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Feb 28 Black History Panel

Cleveland Clinic Marks First Anniversary of Its Regional Health System in Florida

Mar Cleveland Clinic Logo

Increased number of lives touched, early performance indicators point to a successful year

Treasure Coast - Cleveland Clinic recently marked the one-year anniversary of Indian River Medical Center and Martin Health System becoming full members of the Cleveland Clinic health system and the establishment of a five-hospital regional system serving southeast Florida.

According to Cleveland Clinic Florida CEO and President Wael Barsoum, MD, the first year of the multi-year integration process focused on understanding the needs of the patients, caregivers and communities served by the new regional health system, establishing integration priorities, and launching a number of early quality initiatives.

“We laid a strong foundation in our first year together, built on our ‘patients first’ philosophy with a mutual respect for the work we do, and a desire to share best practices and learn from one another,” said Dr. Barsoum. “By combining our clinical expertise and resources, we are providing high-quality care, improving outcomes, and increasing efficiencies.”

“We want to be the best place to work and provide care, and when patients choose to come to Cleveland Clinic, be it at Indian River, Martin Health or Weston, I know we are succeeding,” added Dr. Barsoum.

While patient safety, satisfaction and outcomes data for 2019 will take several months to be compiled and reported by healthcare industry monitors, preliminary indicators show early progress achieved through clinical and operational alignment within the regional system.

• Implementation of Cleveland Clinic’s tiered huddle process increased operational transparency for caregivers and provided an avenue for rapid improvements at all Florida hospitals. In one location an opportunity was identified for enhanced collaboration with Indian River Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center to more efficiently provide care for Baker Act patients.

• A two-step process used by Cleveland Clinic for testing Clostridium difficile, a highly contagious bacterial infection, was implemented across the region’s five hospitals. As a result, C. diff infection rates, a national benchmark for hospital patient safety, dropped notably – for example, Martin Health saw an 83% reduction in C. diff rates over the past six months.

• Quality initiatives across the region resulted in a 53% reduction over the last six months in central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), another national benchmark for hospital patient safety. And in spring 2019, the Florida region developed a maternal morbidity task force that has already seen reductions in the number of blood transfusions provided to mothers during labor and delivery.

• “Plan of care visits,” a patient experience initiative, was rolled out region-wide over the summer. It entails clinical team members rounding together to create and communicate the plan of care with each patient in an effort to improve safety, quality, and experience outcomes. Subsequent patient satisfaction ratings for Treasure Coast hospitals showed increases related to communications with physicians, nursing and overall teamwork.

• In April 2019, Martin County had four Hepatitis A-related deaths and was identified as a high-risk community. Cleveland Clinic Martin Health worked with regional and enterprise pharmacy teams, in a rapid response, to make thousands of vaccines available to both residents and caregivers. As a result, 3,103 caregivers, 1,466 pediatric patients, and 336 adult patients were vaccinated.

• The community continues to seek the high-quality care available at Cleveland Clinic. Admissions at the health system’s five Florida hospitals were up 7.9 percent last year over 2018, and visits at the outpatient clinics located from Broward to Indian River counties increased 7.5 percent during the same period.

“I think the most dramatic illustration of what our integration has achieved is the case of 47-year-old Indian River County resident Paige Jerome,” said Gregory Rosencrance, MD, President of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. “Paige came to our hospital thinking she needed an antibiotic to treat a ‘touch of bronchitis,’ but instead was diagnosed with giant cell myocarditis, a rare heart condition.”

Within a week, Jerome was at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital undergoing a heart transplant, Rosencrance noted. “The teamwork between our physicians in Weston and Indian River in diagnosing and treating this life-threatening condition demonstrates how the collective expertise of our physicians in the region benefit the communities we serve.”

Cleveland Clinic Martin Health President Robert L. Lord Jr., points to the new Cleveland Clinic Florida Research and Innovation Center in Port St. Lucie, as another example of how integration is having a positive impact on the Treasure Coast. In November 2019, Cleveland Clinic took occupancy of the former Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute facility across from Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital, which will house the new research institute.

