information sessions, bi-weekly, to inform youth about the services and training opportunities available.
Upcoming session dates are Aug. 19, Sept. 9 and Sept. 23, all at 10 a.m.
Eligible young adults need to be out of school, between the ages of 16 to 24, and be Hillsborough County residents.
The $5,000 scholarships are available to support eligible youth interested in starting a training program to kickstart their careers.
Services available include: Career Exploration; GED Assistance; Employability Skills Training, including Financial Literacy; National Certifications for Workplace Training; Career Coaching and Guidance; Tuition Assistance for local schools; Limited Supportive Services; Placement Assistance through on-the-job training or Paid Work Experience.
Some post-secondary training programs available include graphic design, pharmacy tech, HVAC, nail tech, welding, computer information technology, barbering, construction trades, surgical technology, dental assisting, or commercial vehicle driving, and more.
Several apprenticeships also will be available.
Registration for the sessions is online at CareerSourceTampaBay.com/job-seekers/youth.
New board designations
The Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) District Board of Trustees (DBOT) elected a new chair and vice chair for the 2020-2021 academic year at its July 21 board meeting, held via Zoom. Trustee Marilyn Pearson-Adams was elected to serve as chair, succeeding Alvaro Hernandez, and trustee Rao Musunuru M.D., was elected to serve as vice chair, a post previously held by new chair Pearson-Adams, according to a PHSC news release.
Pearson-Adams, of Brooksville, is the president of Century 21 Alliance Realty, a director with The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, and previously served as a board member of the Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board. Pearson-Adams has served on several professional committees and organizations, and holds relevant real estate industry certifications. She has served on the PHSC DBOT since 2014.
Musunuru, of New Port Richey, a practicing board-certified cardiologist in Pasco County since 1981, has served as chief of medicine, chief of staff, chairman of continuing medical education and chair of the board of trustees at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson. He has been an active American Heart Association volunteer since 1979 and is a past recipient of the AHA National Chairman’s Award, National Physician of the Year, and National Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award. In 2012, he received the state of Florida Education Commissioners’ Business Recognition Award, and in 2013 he was honored with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Southern Region Trustee Leadership Award. Dr. Musunuru has served on the PHSC DBOT since 1999.
“Chair Pearson-Adams and vice chair Musunuru are passionate about PHSC’s mission to provide accessible, affordable higher education and workforce training to the community,” said PHSC President Timothy L. Beard Ph.D.
“As prominent community leaders in, respectively, Hernando and Pasco County, we look forward to the wisdom and guidance that our new board leaders will provide through the year,” Beard said.
Hernandez, outgoing chair, was recognized for his exemplary leadership throughout his 2019-2020 term. Hernandez has served as a trustee since 2017.
Each July, the board elects new leaders and reviews meeting and event dates for the upcoming academic year.
The ninth annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival has been rescheduled to Nov. 8 at Centennial Park, 1800 E. Eighth Ave., in Ybor City. The event includes hot sauce samples; giveaways; more than 100 food, cultural and business vendors; and a live music and dance performance. An attempt also will be made to make the biggest Cuban sandwich in the world, at a goal of 190 feet. After the sandwich is made, it will be cut up and donated to a homeless shelter. Admission to the festival is free. To register, receive updates and special promotions, visit ILoveCubanSandwiches.com or TheCubanSandwichFestival.com.
The Land O’ Lakes High School Athletic Booster club will host its Swampfest fundraiser on Nov. 6 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Nov. 7 from noon to 11 p.m.; and Nov. 8 from noon to 6 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. Proceeds from Swampfest help fund scholarships. Admission is free. Guests pay for rides, games and food. Parking is $5 per car. For information, email Steve Silvest at .
The annual Scarecrow Festival at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City is scheduled for Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is now accepting vendors. Visit PioneerFloridaMuseum.org for information.
The Thomas Promise Foundation Board of Directors has announced that the 54th annual Rattlesnake Festival and the 42nd annual Rattlesnake Run will be canceled for this year. The event usually is in October. This is the first time the festival will not take place since its inception in 1967.