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Health Notes 7-22-22

By Staff | Jul 22, 2022

Hope VALOR program for veterans receives gift from the Luminous Fund

Hope VALOR, a program of Hope Healthcare, was recently awarded a $5,000 gift from the Luminous Fund to support their efforts honoring veterans.

As a five-star partner of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program, Hope VALOR provides formal recognition ceremonies for men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hope Honor Guard volunteers present veterans with personalized appreciation certificates, American flag lapel pins and other special mementos while friends and family members are in attendance. T

he program also offers support for post-traumatic stress disorder, guides families who are seeking replacement medals or military funeral honors, and helps wartime veterans submit their personal stories and recollections to the Veterans History Project, facilitated by the Library of Congress.

The Luminous Fund was created in 2016 by Kathy and Dave Carrier as a philanthropic legacy for their family. To date, they have awarded nearly $600,000 in grants for charitable initiatives.

With more than 40 years of experience as a local, not-for-profit healthcare organization, Hope Healthcare is dedicated to providing care and comfort for people in life’s closing chapter. A compassionate team of staff and volunteers offers practical, spiritual and emotional support for the entire family. For more information about Hope Healthcare, visit HopeHCS.org.

Lee Health reduces cost of urgent care telehealth

Due to the recent increase in influenza, COVID-19, and other illnesses in Southwest Florida, Lee Health is reducing the cost of urgent care telehealth visits through Lee TeleHealth from $49 to $20.

Lee Health is making this service temporarily discounted for community members so they can utilize urgent care telehealth services from the comfort of their homes without having to visit an urgent care location or emergency department.

Lee TeleHealth is an on-demand medical service that connects patients directly with a physician or advanced provider and is available 24/7. All you need to use Lee TeleHealth is a smartphone, tablet or a computer with a webcam.

Patients using the telehealth service can seek treatment and receive a prescription for a variety of conditions, including cold and flu, COVID-19, sinus infections, rashes, pink eye, headaches, urinary tract infections, allergies, cough, and sprains and strains. Anyone experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, including difficulty breathing, should seek emergency care immediately.

Lee TeleHealth can be accessed in the following convenient ways:

• From the Lee Health Mobile App

• Downloading the “Lee TeleHealth” app on your smartphone or tablet

• Visiting https://leetelehealth.org from a computer


Lee Health also offers a mobile healthcare service to community members in Lee County, provided through DispatchHealth, a national provider of in-home medical care. Through the service, patients can be treated at home for many conditions that are commonly treated in urgent care settings.

Insurance will be billed for each visit, and costs will be different for each patient, based on their level of care and insurance coverage. On average, patients with commercial insurance pay around $44 for a visit and those with Medicare pay around $27.

Patients can request care by visiting DispatchHealth’s website, www.dispatchhealth.com, no referral needed.

Chronic Pain Self-Management workshops begin Aug. 11

Would you like to learn how to better manage chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, headaches and more?

Lee Health’s “It’s All About You,” Chronic Pain Self-Management Program” a Self-Management Resource Program with the SMRC is offering a research based Chronic Pain Self-Management program for the community. The workshop is free and meets weekly for six weeks.

Information presented in the virtual workshop can help you become empowered to improve your quality of life. Learn how to more easily manage your medications; understand the benefits of exercise; manage symptoms of stress, pain and fatigue; and make smarter decisions related to health eating. Participants will also receive a copy of the book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain”.

The sessions will be held on Thursdays beginning Aug. 11, from 1-3 p.m., (virtual session)

Please call 239-424-3121 for more information.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program available

Lee Health’s “It’s All About You,” Chronic Disease Self-Management Program” a Self- Management Resource Program with the SMRC is offering a research based Chronic Disease Self-Management program for the community.

The program is designed for people 18 years of age or older with chronic health conditions to help them learn ways to better manage their chronic conditions and the symptoms that often accompany chronic health conditions. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book, “Living a Healthier Life with Chronic Conditions.”

The workshop is 2-2.5 hours once a week for 6 weeks and it is free. Workshops will be offered on Fridays beginning Aug. 12, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., (virtual); and Tuesdays beginning Aug. 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Healthy Life Center-Coconut Point, 23450 Via Coconut Point, Estero, FL 33928 (in person).

For more information or to register, please call 239-424-3121.

Hope Connections program receives funding from NextFifty Initiative

Hope Healthcare’s Hope Connections program was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado-based foundation that supports efforts to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers. This funding will allow Hope to advance its effort to support those 50 and older in Southwest Florida through Hope Connections, a comprehensive program providing meals, transportation, help with homemaking, chores and personal care, and other vital services to seniors in Clewiston, LaBelle and Moore Haven.

Hope offers transportation to its centers and other essential appointments, as well as help for homemaking, chores and personal care. A personal emergency response system, medical equipment, supplies and home modifications allow seniors to stay safely at home. Hope also offers vital support for caregivers and counseling services.

Enrollment in Hope Connections is administered by the Area Agency on Aging. For information on Hope Connections, call the Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337.

Innis joins Lee Health

Lee Health is pleased to announce Dr. Jeffrey Innis as the health system’s new pediatric genetic specialist. Innis has more than 35 years of experience with human medical and molecular genetics and is the region’s first pediatric geneticist.

