Gulfshore Business Daily: August 28

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 Lee Health and The School District of Lee County have announced the installation of automated external defibrillators (AED) in all county middle and elementary schools. The AEDs were purchased with a $150,000 donation from Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, and every school in the district has earned the Project Adam Heart Safe designation. Project Adam began in 1999 following the death of a student in Wisconsin who suffered from sudden cardiac arrest while playing basketball. To earn the Heart Safe designation, schools must implement an awareness, training and response program to be prepared in case of a cardiac episode. Last December, Fort Myers High School freshman Zac Syska suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest while running with his team, and his life was saved by an AED. As part of his Eagle Scout service project, Syska spent his summer vacation this year assisting the school district in earning the heart safe designation. Every school also has a team of three-to-five staff members who underwent training on the proper use of the devices and how to implement and emergency plan at their schools. As schools are often used as shelters or host visitors, the AEDs are equipped with both pediatric and adult-sized pads.


Homes sales in the Naples area were up 8 percent in July, according to the July 2018 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). The nation has only a 4.3-month supply of home inventory, while Naples has a healthier 6.25-month supply of inventory. While July's overall inventory fell 1 percent to 4,871 properties from 4,928 properties in July 2017, inventory increased 5 percent in the $300,000 and below price category. The median closed price was $345,000, up 8 percent from July 2017. To view the entire report, visit


Based on data and performance in 2017, Lee Physician Group received high scores through The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS). The first year for CMS to track providers using this system was 2017, and Lee Physician Group physicians and providers received a 96.96 percent out of 100 percent. MIPS measures provider performance based in four categories: quality, advancing care information, care improvement activities and costs. Lee Physician Group’s use of technology, including Epic electronic health records and the MyChart patient access portal, brought the maximum number of points in the advancing care information category, according to a press release. The cost category was not included in the review of 2017 data and performance, but will be included in reviews moving forward. Lee Physician Group is Lee Health’s primary and specialty care medical group that is comprised of more than 570 primary and specialty care physicians and advanced providers at 77 practices throughout Southwest Florida.


The Uncommon Friends Foundation has added four members to its board of directors—Jarrett Eady, Gary Eskin, Susan Minaya, and Brian Rist. Jarrett Eady is currently chairman of the Lee County Black History Society and a director of diversity and inclusion and AVID district director of Lee County Schools. Gary Eskin, CEO of Eskin Business Solutions has 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur, trainer and business consultant. Susan M. Minaya, is COO and chief learning strategist at Minaya Learning Global Solutions LLC. Brian Rist is executive chairman of The Smart Cos. Its largest subsidiary, Storm Smart, is the largest manufacturer and installer of hurricane protection and lifestyle products.


The IIA Southwest Florida Chapter has elected its officers of the board of directors for the 2018-19 year. The officers are: president James Molenaar, attorney/internal audit manager, Collier County Clerk of Court and Comptroller; vice president Bill Foster, director of internal audit, Florida Gulf Coast University; secretary Paul Cohen, real estate professional, John R. Wood Properties; and treasurer Gabriela Molina, internal auditor, Collier County Clerk of Court and Comptroller. Presently 94 internal audit professionals in Southwest Florida belong to the Southwest Florida Chapter, a nonprofit organization which is a local member of the Institute of Internal Auditors.


Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa has named Linda Glaeser as manager of patient engagement. Glaeser, a healthcare executive with more than 20 years of experience, will communicate with staff and providers to improve the patient experience at every level, create loyalty programs and coordinate events that provide Southwest Florida residents with insights on the latest technology and treatments in the cosmetic surgery industry. Glaeser graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in radiography and a minor in business management. After working in a variety of healthcare settings, she went back to school and received a master’s degree in business from Florida Atlantic University.  

Charitable Notes

Quality Life Center annual gala set for November

Quality Life Center will hold its annual gala fundraiser, "Come Grow with Us," at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Florida Gulf Coast University's Cohen Center. The evening will include entertainment, food and a silent auction. The title sponsor is Lee Health. Tickets are $100, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jan at about sponsorships, and go to for more information.

Celebrity Chef Night raises $150,000 for children with cancer

The 15th Annual Rumrunners Celebrity Chef Night held on Aug. 15 at Rumrunners in Cape Coral raised more than $150,000 for Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. Since 2003, the Celebrity Chef Night event has raised nearly $1.5 million to support the advancement of programs and lifesaving care for children receiving cancer care at Golisano. The culinary event featured a Give-to-Give cash call, live and silent auctions, a champagne toast with prize of a custom designed necklace by Mark Loren Designs, as well as cocktails and culinary creations by Southwest Florida celebrity chefs. The auctions raise more than one third of dollars raised each year. This year, guests who could not attend arranged to bid over phone lines with one donor contributing $16,000. 

Annual Celebration of Philanthropy honorees announced

The Trustees Emeriti of the Community Foundation of Collier County have selected the 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy honorees. The awardees will be recognized for their dedication to the community and philanthropic service at the annual celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Grey Oaks Country Club. Four awards will be presented at the 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy: Outstanding Corporation, Rooms To Go; Harvey Kapnick Award, Nonprofits that worked with CFCC during Hurricane Irma; Excellence in Civic Leadership Award, Collier County Public Schools; and Collaboration Award, FineMark National Bank & Trust and First Florida Integrity Bank. The 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy will feature a Hurricane Irma video highlighting the work of a few of the honorees, produced in conjunction with WGCU. Tickets are $200. To register and for more information, visit   

Relief fund established for those affected by water crisis

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has joined forces with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee to create a giving fund to move money to nonprofits who can help individuals with incomes affected by the water crisis. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation launched the fund with a $20,000 contribution and is encouraging others in the community to join them in this outreach to those in need. Contributions are tax deductible. The United Way will be distributing funds contributed to their partner agencies serving Lee County. One hundred percent of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used to help people in Lee County. Donors can give at

Help A Diabetic Child Foundation receives $23,000 grant

Help A Diabetic Child Foundation has been awarded a $23,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The grant will help the agency purchase testing supplies and insulin for children with Type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that almost 10 percent of the population has diabetes, while another 8 million are undiagnosed. In addition, the ADA reports that 86 million Americans over the age of 20 years have pre-diabetes. Help A Diabetic Child Foundation was established as a nonprofit public charity after president/founder Tami Balavage’s 16-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2010. 


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