UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension will host a Virtual Earth Day Celebration on April 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. Educational sessions, with guest speakers, will include: Composting, gardening, getting outside, water conservation, forest services and recycling. To register, visit bit.ly/registrationpascoearthday. To join in on April 22, visit bit.ly/zoom2021earthday.
Land O’ Lakes teen to compete
Miss Land O’ Lakes Teen USA Eliza Smith, a sophomore at Land O’ Lakes High School, will be competing in the 2021 Miss Florida Teen USA pageant July 16 to July 18, in Orlando.
Smith has a GPA of 4.6, with all honors and AP classes. She has been a member of the National Junior Honors Society, and has received a nomination for the Future Leaders of Medicine Award.
Smith aspires to attend Duke University, to major in health sciences with a minor in psychology, with the hope of becoming a physician’s assistant.
Her platform, “Be Bold Be Beautiful Be You,” strives to educate people about the importance of mental illness awareness, reduce the stigma around them, and learn how to better support someone with a mental illness.
Free VPK offered
Pasco County Schools offers free VPK for three hours a day, for the 2021-2022 school year. Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, to be eligible. For information, contact the Pasco Schools VPK office at 813-794-2672.
Victory High open house
Victory High School will host an open house on April 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the Calvary Chapel Worship Center, Room 111 and Room 112, 6825 Trouble Creek Road in New Port Richey.
The open house is for new students, ages 14 to 19, seeking recovery from addictions, who are interested in enrolling in the private high school.
For information on the school, visit VictoryHighSchool.net.
Scholarship deadline extended
The deadline to apply for college scholarships of up to $5,000 from Hillsborough County Social Services and the Community Action Board has been extended to April 16.
Application materials can be downloaded on the county’s scholarship application page, at Tinyurl.com/ffzrrth8.
Detailed instructions on how to apply also can be found on the page.
Students may submit completed applications online only. Recipients will be notified in writing prior to the fall semester.
For questions, call Irina White at 813-272-5074.
Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) has announced the recipients of its annual NISOD Excellence Awards, which recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.
The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award recipients are:
- Carolanne Azan, DBA, assistant professor, Bachelor of Applied Science in supervision and management
- Karen Lotz, assistant professor, Bachelor of Nursing
- Jonathan Spiewak, instructor, mathematics
Because the 2020 conference was canceled, PHSC also recognized these honorees:
- Gary Cors, J.D., professor and paralegal program director
- Gloria Pray, assistant professor, economics and director of business programs
- Jeremy Scarbrough, Ph.D., instructor, philosophy
Hillsborough County Public Schools, in partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Program, is offering two scholarships to students worth a total of $9,000.
Superintendent Addison Davis’ Future of STEM Scholarship is a two-year Florida college plan worth $8,000, and is designed to encourage new teachers in areas with critical shortages. The scholarship will be awarded to a senior student attending Hillsborough County Public Schools who will study to become a teacher in a STEM subject.
Davis’ Preparing Students for Life Scholarship is a Florida 529 Savings Plan worth $1,000. It will be awarded to a parent or guardian who attends a kindergarten registration event or begins the registration process prior to April 30. The eligible student’s name will be drawn at random.
For information about both scholarships, visit bit.ly/HCPSscholarship.
Course fee adjustments
The Pasco-Hernando State College’s Board of Trustees will consider approving proposed adjusted course-related fees at its April 20 board meeting, at 6 p.m., at the West Campus in New Port Richey.
Many fee adjustments relate to vendor increases for workforce courses, laboratories, and program testing. Some fees may be covered by financial aid, scholarships and grants.
All fees charged by vendors are negotiated by the college, with additional fee increases and decreases expected in the coming academic year.
For details regarding proposed fee adjustments, justification for the fees and fee implementation details, visit Policies.phsc.edu, and click on the Policies and Procedures link.
The Republican Party of Pasco Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications for Pasco County Schools’ graduating seniors, including pubic, home-schools, charter and private schools.
Graduating seniors from any Pasco County high school are eligible if they meet this criteria:
- Must be a registered or preregistered Republican
- Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA
- Complete a 650-word minimum essay on the topic: “What is the importance of conservative values for young people in today’s world?”
- Extra points will be given for club and social activities, volunteer hours and campaign participation
- Must be planning to attend an accredited community college/university or accredited vocational school in Florida
Applications can be found online at PascoGOP.org, at the individual’s high school career counselor’s office, or at the Pasco Republican Party office in Hudson.
