Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton is busting since graduating its first class of would-be doctors last year.
The latest is that it has received initial accreditation for university sponsored residency programs in general surgery and emergency medicine.
It’s a big deal for the up-and-coming medical school.
Spokeswoman Gisele Galoustian says the emergency medicine residency is the only such program in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The surgery residency program is one of only three programs between the two counties.
The six-year general surgery training program is based at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, the primary site for the program, as well as Bethesda Hospital East, Delray Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.
The three-year emergency medicine training program is based at Bethesda Hospital East, the primary site for the program, as well as St. Mary’s Medical Center and Delray Medical Center.
All five hospitals are member teaching hospitals in the FAU College of Medicine Consortium.
“FAU’s general surgery program has been approved for a total of 45 clinical positions and up to seven positions for a unique value-added year of scholarship and research, making this program one of the largest in the nation,” according to an FAU news release.
More than a decade ago, Rita Gorenflo of Palm Beach Gardens signed on as a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the state of Florida on behalf of nearly two million poor and disabled children on Medicaid.
Through a lengthy Miami trial and the appeal of the judge’s scathing findings against the state, Gorenflo lost a son, while she raised six other adopted disabled children to adulthood.
Last week, the state and plaintiffs settled the class-action case with Florida agreeing to increase enrollment efforts that have left children off of Medicaid.
“It is, at least, an admission from the state that issues exist and need to be dealt with,” said Gorenflo, her son Thomas’ care becoming a prime example of the state failing disabled children.
One of the biggest victories in the multifaceted settlement is that the state agreed to increase reimbursement rates for doctors and pediatricians – one of the lowest in the country. The aim is that more doctors will now participate in the Medicaid program, increasing care and cutting travel times for families.
“It’s been 30 years since physicians were able to increase their reimbursement,” Gorenflo said. “You want to know why pediatricians were reluctant to take Medicaid patients? It was way beyond pathetic. Hopefully, it will be better.”
Gorenflo’s son, Thomas, died of his birth defects in 2011 at age 12. He became emblematic of the lawsuit. Despite his lungs being crushed by the curvature of his spine due to progressive scoliosis, the child had to wait 18 months for vital surgery while Gorenflo battled the state.
The registered nurse praised the lead attorney Stuart Singer and his firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, which handled the case pro-bono. The case was settled after a federal judge ruled for the plaintiffs in December 2014, finding the state was low-balling doctors. Florida, however, appealed the decision.
Singer said there is a belief the state agency that administers Medicaid — the Agency for Health Care Administration — will act in good faith. “There is also the ability to go to court and seek injunctive relief if the agreement is materially breached and that is not remedied,” he told The Post.
Dr. Tommy Shechtman, president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, noted that there is still work to be done as there are approximately 377,000 uninsured children in Florida — more than 28,600 living in Palm Beach County.
“We have the unfortunate distinction of being one of the nation’s top 20 counties for having the highest number children without health insurance,” Schechtman said. “This is alarming. However, I remain encouraged that through FCAAP’s collaboration with the state we can and will strive for significant improvement.”
Tallahassee pediatric cardiologist Louis St. Petery, who was highly involved in the lawsuit, said the effects of the settlement will take some time to implement.
“I don’t see any change in access tomorrow compared to today just because the settlement agreement is in place,” he said. “The settlement agreement meters this out over one year, two years, three years, depending on which category of physicians and dentists you’re talking about.”
Good, a media news publishing site, released a video recently with a question for us: What is the world’s most dangerous, deadliest creature?
Go ahead, think about it.
The world’s most poisonous is the box jellyfish, but its kill rate is pedestrian at less than 6,000 since 1955.
But what about the deadliest?
It’s man, right? Good guess, but even with an annual tally of 475,000, man isn’t No. 1 either.
Some animals considered super dangerous are not even close.
Sharks kill about 10 people a year. Crocodiles tally 1,000. Tapeworms, dogs, snakes and parasitic roundworms kill tens of thousands. Even the freshwater snail leads to more than 110,000 human deaths annually by passing on Schistosomiasis, a disease that bedevils Africa.
So have you come up with the world’s deadliest creature?
Guess what? It’s right now hanging out in your backyard.
Yep, it’s the mosquito, which recently has fostered the Zika epidemic after – of course – fostering the Michael Jackson Thriller of diseases, malaria.
It kills 725,000 people every year by sucking our blood and giving us malaria and other diseases it carries, according to Good’s video.
Good’s video listing the world’s most dangerous animals – including man – ending with our friend the mosquito can be viewed by clicking here .
You can also check out their other videos on their Facebook page here.
Ithaca’s mayor has a unique plan to address the drug epidemic in his community: a supervised heroin injection facility.
“I have watched for 20 years this system that just doesn’t work,” Svante Myrick, 28, explained in an Associated Press interview. “We can’t wait anymore for the federal government. We have people shooting up in alleys. In bathroom stalls. And too many of them are dying.”
Myrick’s plan is to create a facility where heroin users can shoot the illegal drug with a clean needle under the supervision of a nurse, and without fear of being arrested by police. Medical staff will be available if the user should accidentally overdose, and other resources will be available if the addict wants to seek recovery treatment.
“I think for a lot of people this is going to sound like a weird concept — ‘Aren’t you just encouraging them to use drugs?'” he said. “But I think it’s more possible now than at any time in our history. The opioid epidemic is affecting more people and we know we can’t wait any longer for the federal government to do something.”
The plan faces legal hurdles in New York’s legislature, where heroin use has not been deemed a state health crisis yet. These types of facilities are already in use in Canada, Europe and Australia, according to the AP, so there is precedent for the approach.
Read more about Myrick’s background, how he came up with the idea and the opposition he faces here.