Pool Tourney, Bachelor Auction to Benefit Charity

Breakroom Billiards and Citrus Memorial Health System are proud to present a charity pool tournament and bachelor/bachelorette auction on Friday, August 8. Join Citrus Memorial’s Relay For Life team for a fun night of socializing, raffle items, pool and the chance to win a date with some of Citrus County’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

Doors open at 5:30pm with the pool tournament beginning at 6:30pm. The cost is $10 per player.

8pm marks the start of the live bachelor and bachelorette auction where participants can bid on their favorite guy or girl along with packages donated by local businesses. The winner can elect to share the package with the bachelor or bachelorette… or their own companion!

All net event proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society, a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

Charity Pool Tournament and Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction

When: Friday, August 8, 2014
Doors open at 5:30pm
Relay Pool Tournament at 6:30pm
Bachelor and Bachelorette Auction at 8:00pm

Where: Breakroom Billiards
210 Tompkins St
Inverness, Fl 34450


Use Summer Savvy on the Water

By: Katie Mehl, APR

Citrus County natives and visitors are celebrating summer with the highly anticipated scallop season now in full swing. As families take to the waters of Citrus County – whether to enjoy kayaking, swimming, boating or fishing – they should be aware of one of the largest dangers facing them: drowning.

Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death in the US and is second only to birth defects in toddler mortality. But, drowning is preventable and parents should be aware of the risks and ready to take safety precautions to ensure every day on the water is a good one.

Sure, drowning isn’t the first thing on your mind when preparing for your beach excursion. You have to bring your water, sunscreen, snacks for the kids, toys and towels and flip flops. I recently spent some time with friends at our neighborhood pool and was surprised to see they showed up with enough supplies to move into the cabana permanently. They were certainly prepared for fun. But, knowing how to reduce the risk of drowning can prevent a costly trip to the Emergency Room, or worse, and ensure that your fun day on the water is memorable for the right reasons.

There are five key ways to reduce your risk:

  •  Teach children to swim. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children aged one to four years, who are at greatest risk of drowning.
  • Closely watch swimmers in or around the water. Designate a responsible adult who can swim and knows CPR to watch swimmers – even when lifeguards are present.
  • Barriers to pool access should be used to help prevent young children from getting to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool, be at least four feet high, and have self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward, with latches that are out of the reach of children.
  • Remember the buddy system. Regardless of your age, always swim with a buddy.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.

Bone up on summer safety tips for your family by following #SummerSavvy on Facebook and Twitter. There, you’ll find a variety of safety tips for your family, home and business provided by Citrus Memorial Health System, Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, Nature Coast EMS, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, Florida Forest Service and Citrus County.

Katie Mehl, APR is the public relations manager at Citrus Memorial Health System.

IPS Student Awarded Scholarship

STEPS Recipient IPSThis week, Inverness Primary School fifth grade student Helen Fuerte received some unexpected news. She earned her first college scholarship. Citrus Memorial Health System’s Chief Nursing Officer, Linda McCarthy, made the announcement during the school’s fifth grade graduation ceremony.

McCarthy spoke to the class about the importance of education and the valuable asset that exists in Citrus County with the College of Central Florida and the criteria students must meet to receive a STEPS scholarship. STEPS, an acronym for Scholarships Taking Elementary Promising Students, is a unique investment in higher education in that it awards a college scholarship to an elementary school student.

Helen will receive a $4,000 scholarship to cover tuition and fees at the College of Central Florida, so long as she graduates from high school having remained drug and crime free, and demonstrating continued academic achievement.

Employee of the Year Named

Barb Pierson, nurse educator, was recently announced 2013 Employee of the Year at Citrus Memorial Health System’s annual Employee Awards ceremony, held May 12 at the Citrus Memorial Auditorium.

Ralph Aleman, Citrus Memorial CEO and Barb Pierson, Employee of the Year.

Ralph Aleman, Citrus Memorial CEO and Barb Pierson, Employee of the Year.

Citrus Memorial President and CEO Ralph Aleman made the award announcement at the event, held each year during National Hospital Week, which recognizes employees for years of service and for outstanding performance.

In announcing the award, Aleman cited the Employee of the Year recipient for her dedication to Citrus Memorial Health System and staff in the Corporate Education department.

The hospital’s Employee of the Year selections come from its monthly ACES and CARES program, in which employees are nominated by fellow employees, volunteers, visitors and patients for the honor. Each month, two employees are selected on the basis of compassion, respect, integrity, creativity, teamwork, knowledge, commitment, accountability, trust and humor.

In addition to the employee of the year winner, 156 employees were recognized for five-year milestones at the event. Topping the list of service award recipients were Valerie Schotter with 35 years of service and Betty Guin with 30 years of service.

Ralph Aleman, CEO, and Randy Weeks, Director of Surgery, congratulate Betty Guin on her award for 30 years of service.

Ralph Aleman, CEO, and Randy Weeks, Director of Surgery, congratulate Betty Guin on her award for 30 years of service.

25 years of service award recipients included: Jane Krolewski, George Mavros, Patricia Shipman and Cynthia Yackowski.

20 years of service award recipients included: Vonda Chmura, Lee Deemer, Sylvia Holloway, Elton Ivey, John Moskes, Theresa Wellbrock, Ruth Whitehurst and Launa Whitton.

