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Health Notes 3-12-21

By Staff | Mar 11, 2021

Lee Health announces Board of Directors officers for 2021

Lee Health recently announce the newly elected officers of its Board of Directors for 2021.

David F. Collins has been re-elected as board chairman for 2021. 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 re-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 re-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 is past 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 re-elected as secretary. She is a 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.

In addition to the officers, other board members include Stephen R. Brown, M.D.; Sanford Cohen, M.D.; Kathy Bridge-Liles; Chris Hansen; Nancy McGovern, RN, MSM; and Stephanie Meyer, BSN, RN.

The board of directors’ primary goal is to set the mission and vision of Lee Health. The board of directors consists of 10 officials, from five districts, who are elected by the residents of Lee County. The board holds regularly scheduled public meetings to set goals and objectives and to hear recommendations from the health system’s administrative and medical staffs.

Lee Health in need of convalescent plasma donors

Lee Health is in need of convalescent plasma donations to help refill supply levels. Under an emergency use authorization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made investigational convalescent plasma available for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19.  

 Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with COVID-19. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), be symptom free for at least 14 days, and be otherwise eligible to donate blood. The procedure is the same as any routine blood donation. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly.

Here’s how the donation program works at Lee Health:

* Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 whose symptoms have resolved for at least 14 days can volunteer to donate blood.

* Donors are screened by clinical personnel with questions and tests to make sure they are appropriate to donate blood that will be processed to make COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

* To volunteer, call 239-343-2332 or email COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org  (E-mail preferred)

* Documented routine blood donation consent is required; forms provided by Lee Health.

* If potential donors are appropriate, an appointment for blood donation is scheduled at a Lee Health donation site.

All donations collected by Lee Health stay in our community and are used exclusively for Lee Health patients. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.

MD Now Urgent Care offering rapid COVID-19 testing at all Lee County locations

MD NOW Urgent Care, one of the largest providers of urgent care medicine in Florida, is now offering rapid COVID-19 tests at all Lee County locations. MD Now recently opened new state-of-the-art clinics in Fort Myers, Harlem Heights, and Cape Coral. 

A rapid COVID-19 test, also called an antigen test, detects proteins from the virus which causes COVID-19. With a rapid test, patients can get their results in just minutes. Patients do not need an appointment or doctor referral. Early detection can reduce viral spread and determine who is most infectious to quickly follow necessary precautions. These immediate results may limit the spread of COVID-19 to family and to your community.

It is important to note that rapid tests are considered most accurate for someone having symptoms or who have been exposed to someone else who is positively infected from COVID-19.

MD Now also offers the “gold standard” in PCR testing and antibody testing and patients get results typically within 48 hours. The COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under the Emergency Use Authorization. The antibody test can determine the presence of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, which may mean a person has assumed immunity to COVID-19.

There are several locations in Lee County:

* 12748 S Cleveland Ave, Suite 102 Fort Myers, FL

* 15165 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL

* 2609 Santa Barbara Blvd., Suite 102 Cape Coral, FL

All MD Now urgent care centers are open 365 days a year, weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (including holidays), and patients are generally seen in an hour or less.

Call 888-MDNow-911 or visit online at www.MDNOW.com.

Elmquist earns place again on Castle Connolly list of ‘Top Doctors’

For the 10th year, Dr. Trevor Elmquist of Elmquist Eye Group has been honored as one of the region’s “Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a research and publishing company created to help consumers identify the best health care providers.

Elmquist has been included annually in Castle Connolly’s regional directory of “Top Doctors” for ophthalmology since 2011. Castle Connolly recognizes the top 10% of primary and specialty care physicians within their chosen field after a doctor-led research team completes an extensive review of nominations, credentials and interviews. Doctors must be nominated by a peer; self-nominations are not allowed.

A U.S. veteran with over 30 years in ophthalmology, Elmquist is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is experienced in caring for patients with cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, dry eye, glaucoma, and many other eye conditions. Elmquist leads his associates in providing a range of medical, surgical, cosmetic and emergency eye care services through offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and at The Arbor Medical Clinic within Shell Point Retirement Community.

Elmquist founded Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers in 1992. He and his associates Dr. Kate Wagner, Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown, Dr. Nina Burt and Dr. Yasaira Rodriguez provide a complete range of medical, surgical, cosmetic and emergency eye care to the residents of Lee County. Services include comprehensive eye exams, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and many more eye conditions. A full-service optical boutique is located within the Fort Myers and Cape Coral offices, with a wide range of frames and lens options.

For additional information and appointments call 239-936-2020 or go to Elmquist.com.

Zelden joins Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida announced recently that it has hired Karen Zelden as senior director of development.  

Zelden joins RMHC SWFL, having most recently led a multi-faceted fundraising, donor relations and development communications program as chief development officer of JFCS of the Suncoast in Sarasota. Among her accomplishments, Zelden innovated and led the fundraising efforts for a JFCS COVID-19 Emergency Hardship Program resulting in the disbursement of nearly $525,000 to over 400 families financially impacted by the pandemic. She was responsible for 30% of the total organizational annual budget.

She inherited an under-performing department and led the efforts resulting in budget performance from 17% to 105% to goal in just under eight months.

Before JFCS, Zelden held several senior leadership, revenue-generating, communications and community outreach positions in the for-and non-profit sectors, including three international companies. As director of major gifts and planned giving for WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina, her responsibilities included leading the major gifts fundraising efforts for a successful $20 million campaign to build the first children’s hospital in Wake County (Raleigh) and expand pediatric specialty services. There, she became passionate about Ronald McDonald House Charities as she had the privilege of working with the local team to bring a Ronald McDonald Family Room and House to WakeMed Children’s Hospital.  

At RHMC SWFL, Zelden’s responsibilities will include developing and executing revenue-generating, development communications, and community outreach strategies to build upon and expand the organization’s successful fundraising efforts.      

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida is to create, find, and support programs that directly impact the health and well-being of children and their families in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties. RMHC SWFL supports The Ronald Mc-Donald House®, The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® program, and The Ronald McDonald Family Room®, at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

For more information about RMHC SWFL, please visit www.rmhcswfl.org or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook. com/rmhcswfl.