Gulfshore Business Daily: July 5, 2018

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Michael Wukitsch has joined Lee Health as chief human resources officer. In his new role, Wukitsch is responsible for all employee-related operations across the health system including benefits and compensation, recruitment and workforce management. Wukitsch has 25 years of experience in HR management for large companies with 13 years in health care. Wukitsch most recently served as the vice president of human resources for Northwestern Memorial Healthcare in Chicago, where he was responsible for the business unit HR Business Partners across all hospitals and outpatient sites as well as system-wide responsibility for HR operations. The system has more than 25,000 employees. Before that, Wukitsch served as the executive vice president, human resources for Cadence Health in the Chicago area, and vice president and chief human resources officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado, located in the Denver metro area. He also served as director of human resources – operations for Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado. Wukitsch has an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and is completing his Ph.D. in organizational learning, performance and change at Colorado State University. Wukitsch replaces Jon Cecil, who retired in May after more than 40 years with Lee Health.


Millennium Physician Group (Millennium) and Internal Medicine Associates (IMA) have become one organization as of July 1. In early July, the IMA offices will begin to transition to a centralized computer, billing and phone system, plus patients will be introduced to a new patient portal. Most changes will happen behind-the-scenes. The IMA staff have begun training on the new Millennium systems. IMA patients can trust their provider and care team will continue to care for them, according to a press release.


Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards, which recognize corporate and individual excellence in Collier County. Awards will be given in six categories: Business Expansion, Company to Watch, Young Professional of the Year, Heart of the Community, Pillar Award and Chairman's Award. The Chairman's Award is selected by the chair of the Opportunity Naples Board of Directors. All nominations must be received by Sept. 1. The awards program is presented by Opportunity Naples, in coordination with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Any company doing business in Collier County is eligible to apply. Nominations may be submitted by the companies themselves, their clients, their vendors and/or other individuals. The awards will be presented at 8 a.m. on Nov. 14 at Silverspot Cinemas. For more information, visit For sponsorship, contact Nikkie Dvorchak at or (239) 403-2909. 


The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) board of directors has approved a change to its official mission statement. The new mission statement is now “Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida connects older adults and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity.” AAASWFL staff crafted the statement after several months of assessment and review. The new mission statement reveals a client-centered focus, according to a press release, and is one of a number of new initiatives for AAASWFL in recent months. The agency restructured its organizational chart in February and launched a redesigned website in April and e-newsletter in May. The nonprofit organization is celebrating 40 years in business this year. For more information, visit


Primary care physician Dr. Zaida Bermudez has joined Bayfront Health Medical Group and moved her practice into the Bayfront Health Punta Gorda Medical Office Plaza. With this addition, Bayfront Health Medical Group has 10 office locations, providing care in general surgery, vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, otolaryngology, cardiac surgery and now primary care. Bermudez provides a full range of primary care services and speaks both English and Spanish. She focuses on routine, preventive and problem-focused medicine for adults, from common illnesses to complex, chronic medical problems. She coordinates treatment with other specialists, as needed, to provide comprehensive care by scheduling screenings, providing information on leading a healthy lifestyle and managing chronic diseases. Bermudez is accepting new patients. For more information, visit


SCORE Naples will host “Blogging 101: Beginner’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business” from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 7 at The United Way in Naples. Nella DeCesare, owner/operator of WBN Marketing LLC, will present the event. DeCesare has worked in the advertising and marketing industry for 24 years, specifically within digital advertising for 15 years. She has also consulted in industries such as real estate, construction, retail, hospitality and nonprofit, and taught marketing and social media classes to business owners in the Naples area for more than six years. Key topics of the event will include blogging tools, content, frequency of posting, and promotion. Admission to the event is $30 when registering online. For registration and to make payment, visit or call (239) 430 0081.


Snead Eye Group Founder Dr. John W. Snead and Medical Director Dr. Brad A. Snead of Snead Eye Group have added of Dr. Klaus Freeland, M.D. to their practice. Freeland, a board-certified ophthalmologist, completed his undergraduate studies in agricultural science at Ohio State University. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Florida School of Medicine, Freeland completed his internship at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and ophthalmology residency at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda. Freeland performs cataract and refractive surgery, glaucoma surgery, and laser vision correction including LASIK. He holds numerous certifications demonstrating training on state-of-the-art equipment for laser vision correction and glaucoma surgery. Freeland has authored publications and conducted research on various eye conditions, including how they relate to other diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, Freeland served as a volunteer at the Hospital Loma de Luz in Balfate, Honduras, where he provided cataract, glaucoma and pterygium surgery to those in need.

Charitable Notes

Immokalee CRA funds Residential Options of Florida

The Immokalee Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) has awarded a $30,000 grant to Residential Options of Florida for the development of Independence Place, a project which will provide affordable housing to adults with developmental disabilities who want to live independently in the Immokalee community. Other funding for the project comes from Florida Housing Finance Corp. and Immokalee Housing and Family Services. The grant from Immokalee CRA will be used for renovations that will make the home accessible for people with disabilities. The architectural plans for the home have been redesigned by MHK Architecture and Planning, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. Independence Place is the first home of its kind in Immokalee specifically designed to help individuals with developmental disabilities live in the community with supports that help maximize their independence.

The Heights Foundation seeks donations, volunteers for school supply outreach

The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is seeking individuals, businesses, churches and organizations to provide school supplies and volunteer for its annual outreach program, held from 10 a.m. to noon on July 28 at The Heights Center. The event provides backpacks and school supplies for nearly 500 low-income children living in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The center has a wish list that includes new and durable backpacks, three-ring binders, highlighters, paper, USB flash drives, scissors, folders, crayons, pencils, glue sticks, markers, paper and notebooks. Individuals, businesses, churches or organizations interested in donating or volunteering can contact Melissa Barlow at (239) 482-7706 or  All donations are tax deductible. Monetary donations can be made at, or mailed to The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL  33908.

Hope for Haiti to host annual pub crawl

Hope for Haiti will hold its eighth annual “Hops for Haiti” Trolley Pub Crawl on Aug. 4 in Naples. Registration will begin at 4 p.m. at Bone Hook Brewing Company. Each reservation includes three drink tickets (one for each venue), food specials, raffle opportunities and souvenirs. Tickets are available at Registration is required in advance and space is limited. For more information, visit

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