Citrus Recognized for Quality, Safety

Citrus Memorial Health System has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals. The accreditation award recognizes Citrus Memorial’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

Citrus Memorial Health System underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey in January 2014. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated the hospital for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, Citrus Memorial Health System has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients,” says Mark G. Pelletier, R.N., M.S., chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend Citrus Memorial for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“With Joint Commission accreditation, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” says Ralph Aleman, Chief Executive Officer of Citrus Memorial. “Achieving Joint Commission accreditation for our organization is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”

The Joint Commission’s hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

Citrus Recognized for Stroke Care

Citrus Memorial Health System has received the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

This marks the second year that Citrus Memorial has been recognized with a quality achievement award.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Citrus Memorial Health System earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Citrus Memorial is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program helps us to accomplish this goal,” said hospital spokesperson Katie Mehl. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally-respected clinical guidelines.”

“We are pleased to recognize Citrus Memorial Health System for their commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Get Serious Citrus Begins in June

Beginning on Monday, June 2, 2014, the Citrus Memorial Diabetes Center will begin its summer weight management and weight loss program called Get Serious Citrus. The eight week program does not require a physician referral.

Under the direction of Amy Freeman, Citrus Memorial’s Certified Diabetes Educator, the course will cover the following topics: 

  • ·         Detecting fat and calorie intake
  • ·         How to plan a healthful meal
  • ·         Jump starting your metabolism
  • ·         Talking back to negative thoughts
  • ·         Managing stress
  • ·         Staying motivated

Classes meet in the Citrus Memorial Auditorium at 402 W Grace St, Inverness beginning on Monday, June 2, 2014. Morning classes are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and afternoon classes are from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $10 per class. Those interested may pre-register by calling the Citrus Memorial Diabetes Center at (352) 341-6110.

Welcome, Dr. Kamyab!

Citrus Memorial Health System welcomes Mahshid Kamyab, M.D. to its active medical staff.

After earning her Doctor of Medicine, Dr. Kamyab completed a family medicine residency at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. She additionally holds a Master of Public Health degree and has specialized in infectious and tropical diseases. Her current area of practice is in family medicine.

Kamyab currently practices at Citrus Primary Care with Dr. Seema Kamat. The facility is located at 450 W Roosevelt Blvd, Beverly Hills. She is accepting new patients. Call (352) 527-6646 for an appointment.

Citrus Recognized for OB Excellence

The Florida Hospital Association today recognized Citrus Memorial Health System as one of only seven Florida hospitals to receive their 39 Weeks Recognition Banner.

Birthing hospitals in Florida recently partnered with the Florida Hospital Association, Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, Florida Department of Health and March of Dimes to reduce early elective deliveries. Citrus Memorial was among the seven hospitals statewide to be recognized with the 39 Weeks Recognition Banner for excellence in improving quality and safety for mothers and babies.

Hospitals recognized include:

  • Citrus Memorial Health System
  • DeSoto Memorial Hospital
  • Jackson Hospital
  • Jupiter Medical Center
  • Morton Plant Hospital
  • North Okaloosa Medical Center
  • Winter Haven Hospital

“Unless it is medically necessary for the health of you or your baby, it’s best to wait until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy to deliver,” said Dr. Armando Rojas of Genesis Women’s Center. “Important fetal development takes place in the baby’s brain and lungs during the last few weeks of pregnancy and the medical team here at Citrus Memorial wants to ensure that each infant leaving our Baby Block is as strong and healthy as possible.”

According to studies conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families, one in four new mothers believe a baby is full-term at 34-36 weeks and more than half believed it was safe to deliver the baby at that point. Citrus Memorial’s efforts successfully prevented 89 early elective deliveries and earned the obstetrics team an invitation to present their work during 2014 Hospital Days in Tallahassee.

“Patients need to understand that although those last few weeks of pregnancy may be uncomfortable, science just doesn’t support early elective delivery,” said Rojas.

Volunteers Earn Presidential Award


Nine volunteers from Citrus Memorial Health System were recently presented with the Presidential Lifetime Service Award. Each volunteer has donated over 4,000 hours at the hospital.

Pictured (from left to right). Seated: Lee Cascio and Evelyn McCaw. Standing: Paul Thomas, Donna Page, Gerry Aron, Bonnie Steffen, and Glenn Smith. Not pictured: Pat Anson and Lee Hamilton

Pictured (from left to right). Seated: Lee Cascio and Evelyn McCaw. Standing: Paul Thomas, Donna Page, Gerry Aron, Bonnie Steffen, and Glenn Smith. Not pictured: Pat Anson and Lee Hamilton

The Presidential Lifetime Service Award was created to thank Americans who have given at least 4,000 hours of their time serving others. This prestigious award has been given to 60 volunteers at Citrus Memorial Health System.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspires other to make service a central part of their lives.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period – or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime.

About the Citrus Memorial Auxiliary
The Citrus Memorial Auxiliary began in 1957 with 26 volunteers who were affectionately called the Pink Ladies. By 1962 the group had grown to over 200 volunteers and began recruiting candy stripers. Today, Citrus Memorial Health System’s volunteers include over 450 men and women working in locations throughout the county including Citrus Memorial hospital and Citrus Memorial Healthcare Center at Sugarmill Woods. For information on volunteering at Citrus Memorial call 560-6298 or apply online.