“Backed by nearly 100 years of research experience in Ohio, this state-of-the-art facility will propel medical research in the region and act as an economic engine for our surrounding communities,” Lord said.

Winter Skin Ailments & Remedies

Health Taste Photo a

Article By Dana Cutolo/Photo Credit: Dana Cutolo
Winter is cold and dry, which means we need to switch up our wellness routines to focus on hydrating, supporting our immune system and refreshing our skin care routine.
Winter Skin Care
This time of year our skin care routine is essential because our skin retains less moisture causing a build up of dead skin cells. On top of our outer complexion suffering, we’re more prone to illness in the winter because we are hydrating less. Dehydration and stagnation cause breakouts and generally dull winter skin. While that might not seem like a big deal, alligator skin causes a host of issues that are easily fixable.
As an esthetician, winter means my clients tend to have a dull patchy complexion, visible fine lines, flaky skin and more ingrown hairs. Switching up your self-care routine in the winter can be a fun way to get creative by adding herbal infused oils, botanical powders, butters and more. My favorite winter ingredients are hemp seed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, rosehip seed, green tea, rosemary, hyaluronic acid, olive, carrot, comfrey, licorice, algae, seaweed, rose, burdock, dandelion, turmeric and oats.
Three Key Ingredients for Healthy Winter Skin
Okay, so let’s dive into the three most important topics for winter skin ailments.
For winter we want to focus on:
Hydrate Winter Skin from Within
Hydration is essential for clear skin and overall health. Our body naturally fights illness and detoxifies daily, and being fully hydrated helps your body with these processes. I love sipping on herbal tea and broth throughout the day, these are my favorite recipes.
All of these aid the immune system and by default improve complexion, too!
Water with Herbs or Fruits for Skin Hydration
Basil and lime: cleansing
Mint: digestive aid
Aloe vera: digestion
Hibiscus: because it’s delicious and filled with antioxidants!
Green tea: energizing and immune supporting
Warm Tea for Immune Support, Circulation + Hydration
Chamomile + Calendula + Licorice root + Honey: soothes throat, hydrating, soothes digestive tract + good for ulcers
Ginger + Honey + Lemon: Stomach, digestion, hydration
Green Tea + Brown Rice: Anti-oxidants and hydration
Cacao + Coconut Milk + Kava kava: magnesium, calming, soothing, anti-anxiety, sleep aid
Mushroom elixir: cinnamon, reishi, chaga + cordyceps powdered with warm coconut milk and honey.
Renew Winter Skin with Exfoliation
Exfoliation is skin renewal, removing the dead skin cells is anti-aging, rejuvenating, and reduces ingrown hairs (especially if you’re removing hair!). Exfoliation provides a clear canvas so your skin can breathe essentially, and it should be done at least 3x per week.
Two Types of Exfoliation
Manual Exfoliation
This is done with a brush, mitt, cloth, scrub or anything gritty.
Facial Exfoliation
Always use a fine grain on your face, like clay, fine botanical powders like turmeric or flour.
Body Exfoliation
Dry brushes, clothes, gloves or coarser grain products like sugar, salt or coffee.
Chemical Exfoliation
Acids or enzymes can be used to aid in exfoliation by breaking down the bonds between the dead skin cells.
Dana's Favorite Ways to Exfoliate
Dry Brushing
Do this before you shower by taking the dry brush and swiping gently over the skin, towards the heart for circulation. I start with legs and work my way up towards arms. I skip the chest and face since those are sensitive areas prone to reaction. Gently brush to avoid irritation. This step will push off most of the dead skin and increase circulation.

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DOH Reminds Residents to Avoid Contact Withe Stray Pets & Wildlife

19 Aug Fl Health Logo

Martin County – A bat found in the northeast section of Stuart has tested positive for rabies. All residents and visitors should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after exposure, will protect the person from the disease.

Take precautions and avoid being bitten:

• Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.

• Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

• Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

• Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Martin County Animal Control at 772-463-3211.

• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

• Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Martin County at 772-221-4000, option # 6.


