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  • Memorial Healthcare System Mobile Health Center

    Memorial to Improve Health for Underserved Communities 'One City at a Time'

    For more than 70 years, Memorial Healthcare System has provided care at its facilities to individuals from communities in south Broward County, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. Now, the health-focused provider is taking things a step further, increasing access for uninsured and underinsured children and adults by providing services directly from underserved locations.

    Memorial has unveiled a population health initiative called “One City at a Time” that will station Memorial Primary Care Mobile Health Centers, or mobile units, within cities in south Broward for extended periods of time. Medical professionals with expertise in both pediatric and adult medicine will be on-site to provide vaccines, conduct health screenings and school physicals, and offer nutritional counseling. Additionally, they can make referrals to dentists, determine Medicaid eligibility, and link individuals to social services.

    “We know that not having easy access to care is one of the social determinants that impact a person’s overall health,” said Melida Akiti, vice president of the Ambulatory Program and Community Services at Memorial Primary Care. “This effort is focused on removing barriers and increasing trust among people that often feel society has left them behind.”

    Memorial’s program began with a kickoff event May 20 at Foster Park in Hallandale Beach. Memorial’s mobile units will then be stationed at that location every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for six weeks. After that, they will remain in the community one day a week for two years. Similar outreach is planned in the next year for locations in Miramar, Dania Beach, and Hollywood. No appointment is necessary and there is never a charge for any of the services provided.

    The Memorial program will focus on improving the overall health of those in the community and introduce needy audiences to care that may prevent or treat chronic conditions. Surveys will be conducted in July of this year and again in 2025 to evaluate success.

    Memorial Primary Care, part of Memorial Healthcare System, is dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate, patient-centered care. With numerous locations and outreach throughout South Florida, its highly-skilled team of healthcare professionals works to meet each individual’s needs in a friendly and culturally-sensitive environment.

  • Memorial and Joe D foundation logos

    South Floridians Honored for Healing Spirit, Leadership

    Five local individuals and an organization were recently honored by the Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundations at the 23rd Circle of Friends luncheon at the Signature Grand in Davie.

    Dr. Paula Eckardt, Italia Folleco, Dr. Randy Katz, Dr. Holly Neville, and Craig Zinn were named “Spirit of Healing” award winners for professional excellence, community service, and a commitment to Memorial Healthcare System. The contributions of The Taft Foundation were recognized with the “Wasie Philanthropic Leadership” award.

    “This year’s award recipients are individuals and a foundation that have made a significant impact in our community,” said Kevin Janser, president of Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundations. “Through their unwavering commitment, they continuously strive towards bettering the lives of our patients and families.”

    Paula Eckardt

    Paula Eckardt, MD, of Weston, is currently medical director of Memorial’s Ryan White Clinic, which provides services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and whose multidisciplinary team helps ensure that patients have access to medications, mental health services and case management services in addition to their medical care. With her leadership, Memorial was a real leader managing a hospital system during a pandemic. She has a true passion for caring and treating at-risk patients and then helping patients stay in care, take their medications, manage their conditions and get better. Dr. Eckardt is also clinical assistant professor of medicine at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, and clinical affiliate associate professor of medicine for the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

    Italia Folleco

    Italia Folleco, of Dania Beach, is a member and chair of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. Ms. Folleco’s daughter, at age nine, learned that she had osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive childhood bone cancer, and passed away in 2007 from complications of her cancer treatment. Ms Folleco and her family have worked ever since to keep Daniella’s legacy alive. The Follecos teamed up with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation to raise funds to create Daniella’s Atrium, a bright, colorful space where patients and families could get a taste of the outside world. Ms. Folleco educates nursing and medical residents as well as staff across the system on the philosophy of patient and family-centered care (PFCC). She leads many educational sessions to promote understanding of PFCC and provide the participants the opportunity to listen to and reflect on the patient-family ‘lived experience’ in a way they may not have previously. Her inspiration continues to be Daniella.

    Randy Katz

    Randy Katz, DO, FACEP, of Davie, is the district medical director of emergency medicine at Memorial Healthcare System, and believes he’s in a unique position to benefit the patients and families he serves. Dr. Katz spearheaded a proactive 2020 initiative to confront COVID-19 in nursing homes and established an outreach plan offering critical services to nearly 60 unaffiliated facilities throughout south Broward County. The initiative gave Memorial the opportunity to oversee virus containment in facilities that didn’t have the expertise to manage such emergency preparedness strategies. Another example of Dr. Katz commitment is the project he developed for Memorial’s Sickle Cell Day Center, a new, stand-alone facility offering primary care, hematology, and social services to patients battling the genetic blood disorder. With evidence-based approaches, education, and training, Dr. Katz and his team have been able to dramatically improve the quality of care provided for patients. These successful efforts led by Dr. Katz embody Memorial’s commitment to the community and exemplify the very spirit of healing.