Innis is board-certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics. In his role, he evaluates and manages genetic disease, birth defects and chromosomal disorders in pediatric patients. He also identifies inheritance patterns and reproductive risks for patients and their families.

Innis will be based at Lee Physician Group Pediatrics – Coconut Point and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Before joining Lee Health, Innis simultaneously held multiple roles at the University of Michigan, including division chief of Pediatric Genetics, Metabolism and Genomic Medicine, director of the University of Michigan ABMGG Programs, founder and medical director of the Michigan Medical Genetics Laboratories, medical director of the Genetic Counseling Program for the Department of Human Genetics, and professor of Human Genetics and Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases.

Innis is originally from Fort Myers and is a graduate of Fort Myers High School. He earned his doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy in biochemistry degrees from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.

Elite DNA Therapy Services rebrands to Elite DNA Behavioral Health

Elite DNA Therapy Services, a provider of behavioral and mental health care services, has rebranded to Elite DNA Behavioral Health. The company has also changed its logo and launched a new website at EliteDNA.com.

As the company works to meet the growing demand for behavioral and mental health care, the rebranding more accurately defines Elite DNA’s comprehensive behavioral health services. While therapy services are a core offering, the company provides a broad range of services including psychiatry, trauma therapy and psychosocial rehabilitation, medication management, substance use treatment, applied behavior analysis, targeted case management and specialized services like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy for depression, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Elite DNA’s new logo features colors of nature including greens and blues that reflect the same comforting, safe emotions that patients feel when they walk into Elite DNA’s offices, while the new website establishes a patient-focused experience that makes finding information and knowing what to expect as a patient easier and more accessible.

The company was established in 2013 by Dosoretz, a licensed clinical social worker and mom of three who experienced challenges accessing care for postpartum depression. DNA pays tribute to her sons – Dylan, Noah and Asher – and represented her innate desire to make quality behavioral and mental health care affordable and accessible. Nearly a decade later, the company has grown to an expansive team of approximately 500 providers and support staff serving patients from 28 locations statewide and virtually across Florida. The company accepts a large variety of insurances, including Medicaid/Medicare and has a self-pay sliding scale for established patients.

To learn more about Elite DNA’s services and locations, visit EliteDNA.com.

Lee Health announces enhanced virtual health program to support at-home patient care

Lee Health, one of the largest not-for-profit public health systems in Florida, has partnered with Health Recovery Solutions to expand its virtual care services. The partnership aims to decrease hospital readmissions and reduce unnecessary emergency room visits.

The virtual health program initially targets patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension and post cardio-thoracic surgery patients with plans to expand to other chronic care and high-risk patient populations by the end of the year.

“Remote patient monitoring allows us to care for patients in the most appropriate care setting based on their personal needs and where they are most comfortable – at home. It allows us to virtually track their health in real time and intervene when needed to prevent worsening health conditions,” said Zsolt Kulcsar, D.O., medical director of Lee Virtual Health. “Digital health is transforming the way we provide medical care and is giving patients more options in seeking the right care, in the right place and at the right time.”

Telehealth patients are identified for the program by their primary care and specialty providers during office visits or prior to hospital discharge. Patients are introduced to the virtual health technology in the physician’s office or prior to discharge and are sent a telehealth kit directly to their homes within 48 hours.

Once patients receive their telehealth kit, complete with a 4G tablet and biometric monitoring devices, an HRS Engagement Specialist calls the patients and reviews the virtual care technology once more and helps the patient record their first vital signs. Once the technology is set up, patients begin working with a dedicated registered nurse in the virtual health department for education of their condition and monitoring of their vital signs. Through this additional education, Lee Health aims to increase patients’ comfort level with the technology and their long-term engagement.

Lee Health clinicians monitor patients daily, responding to risk alerts based on reported vitals and symptoms. To quickly evaluate patients and address concerns, Lee Health nurses can contact patients directly through the tablet via text messaging, phone call, or virtual visit.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee Health clinicians offered virtual visit to patients undergoing home isolation. The Lee Health telehealth program is continuing to leverage virtual visits to expand access to care, evaluate patients experiencing exacerbations, and augment in-person visits when appropriate.

In the coming months, Lee Health looks to expand their virtual health services further to patients with pre-eclampsia, wound care, and nephrology as part of its commitment to discovering new solutions and implementing innovative programs that deliver care to patients at home.

Golisano Children’s Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center’s Emergency Departments earn national award

The emergency departments at both Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and Gulf Coast Medical Center have been recognized nationally for their exceptional and innovative performance in emergency care.

The Emergency Nurses Association awarded both emergency departments with the Lantern Award. Only 29 hospitals in the United States earned the prestigious recognition this year.

The Lantern Award recognizes emergency departments that go above and beyond in their efforts of leadership, practice, education, advocacy and research. It rewards emergency departments that use evidence-based practices and continually provide high quality care in a safe environment.

Golisano Children’s Hospital’s emergency department is a two-time recipient of the Lantern Award. This is Gulf Coast Medical Center’s first time earning the award.

Recipients of the Lantern Award will be acknowledged during the 2022 Emergency Nursing Conference taking place Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Denver, Colorado. Large canvas prints of the Lantern Award recipients will be displayed in a Hall of Honor during the conference.

Learn more about Golisano Children’s Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center at www.leehealth.org.