The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., April 30.
Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in May.
A brighter day for residents
The GFWC Wesley Chapel Woman’s Club painted mason jars and added flowers to deliver to 85 residents at the Hanna Assisted Living Facility in Tampa. Two of the club’s future Juniorettes also hand-made Easter cards to go with all the floral arrangements.
HCA Healthcare has been recognized for the 11th time by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies, according to a news release.
HCA Healthcare is one of seven honorees in the Healthcare Providers category.
The COVID-19 pandemic was at the forefront of 2020 and HCA Healthcare responded by protecting its colleagues and patients, and by partnering with others to improve care beyond the organization.
The company has not laid off any employees due to the pandemic and, in April, it instituted a pandemic pay program, which allowed the organization to continue to pay more than 127,000 colleagues, even when their hours were affected by the significant decrease in patients visiting hospitals across the country.
And, HCA Healthcare hospitals do not bill patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19, whether they have insurance or not, for testing or hospital care related to the treatment of the coronavirus.
In 2021, Ethisphere recognized 135 honorees spanning 22 countries and 47 industries.
To view the full list of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies, visit WorldsMostEthicalCompanies.com/honorees.
BayCare Health System has been named one of the 2021 Best Workplaces in Health Care & Biopharma by Great Place to Work and Fortune, according to a news release.
BayCare ranked seventh on the list based on feedback from more than 825,000 employee surveys from companies across health care and biopharma industries.
Employees evaluated their workplace in more than 60 different categories during a global pandemic that put health care and biopharma organizations on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
BayCare ranked as a top health care organization out of 28 large companies in the country for creating a great workplace experience for all team members, no matter who they are or what they do.
Gulfside receives grants
Gulfside Hospice has received two grants from United Way of Pasco, totaling $15,000, toward patient care costs and bereavement services, according to a news release.
The Community Impact Funding Grant provided $10,000 toward hospice charity care. The contribution will help cover hospice care costs for patients who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid benefits and cannot afford private insurance.
An additional Family Bereavement Grant was given to Gulfside in the amount of $5,000. These funds will provide staffing necessary for delivering free bereavement support services to Pasco County clients, training/certification for counselors to expand their skills, and equipment and software to create online content as a community resource.
For more information about Gulfside Hospice, visit Gulfside.org.
SHINE Outreach (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) will offer these upcoming Medicare information sessions, via Zoom:
- April 19 at noon: Medicare Part D Drug Plan
- April 21 at 10 a.m.: Medicare Part D Drug Plan
- April 21 at noon: Medicare Basics
- April 21 at 1:30 p.m.: Medicare Financial Assistance
- April 26 at noon: Medicare Long-Term Care
- April 28 at 10 a.m.: Medicare 101
- April 28 at noon: Medicare Part C Advantage Plans
Registration is required in advance.
For Zoom links and information, contact Geralyn Fortney at 727-570-9696, ext. 234.
The University Area CDC (Community Development Corporation) will offer cooking classes as part of its Get Moving Program, for youth and adults, at its Harvest Hope Center, 13704 N. 20th St., in Tampa.
- Cooking With Five Senses: Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., for youth ages 7 to 14. Participants can learn how to prepare nutritious and tasty cuisine that can supply much-needed energy for young bodies.
- Let’s Get Cooking: Fourth Friday of each month from 11 a.m. to noon, for adults. Participants can learn food preparation techniques that showcase the flexibility and versatility of every ingredient, including fresh vegetables picked from the Harvest Hope Community Center. Those attending also can learn how to incorporate fresh produce into meals to satisfy their tastebuds and supply energy.
All classes are free.
Live Oak Theatre will present an Improv Night on April 23 at 7:30 p.m., at the Carol & Frank Morsani Center, 21030 Cortez Blvd., in Brooksville. The family friendly event will feature the Conservatory’s Improv Troupe with games, skits and actor’s choices inspired by the audience. Doors open at 7 p.m. Seats are $10 per person in advance and $15 at the door. For information and tickets, visit LiveOakTheatre.org, call 352-593-0027, or email .
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will present “Strategies for Short-Term Financial Wellness” on April 21 at 6:30 p.m., for adults. Participants can learn tips and information for building emergency funds, managing debt and increasing cash flow. Registration is through the calendar feature at HCPLC.org.