    Holly Neville

    Holly Neville, MD, of Hollywood, is a pediatric general surgeon, chief of pediatric surgery at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and associate chief medical officer for Memorial Healthcare System. Dr. Neville is also the program director of Memorial's General Surgery Residency Program in Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Neville is past president of the Florida Association of Pediatric Surgeons. She is making a tangible difference in children’s lives daily. She serves on the education and wellness committee for the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA), and, as a certified coach, co-founded and leads the ASPA Coaching Program. Additionally, she sits on the University of Florida College of Medicine Alumni Board. She is a generous supporter of Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundations and serves on their boards. With all her responsibilities, Dr. Neville still finds helping children and families the most rewarding part of her work at Memorial. She is also actively involved in the Association of Women Surgeons. In addition to her work as a surgeon, she is also a mom to three kids, two rescue dogs, and a bird.

    Craig Zinn

    Craig Zinn, a Broward County resident, is an entrepreneur that has spent four decades in the automotive industry. The Craig Zinn Automotive Group operates in South Florida and is made up of Toyota of Hollywood, Lexus of Pembroke Pines, Lexus of North Miami, Acura of Pembroke Pines, and Subaru of Pembroke Pines. Mr. Zinn believes that being a success is when you can help those around you. His commitment to the community who instilled in him to take care of children, that children are our future, and that children should be entitled to a childhood in which they can have fun and not have to deal with health problems. As a generous supporter of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Mr. Zinn has created an endowment to underwrite costs associated with the Animal Assisted Therapy program at the children’s hospital. Additionally, Subaru of Pembroke Pines and its “Share the Love” campaign provided funding that was part of the capital campaign for the expansion of the pediatric facility.

    The Taft Foundation strives to fulfill the legacy of its founder, Don Taft, by making it possible for children with medical challenges, and children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to live full and joyful lives. They have done that at Memorial by gifting a chapel at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and through connections to the Jeff Conine All-Star Golf Tournament that have resulted in more than $1 million being donated to underwrite expenses at the Conine Clubhouse.

    The Memorial Foundation and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation raise funds philanthropically to assist patients, families, and to underwrite the cost of programs, facilities, and equipment within the Memorial Healthcare System.

  • Sasha Barkov at Joe D and playing hockey

    Florida Panthers Forward Aleksander Barkov Nominated for 2022-23 King Clancy Memorial Trophy

    The National Hockey League has announced the 32 team nominees for the 2022-23 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented ‘to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.’ Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, a Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation ambassador, has been selected as the club's 2022-23 nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

    The winner will be chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. The selection committee will apply the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner:

    • Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
    • Investment of time and resources
    • Commitment to a particular cause or community
    • Commitment to the League’s community initiatives
    • Creativity of programming
    • Use of influence; engagement of others

    The first-place finisher will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice. The two runners-up each will receive a $5,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.

    Barkov, 27, created a partnership of his own (#BarkovScores4JoeD) with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. With every goal that he scores, Barkov promises to donate $1,600 in honor of his #16 and $800 for every assist. With nearly four seasons of the partnership competed, Barkov has committed more than $300,000 to the children’s hospital. Additionally, each regular season, Barkov buys and donates a suite at FLA Live Arena for each Panthers home game to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital so children, families, doctors, nurses, and caretakers can enjoy Panthers hockey.

    “Sasha has been a great ambassador for us and a credit to athletes everywhere, selflessly sharing of himself and bringing joy to those impacted by illness,” said Kevin Janser, president of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation. “We’re proud to have him on our team and wish the Panthers the best of luck in their quest for the Stanley Cup.”

    The King Clancy Memorial Trophy was presented in 1988 by the NHL’s Board of Governors in honor of Frank “King” Clancy, a beloved figure in the League for decades as a player, referee, coach, manager and goodwill ambassador. A three-time Stanley Cup champion and 1958 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Clancy was voted as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League’s Centennial Celebration in 2017.

    Barkov has previously won the NHL’s Frank J. Selke trophy, signifying the game’s best defensive forward, and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL player that combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct, and a high standard of playing ability. A Boca Raton resident, Barkov was the second overall pick in the 2013 draft and has played his entire NHL career for the Panthers.