LAKELAND REGIONAL HEALTH
Rekha Suthar, M.D., MPH, DABA, joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group and specializes in interventional pain management, seeing patients at the Highlands location. Suthar is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management. She earned her medical degree from B.J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, and completed her residency in anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. She completed fellowship training in interventional pain management from Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals, Cleveland. Suthar also holds a Masters of Public Health degree from Florida International University, Miami; has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.
Sandra Rodriguez Fernandez, M.D., joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as an internal medicine physician, seeing patients at the Plant City location. Rodriguez Fernandez earned her medical degree from the Carlos J. Finlay Higher Institute of Medical Sciences in Camaguey, Cuba, and completed her internal medicine residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Rodriguez Fernandez is also a member of the American College of Physicians. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and speaks both English and Spanish.
Jacqueline Moreda, PA-C, joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a board-certified physician assistant specializing in urogynecology. Moreda completed her physician assistant education at Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. She sees patients at the Grasslands campus.
Ronnie Moore, APRN, PMHNP, joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a board-certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Moore earned his nurse practitioner degree at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, and completed his post-master’s studies as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Maryville University of Saint Louis. He sees patients at the Grasslands campus.
Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center was listed on the Leading Hospitals in Early COVID Care list from Healthgrades recognizing 24 U.S. hospitals that provided best-in-class COVID-19 care to their patients and community during the first wave of the pandemic while treating the highest volumes of coronavirus patients. Lakeland Regional Health took early steps to lay a foundation of care by establishing a COVID Medical Oversight Committee to review and update literature, establish treatment protocols, and provide guidance for necessary decisions and operations related to COVID care.
BAYCARE MEDICAL GROUP
Ernest Gilmore, M.D., has joined BayCare Medical Group at 2250 Osprey Blvd., Suite 102, Bartow. He is joining advanced practice registered nurse Satoria Reid-Rowe at this practice. He is board certified in internal medicine and is accepting new patients age 18 and older. Gilmore earned his Doctor of Medicine, with honors, from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina. He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. He is a member of the American College of Physicians and the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
BayCare has named Kristen Smith, MSN, RN, as the chief nursing officer for BayCare Polk County hospitals effective Feb. 21. Smith, who was the director of patient services at BayCare’s St. Anthony’s Hospital, will work with teams across all clinical settings, including hospital operations, ambulatory services, behavioral health and others. In her previous role, Smith led more than 400 team members at St. Anthony’s Hospital and developed the neurology bed alert process. She also served as the chair of BayCare’s Medical- Surgical Telemetry Collaborative. Smith received her Bachelor's Degree in nursing from St. Petersburg College, and a Master’s Degree in nursing, healthcare leadership at Jacksonville University. She is a member of the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives and is the current president of the Tampa Bay Organization of Nurse Executives. Smith has received many awards, including Team DAISY and the Service Excellence Champion, for her dedication and commitment to compassionate care.
BARTOW REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
Bartow Regional Medical Center’s rehab team was presented the Team Daisy Award on Feb. 22. The team was nominated by their colleagues in the hospital who noted the team’s efforts specifically during the hospital’s response to the third COVID wave. Jim Goodwin and his team of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapists and staff were ever-present on the inpatient nursing units helping to care for patients, facilitate discharges, and generally support our frontline nurses and techs.
Bartow Regional Medical Center made its debut on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. It ranked sixth of 20 hospitals in the small community hospitals category, scoring in the 99th percentile overall in quality of care in comparison with more than 800 other small hospitals nationwide. The hospital also earned a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and launched nationally recognized heart and robotics programs.
WINTER HAVEN HOSPITAL
Winter Haven Hospital now offers brachytherapy, a procedure that helps prevent restenosis, the growth of scar tissue that sometimes occurs in a coronary artery after placement of a stent, and is the only hospital within 300 miles to offer this procedure.
Watson Clinic registered nurse practitioner Wendi Johnson, APRN, has earned status as an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant with specialized training in providing high-quality breastfeeding care for new mothers and their babies. She is working alongside board-certified gynecologist John R. Ellington Jr., M.D., at Watson Clinic Bella Vista Building. A lactation consultant works with new and expectant mothers, as well as their newborns, to address challenges that might include breast engorgement, poor breastfeeding latch, difficulties with milk supply, clogged ducts, nipple pain or infant fussiness. Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and her Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner degree from South University in Tampa. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Certified physician assistant Chalsey Lockhart, PA, joined Watson Clinic and serves patients of board-certified internal medicine specialist Agustin Tavares, M.D., from the Watson Clinic South facility, Lakeland. Lockhart earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. She is a member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, and a certified member of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Makenzie Gordon, PA-C, joined Watson Clinic and is a certified physician assistant who works alongside board-certified cardiology specialists Mark H. Mines, M.D., FACC, and Zia Rab, M.D., from Watson Clinic Main in Lakeland. Gordon achieved her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree from Lincoln Memorial University - School of Medical Sciences in Harrogate, Tennessee. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Watson Clinic OB-GYN and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeon Tarek G. Garas, M.D., was recently named an InterStim Center of Excellence by Medtronic, medical device manufacturer. This distinction is awarded to caregivers who have demonstrated particular expertise in the use of the InterStim system to treat overactive bladder, as well as non-obstructive urinary retention and chronic fecal incontinence. Garas received his medical degree from Creighton University of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, and then completed his internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Garas is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Urogynecologic Society, the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society and the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. The Surgical Review Corp. also recognized him as a Surgeon of Excellence for his expertise in performing robotic surgical procedures. His areas of expertise include comprehensive obstetric and gynecologic services for all stages of life, as well as minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, advanced robotic surgery, and the latest treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, painful bladder syndrome and other common pelvic floor disorders. Garas works at the Watson Clinic Bella Vista Building, Lakeland, and the Watson Clinic Bartow Building B, Bartow.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Local health people news