Helping Veterans Combat Addiction

19 Nov Blog Post Mast

Article by: U. S. Congressman Brian Mast
The destruction and pain caused by the opioid crisis can shatter lives and devastate communities. Sadly, veterans are more likely to suffer from addiction or overdose than others in our community.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for shielding veterans from this epidemic, there’s absolutely more that can be done to solve the opioid crisis. That’s why I’m cosponsoring the VA Directly Returning Opioid Prescriptions Act to ensure veterans have a secure and accessible place to dispose of unused prescription medications.

We need to do more to help those who served and this bill will assist efforts to combat this crisis at every turn.

Foundation and Public Health Team to Prevent Sudden Youth Cardiac Arrest

19 Aug Fl Health Logo

Many people die each year from various heart conditions and in some cases never display symptoms. between the ages of 5 to 20. Over 600 individuals registered, and the screening consisted of a heart physical, blood pressure check, and EKG (electrocardiogram) and an Echocardiogram (if required) as Today, the Jessica Clinton Foundation hosted its 9th Annual Know Your Heart Screening event, free to any child or student determined by a pediatric cardiologist. All services were provided on-site with the assistance of over 60 plus medical volunteers from as far south as Miami-Dade County.

The Jessica Clinton Foundatio’s single focus is preventing sudden cardiac arrest in children and young athletes. Jessica died at her school following a cheerleading practice in 2003. She had a severe, undiagnosed heart condition. Her condition was not detected in routine physicals during her time as a cheerleader and her school did not have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on site.

Jessica’s parents promised to keep her memory forever alive, and to prevent similar tragedies from occurring by holding Know Your Heart Screenings and advocating for AEDs at all schools and parks.

The event was held at the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County located at 5150 NW Milner Drive, in Port St. Lucie, FL from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit


Peggy's Donates a Portion of Friday Sales to the Non-GMO Project!


Holiday Photos

Gluten-Free Easy Breakfast Bake

19 Dec Egg

1 package (16 oz) bulk gluten-free pork sausage
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
3/4 cup Bisquick™ Gluten Free pancake & baking mix
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 eggs

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, bell pepper and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Mix sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in baking dish.
In medium bowl, stir Bisquick™ mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour over sausage mixture in baking dish.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake about 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Easy Mini Breakfast Sausage Pies

19 Dec Sausage Pies

Sausage Mixture

3/4 lb ground pork breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (4 oz) mushroom pieces and stems, drained
1/2teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Baking Mixture
1/2 cup Original Bisquick™ mix
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Cool 5 minutes; stir in mushrooms, salt, sage and cheese.

In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup sausage mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto sausage mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and tops of muffins are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve

Slow-Cooker Prime Rib Roast


Beef Rib Roast
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 cup beef-flavored broth (from 32-oz carton)
5 to 6 lb bone-in beef rib roast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Creamy Horseradish Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In small bowl, mix softened butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spray 6-quart slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Pour beef-flavored broth into slow cooker. Rub beef roast all over with vegetable oil. Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes on ribs side, then turn and cook 1 to 3 minutes each on other sides, until browned, holding roast upright in skillet with tongs if necessary.

Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole

19 Dec Hasselback Sweet

3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 lb orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices (about 6 medium)

1/3 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leavesHeat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons melted butter, the brown sugar, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper. Add potato slices to butter mixture; toss to thoroughly coat slices.

Pick up potatoes by the handful, and place slices one on top of another, forming a small stack. Place potato stack on its side in ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish. Continue making small stacks with remaining potatoes, and arranging them side-by-side in dish to form rows of tightly packed stacked slices. Scrape bowl for any remaining butter mixture, and spread over potatoes.

Bake 1 hour. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon melted butter and the thyme. Sprinkle casserole with bread crumb mixture. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender and bread crumb mixture is golden brown. Garnish with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Martin County - In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County encourages all women to receive regular screenings to promote early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Important advances have been made through increased awareness, breast cancer screenings and better treatments.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, no matter a person’s race or ethnicity. The American Cancer Society estimates 19,130 new cases are expected in Florida this year alone. In 2018, 2,955 women in Florida and 23 women in Martin County died from Female Breast Cancer.

