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SRQ Daily Nov 19, 2014

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"It's not the robot doing the surgery. It's the surgeon and his team doing the surgery."

- Dr. James Fiorica, Sarasota Memorial Hospital

[Politics]  Party Leaders Drew Voters in Force
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

On a statewide level, Gov. Rick Scott finished one of the most hard-fought political fights of the year with a lead over Democrat Charlie Crist greater than his scant victory four years ago. But the gap in Sarasota County between the Republican governor and his challenger was closer than it was in 2010, even though he still could put the county in his victory column?

The explanation? Both parties in Sarasota County in this election cycle showed a sophistication with Get Out The Vote efforts impressive both when compared to historic showings and when contrasted against efforts throughout the state of Florida. An election analysis by SRQ Media Group showed both parties were able to draw their own voters out at greater rates than the state's turnout as a whole.

Democratic turnout in Sarasota County for the Nov. 4 contest was 58.43 percent, considerably less than the 65.72 percent turnout for Sarasota County Republicans, but much more than the 50.51 percent statewide turnout. In advance of the election. Immediately after the election, Democratic Party of Sarasota Chairwoman Rita Ferrandino said the party did its part to close the gap between Crist and Scott. "We would have been happier and preferred to have won Sarasota for Democrats, but we were proud given the onslaught that we held on," she said.

In fact, the gap between Crist and Scott was just 4,972 in Sarasota County, compared to a 6,538-vote win for Scott here in 2010 over Democrat Alex Sink.

But what makes the closing of the gap more striking is that Republicans gained here as well. Scott took in just 73,089 votes in 2010 but 78,678 votes this go. In fact, the 73,706 votes for Crist here would have been a narrow win over Scott's 2010 numbers. "I give the Democrats credit for that," said Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota.

It wasn't just voter enthusiasm. Absentee ballots, a form of voting in which party mechanisms can make a big difference, saw strong showings with both parties.  Before the election, 19,528 Democratic voters mailed in ballots in Sarasota County. Republicans saw 24,973 absentee ballots cast by their voters in the county, though Crist in fact won the absentee vote here.

SRQ Media Group will further explore election returns at a Where The Votes Are event this morning, when Senior Editor Jacob Ogles will discuss his findings with attendees. Doors open for the event at 7:30am at SRQ's 331 S. Pineapple Ave. headquarters in Sarasota. The event is free and open to the public. 

[Technology]  SMH Unveils da Vinci Robotic Surgery System
Ben Reece

Watching an accomplished surgeon work the arms and pedals of the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system is like watching a master organist perform: his hands and feet move with confidence, and man and machine seem as one. Actually using the da Vinci demonstrates why. The display is like looking down onto the operating table with eyes that can zoom into an 8-millimeter hole, and the manipulating arms have over six joints with at least 180 degrees of movement. When all this comes together as neatly as it does, using the system becomes intuitive—the robot almost responds to thoughts, becoming an extension of the hands.

Dr. James Fiorica, the chief of staff at SMH, as well as the head of Gynecological Oncology, medical director of Robotic Surgery and chairman of the Robotic Steering Committee, described the da Vinci system and how it was used in procedures. A particularly important step in bridging the disconnect between surgeon and robot was made with the improvement to the da Vinci’s binary camera system, which is what allows the display to more closely mimic human vision by showing depth of field. This feature, coupled with the camera’s ability to adjust magnification, means an operating surgeon can see with 15 times the visual acuity of the unaided eye.

Fiorica emphasized the robot was only an assisting device: “It’s not the robot doing the surgery. It’s the surgeon and his team doing the surgery.” Patients are encouraged to go online to the SMH website to see the da Vinci system for themselves, so they know what to expect when they get to the operating room.

SMH made another recent important acquisition in the form of Dr. Kenneth Meredith. He is the No. 1 physician in the world for esophageal cancer surgeries, and is also in the top five robot-assisted pancreatic cancer surgeons in the country, having begun his involvement with robotic surgical systems in 2002.

Meredith described how the da Vinci system makes surgery safer and a better overall experience for both patient and physician. Surgeries that would normally require the entire torso to be opened, such as operations on endometrial or uterine cancers, require only a two-inch incision to complete with the da Vinci system.

There is a much better recovery period for patients when robotic surgery systems are used; 95 percent of Meredith’s endometrial cancer robotic surgery patients are home the day after the surgery. In light of both the smaller incision and drastically reduced recovery period, Meredith said that physicians across the world were “obligated as surgeons” to offer the robotic surgery. 

[Exec Moves]  Ringling Museum Hires Head Librarian

The Ringling welcomed back Elisa Hansen after her stint abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hansen previously served as the as the director of Adult and Academic Programs and, later, as acting curator at The Ringling from 1989-1995. She has experience as an academic and school librarian, and has taught art history at several colleges. Hansen stated that her goals for heading up The Ringling Art Library include establishing working relationships with area institutions of higher learning to promote scholarship through the Library’s extensive collections. 

The Ringling Art Library

[Exec Moves]  Radkovich Joins Cavanaugh

Cavanaugh and Company, a full service CPA group, announced Sharon Radakovich has joined the firm as senior tax manager. A seasoned tax professional, Radakovich graduated Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Steubenville.  Her background includes working in private industry as well as over 25 years in Public Accounting. 

Cavanaugh and Co., LLP

[Exec Moves]  RE/MAX Alliance Group Welcomes Hanly Team

Realtors Tom and Pat Hanly have returned to RE/MAX Alliance Group, along with their son, Spencer. Ranked in the top 1 percent of Realtors nationwide, the Hanlys specialize in residential properties in Sarasota, Longboat Key, Bird Key and Siesta Key, with particular expertise in new construction and renovation. 

RE/Max Alliance Group

[TODAY]  Reserve Your Tribute to Business Profile Today

Counting down to the beginning of a New Year is an exciting time, and we’re adding another reason to celebrate! SRQ | The Magazine is thrilled to sponsor the return of the popular Tribute to Business special showcase this January 2015. Launched in celebration of our 15-year anniversary, the Tribute to Business gives all of our amazing local small businesses the opportunity to participate in an annual celebration of local business.Share your story. Come into our studio for your photo session and interview by our talented creative team. We’ll do the rest. It’s that easy. What a perfect way to make your company shine and to recognize your staff. Tribute to Business participants receive full page profile with image, interview, company info and logo. Contact the SRQ Sales team today to make your reservation! GrowMyBusiness@srqmag.com 

[UPDATE]  Where the Votes Are

SRQ Media Group hosted "Where the Votes Are" yesterday morning with Senior Editor Jacob Ogles presenting. The event focused on the results of the November 4th general election. If you missed out on the political banter, hot coffee and delicious bagels, visit www.srqmagazine.com to view the presentation online! Photos from the event are posted at http://www.clicksrq.com. Be sure to join us next time! 

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Jacob Ogles. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising, please contact Ashley Ryan at 941-365-7702 x211 or at her contact page. To unsubscribe, please click here.

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