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SRQ DAILY Dec 28, 2019

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"People have been asking these questions and came up with an answer, virtual health care. "

- Dr. Larry Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design
 

[Under The Hood]  Inform Yourself On Whole Ballot In 2020
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Whatever the Donald Trump administration has otherwise brought upon America, there has been an increase in voter turnout and political interest. This impacts local politicians as much as it does our federal office-seekers. There were winners in the 2018 election cycle I believe hold office today for the foresight to target more than typical mid-term super-voters.

But with the heightened call of the voting booth, I would ask voters to make one resolution regarding their good citizenship. As candidates knock on your door and reach out through your mailbox, question them on the office they intend to hold.

One thing candidates of all political persuasions will quietly confide to those who will listen is that presidential elections, especially in the Trump era, keep voters focused on federal issues. A school board candidate will never address impeachment inquiries, abortion laws or federal income tax rates, but at some point voters will question them on all these matters.

It would be a ludicrous argument to suggest the presidency is anything less than the most important office on the ballot in 2020. But there’s more to government than the occupant of the White House. Or even the make-up of Congress.

As it happens, voters in Manatee and north Sarasota County will get to vote in a heated Congressional race in 2020, with Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan challenged by Democratic state lawmaker Margaret Good. Voters in south Sarasota will weigh in on the less competitive contest between incumbent Rep. Greg Steube and Democrat Allen Allison.

Every state legislative seat in the region, including two state Senate slots and five state House seats, also will be up for election, with the Manatee Senate seat and a Sarasota area House seat both free of incumbents. Every county constitutional official will also be up in 2020, with Sarasota County voters notably choosing a new sheriff.

But there’s also three Sarasota County Commission seats and four Manatee County Commission seats on the ballot. That means control of both boards will be up for grabs. With single-member districts now in play in Sarasota, the power of a single vote means more in choosing the one representative voters will now have on the five-member board. Two School Board seats in each county will also be up for consideration.

Sarasota’s three city districts will also hold elections, putting the majority of the City Commission in front of voters. The same goes for North Port. Bradenton’s mayorship and two City Council seats are up for election. Four Longboat Key seats, a majority of that board, hit the ballot in 2020, as do two Venice City Council seats, the mayorship and two Commission seats in Anna Maria, Palmetto and Holmes Beach, and two ward seats in Bradenton Beach.

And that’s not to count the fire, mosquito control, water and soil or many special taxing districts with elected offices. Oh yeah, there’s also a number of judgeships  on the county and circuit court benches.

Keeping track of every one of these offices is a full-time job (mine!) but every individual voter will only weigh in on a handful of decisions to make during some election in 2020. Fortunately, there’s an army of candidates who will share for you what these positions do and why they believe themselves the best choice to fill them. Any who deserve your vote will be eager to lay out their plans for the job.

And every one of the office-holders elected will have some role in driving the region’s future. Indeed, many of these officials will make decisions that touch your life more directly—and certainly more frequently—than the actions of the President of the United States.

Jacob Ogles is contributing senior editor to SRQ MEDIA. 

[Higher Education]  New Solutions For A New Age: Medicine
Dr. Larry Thompson, lthompso@ringling.edu

I think we would all agree medicine is firmly entrenched in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) world. We want it to be like that. After all, I don’t want my doctor thinking creatively about where my kidneys might be relocated. So, does that mean there is no room for creativity in medicine? Of course not. As I have mentioned repeatedly, creativity is the most important skill for our future and should be infused into the teaching of all disciplines. Likewise, I believe creativity is an integral part of today’s $3.5-trillion U.S. health care industry.

As Dr. Niamh Kelly, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia puts it, “Patients and diseases do not come as prepackaged widgets. A slavish approach to standardized treatments without any creativity can do more harm than good.” Anokhi Saklecha, a medical student at the University of California, San Diego, writes on aspiringdocsdiaries.org “Medicine is a continuously evolving field ... Creativity will improve our abilities to design novel research experiments, determine complex medical diagnoses, communicate with team members, and interact with future patients.” She propounds that we cannot be afraid to venture outside the boundaries of the hard sciences.

At Ringling College of Art and Design, we already venture outside those boundaries. Through collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center, the College is working to develop creative content for digital health-care technologies. “The collaboration with Ringling College will focus on the patient journey and how we can create meaningful tools to help decrease stress, enhance the understanding of upcoming treatments, and connect patients through survivor stories so they don’t feel so alone,” said Sarah Hoffe, M.D., Moffitt’s head of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology. As Morgan Woolverton, interim head of Ringling’s Game Art and Virtual Reality (VR) Development departments, says, we must “…use creativity to fill in the gaps of what is necessarily a human experience of healing and recovery.”

Virtual Reality also helps patients control pain during minimally invasive procedures. VR eases pain from burns and helps patients overcome balance and mobility problems resulting from a stroke or head injury.