What should women do? Make “No excuses, ladies.” Women should talk to their health care provider about their individual risk factors and the frequency of receiving mammograms, as well as complete any recommended mammogram screenings. Additionally, women can lower their risk as follows:

• Get and stay at a healthy weight • Be physically active • Limit or avoid alcohol • Choose to breast-feed • Quit smoking and or vaping
The Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (FBCCEDP) provides access to the breast and cervical cancer screenings doctors recommend. The screenings are free or low cost for those who meet the program eligibility requirements.
Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
To see if you qualify, call 1-954-762-3649. Additional information is available here:

About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @GoHealthyMartin and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

How to Improve Home Safety for Older Adults

It is no surprise that most older adults would prefer to age in their home – the place in which they are most comfortable. In fact, 90 percent of adults over age 65 report that they’d prefer to age in place. Other studies support this notion too. A recent survey of 1,000 North American adults, ages 55-75, found that nearly four out of five (78 percent) respondents wish to remain at home simply because their current home and community is where they are happy and comfortable.
While 54 percent of seniors say they would be heartbroken if they could no longer live at home, the reality is that most homes will need some sort of modification or home safety device installed to ensure the environment is conducive to successfully aging in place. However, only 64 percent of those wishing to remain in their current home have thought about age-friendly modifications they will need to make.
"Boomers will see their mom and dad struggle, and the situation brings to light that the home is not always a friendly place to age," explained Dan Bawden, who founded the national Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) program for the National Association of Home Builders in 2001. The program trains contractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other medical providers how to remodel homes for older adults. "So, the sooner you have the talk, the better. It's good to let loved ones know you're thinking about them and have a plan in place. It's much like having a will. It's a blessing to families."
The effects of aging and chronic conditions can put an older adult at a higher risk for falls and accidents in the home. On an annual basis, 1 in 4 older adults experience a fall and every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the ER for falls.
Physical, behavioral and environmental factors can put an older adult at higher risk of a fall. The good news is that preventative measures can be taken to better safeguard a senior’s physical and behavioral health, as well as physical environment.

When it comes to modifying an older adult’s physical environment or home, to protect from fall hazards, some older adults will be resistant.
5 Reasons Older Adults Resist Home Modifications:

Fierce independence: As people age, they may not want to admit or accept that they need assistance.
Aesthetic appeal: Some older adults may not want home modifications to impact the look and aesthetics of their home.
Fear of asking for help: It’s common for older adults to fear asking for help because they believe it indicates that they can’t handle living on their own. They may also believe asking for help will lead to an expedited move to a nursing home or assisted living placement.
Emotional connection: There may be an emotional connection to hazardous items like throw rugs.
Cognitive impairment: Aging adults may not be cognizant of common hazards in the home or may forget to report accidents like falls or a small kitchen fire.

IT’S TIME TO “SHOO THE FLU”! The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine

Martin County - The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is reminding everyone to get their flu shot before the height of the upcoming flu season. Flu activity can begin as early as October and last as late as May. The best way to avoid the flu this season is to get the flu vaccine soon.

“The flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent the flu.” said Carolann Vitani, Interim Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “You should also take actions to stop the spread of germs, such as washing your hands often, covering your cough and sneeze and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It can take up to two weeks after vaccination to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine every year as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications. There are many different flu vaccine options this season, which include high dose and adjuvanted vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older.
CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine every year because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s flu strain. Even if the flu vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.
Getting vaccinated if you are healthy helps to protect our most vulnerable populations. People at higher risk for flu-related complications include children less than 5, adults over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions, such as asthma and obesity.
The flu vaccine is readily available throughout Martin County including private doctor offices, pharmacies and grocery stores. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County offers free flu shots for uninsured or underinsured adults and children. To schedule an appointment, call 772-221-4000 and pressing option 3.

19 Aug Hep Virus 2
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