December 2010

Healing Hearts
Starting this month, Sarasota Memorial’s cardiac rehab team begins a monthly support group for people and families affected by heart disease. The group, which features guest speakers at some meetings, is especially beneficial to people who have recently undergone heart surgery, and their families, to learn about different aspects of life after surgery. Everyone is welcome. The group meets noon-1 pm every Wednesday in the education room at Sarasota Memorial’s Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. For information, call (941) 917-6139 or email:

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An Ounce of Prevention: Diabetic Heart Disease
Diabetes is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Learn how to manage this risk and protect your heart health in a free presentation by Mahfouz El Shahawy, MD, cardiovascular disease prevention specialist and medical director of Sarasota Memorial’s Cardiovascular Disease Assessment Center. The lecture will be held 5-6 pm Wednesday, Dec. 15 in Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s first floor auditorium, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail. Call (941) 917-7777 to register or for information.

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Medicare Enrollment Help
Sarasota Memorial and SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) are providing Medicare beneficiaries a place to get free objective help comparing plans and obtaining the best health and prescription coverage to meet their needs. Specially trained SHINE volunteer counselors will provide free information and assistance every Friday at Sarasota Memorial’s Memory Disorder Clinic, located at the Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, through Dec. 31. In addition, an Open Enrollment Event will be held on Dec. 2, from 9 am to 3 pm, at the Institute for Advanced Medicine. Individuals interested in getting help comparing plans should bring a list of medications, a list of providers (e.g., doctor or pharmacy), and any notices from an existing plan (i.e., Annual Notice of Change), Social Security, or Medicare about changes to costs and coverage for next year. For more information, call the Elder Helpline toll-free at (800) 963-5337 and ask to be connected with a SHINE counselor.

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Holiday Blood Drive
Join Sarasota Memorial staff and visitors for a special four-day blood drive to help protect our community’s blood supply during the holiday season. The blood drive will be held at the main hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota: • Tuesday, Dec. 7 – 8 am to 5 pm – 3C conference room • Wednesday, Dec. 8 – 10 am to 6 pm – 3C conference room • Thursday, Dec. 9 – 8 am to 5 pm – 3C conference room • Saturday, Dec. 11 – 7 am to noon – old board room (first floor)

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Solutions for Resolutions
From exercise and weight loss to smoking cessation and other personal wellness goals, Sarasota Memorial’s Healthplex is offering free classes throughout January to help you achieve your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions. Visit our online calendar for a complete schedule, or call (941) 917-7000 for information.

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Transformative Grief: Growth in the Midst of Loss
Grief is not just about the loss of a loved one. When you experience the loss of a job, a home or dream you imagined, grieving can profoundly affect your world. But from our grief, there is an opportunity to grow and transform ourselves. Dr. Ken Doka, internationally acclaimed author and speaker, will share his research and experience on this subject at a FREE event on Friday, Jan. 21, 10 am to 3 pm in Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s first floor auditorium, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Community members and professionals are invited. Continuing education credits will be provided for $20. Call Sarasota Memorial’s Bayside Center at (941) 917-1779 to reserve a seat today.

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Sunshine from Darkness Mental Health Symposium – Coping with Trauma & PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious, but treatable cognitive disorder that can emerge after a single traumatic event or after the cumulative effects of deployment and combat. Anyone who has faced significant trauma is susceptible: abuse victims, first responders, victims of violent crimes, etc. To learn more, attend this FREE community forum, 9 am-1 pm Jan. 14 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Speakers include: Charles Hoge, MD (ret. Army Colonel who directed the U.S. military’s psychiatry and neuroscience research program at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research); Sgt. Tommy Reiman (Silver Start and Purple Heart recipient); Paul Freedman (film maker - symposium will include screening of his film "Halfway Home"); and Patrick Kennedy (former congressman and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addition Equity Act of 2008). Community information tables open at 8 am. RSVP: (941) 917-7777.

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Community Health Calendar
Upcoming events, classes, support groups. Register online or call
(941) 917-7777

  • » Caregiver Connection: 2nd Wednesday of the month. Information: (941) 917-4156
  • » Childbirth Education (free and fee-based classes); Mommies & Babies Get-Together - Every Wednesday. Information: (941) 917-1700
  • » Diabetes Education: 1st Monday of the month. Information: (941) 917-7468
  • » FREE Memory Screenings: (941) 917-7197
  • » FREE Mental Health Assessments: (941) 917-7760
  • » Living Well With Heart Failure: (941) 917-2114
  • » Men to Men Prostate Cancer Support Group: 4th Monday of the month. Information: (941) 309-7473
  • » MS Friends of Hope: 3rd Thursday of the month. Information: (941) 917-7777
  • » Stroke Support: 2nd Wednesday of the month. Information: (941) 917-7048
  • » Parkinson Support: Sarasota - every 3rd Wednesday; Venice - every 4th Thursday; North Port - every 2nd Wednesday; Manatee - every 1st Wednesday. Information: (941) 917-4156
  • » Breast Feeding Support: Every Tuesday. Information: (941) 917-1700


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Beat Holiday Stress with Vigor

Stressed out over the holidays? Exercise may help. That was the focus of a recent study that showed short bouts of exercise could go a long way to reduce the impact stress has on cell aging. Vigorous physical activity amounting to as little as 14 minutes daily, three days per week, would suffice for the protective effect to kick in, according to the findings. The benefit reflects exercise's effect on the length of tiny pieces of DNA known as telomeres. These telomeres operate, in effect, like molecular shoelace tips that hold everything together to keep genes and chromosomes stable. Researchers believe that telomeres tend to shorten over time in reaction to stress, leading to a rising risk for heart disease, diabetes and even death. The research indicates that exercise, however, might slow down or even halt this shortening process.

The exercise professionals at Healthplex are here to answer your health and fitness questions. We offer many options to help meet your goals, including services such as personal training, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and group exercise classes. To learn more about our programs, we invite you to come by for a tour. Visit or call (941) 917-7000 for more information.

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Upcoming Foundation Events

SMH EPIC Fun-Raising Party
Join SMH physicians and staff for an EPIC fun-raising party Friday, May 6, at Gecko’s “Hillview.” The popular physician band Dr. FeelGood will perform 4:30-8:30 pm, and those who donate $5 at the door will enjoy a buffet of free food and appetizers provided by Gecko’s. All donations benefit the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s EPIC (Employee Partners in Caring) Campaign supporting advanced services, technology and staff education at Sarasota Memorial.

This newsletter is produced by Sarasota Memorial's team of healthcare professionals. You are receiving Health e-clicks because you either have joined our mailing list or were referred by a friend. We will protect your privacy and will not share your email address with other organizations. Click here to view our patient privacy practices. If you wish to be taken off our mailing list, Unsubscribe here, call 941-917-7777 or write to: Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, 1700 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34239.