Let’s think even further outside the box. What if you lived in a place where you did not have access to a doctor? How would you receive care? What if you and your doctor did not have to be in the same room? Or city? Or COUNTRY? People have been asking these questions and came up with an answer—virtual health care. This approach allows a doctor to engage with patients without being in proximity, and is quickly becoming a priority for health care systems. In an article on huronconsultinggroup.com, a recent survey showed 46% of leaders at large health care systems said telehealth was their top information technology priority, with 86% saying they expect to add some form of telehealth into their systems within the next three years. Here at Ringling College, we offer virtual health care service to employees in addition to the traditional health plan model.

Austin Hill Shaw at the TED MED 2012 event said, “Innovative minds are needed in every industry, and, perhaps most of all, in medicine. Just as there continues to be a need for innovation in health care, there continues to be a need for innovation and creativity in shaping the medical leaders of tomorrow.”

In an article on medicalbag.com, Joel Cooper, DO, notes, “While most of us think of creativity as something reserved for music, writing, theater, cinema, painting, dance or theoretical physics at the highest level (e.g., Einstein’s theory of relativity), creativity is a viable tool that both individuals and organizations can use daily to improve their performance and competitive advantage. And whether we hear it or not, the U.S. health care system is crying out for less sameness, less status quo, and more creativity.”

The Creative Age is upon us. Its leaders will be those who can think creatively and are able to use technology in novel ways to solve problems. Through this series so far, we have seen creativity is integral to building community, protecting the environment and enhancing health care. Just imagine what else we can accomplish, overcome or solve with our creative thinking.

Dr. Larry Thompson is president of Ringling College of Art and Design. 



[SCOOP]  CWC-FPRA Donates to Family Network on Disabilities of Manasota

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) recently hosted an event called “Operation Gratitude” raising funds where a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Family Network on Disabilities of Manasota (FND), a local non-profit organization that assists families of children with disabilities and special needs to go “from Heartache to Hope - One Family at a Time." FND participates in the annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival as one of the non-profits who works the event in exchange for monetary donations. This year’s fundraising goals were a hardship with multiple days of rain. “With the rain, we lost three days to raise money during the festival,” said FND Executive Director Mary Smith.  “I’m so grateful to CWC and truly believe things happen for a reason.”  

Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association

[SCOOP]  Mr. Lucky Giving in Our Community

Local retired entrepreneur and philanthropist Mitchell Epstein has released his first book, Mr. Lucky: My Unexpected Journey to Success, with 100% of proceeds being donated to local charities, all supporting scholarships and less fortunate children and families in the community. Epstein, a first-time author, was inspired to write about his own life’s stories, challenges and “Mr. Lucky” perspective while mentoring two local young men who were homeless shortly before he met them. The book, a gift from the heart that Epstein hopes will inspire readers during this holiday season and beyond, demonstrates that you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to succeed in the business world. His unique viewpoint – presented in an entertaining and easy to read format, enabled him to take what an associate called “the stupidest idea” ever and build the foundation for a business that was so successful it allowed him to retire at age 47. His passion for mentoring young people helped him recognize that his purpose in life is to inspire people to be more successful in their careers and happier in personal relationships and life. 

Mr. Lucky: My Unexpected Journey to Success

[SCOOP]  All Faiths Food Bank Receives $165,000 in Grants in Support of Mobile Distribution and Children, Family, and Veteran Programs

All Faiths Food Bank recently received grants from the following foundations: $105,000 from The Stone Foundation in support of the Mobile Farm Market, Backpack and Veterans Pantry programs; $40,000 from Harry Sudakoff Foundation in support of the BackPack and School Pantry Programs; $20,000 from the Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation in support of the Mobile Pantry and Mobile Farm Market programs. The foundations donated grants in support of Backpacks, which provide students with nutritious snacks over the weekend and holidays, School Pantries which provide fresh produce, meats and groceries to families at schools, Mobile Farm Markets which distribute fresh produce in our community, and the Mobile Pantry Program (including the Veterans Pantry every second and fourth Tuesday of the month) which provides access to fresh produce, meats and groceries to those in need. 

All Faiths Food Bank

[KUDOS]  Behavioral Health Unit Recognized for Patient Experience

Chandelle LaForest was struggling for months with a physical illness. Then she says she started feeling worse, mentally. Her physician suggested Serenity Place at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. Serenity Place is an acute care, behavioral health unit serving people 50 years and older experiencing crises in mental health. It is because of stories like Chandelle’s, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota earned the 2019 Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for Patient Experience in Inpatient Behavioral Health. According to Press Ganey, the award honors those who have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience. The Guardian of Excellence award measures a patient’s likelihood to recommend the facility, teamwork and the overall patient experience rating. For those like Chandelle LaForest, the treatment she received at Serenity Place at Doctors Hospital was life changing. “It’s been a complete change in my life that I am so grateful for,” Chandelle says.  

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. 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. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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