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Health Care District Hospital Board Member and Employee Honored for their Commitment to Rural Health

Terri Calsetta Receiving Rural Health Champion Award

Two dedicated members of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County team have received special recognition for their work improving the health of the Glades communities. Sandra Gove Chamblee, Vice Chair of the Lakeside Health Advisory Board and Terri Calsetta, Lakeside Medical Center’s Director of Patient Experience and Hospital Communications were honored by the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network in October for their achievements supporting rural health.

Mrs. Chamblee was presented a Lifetime Achievement award and Ms. Calsetta was recognized as a Rural Health Champion. Mrs. Chamblee is a founding mother of the Health Care District, a diverse, public health care system that is marking its 30th anniversary of keeping the community healthy. Early in her career, she was called upon by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to oversee a study on HIV and TB in the Glades area. The study evolved into the Glades Health Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides HIV education, testing, and linkage to care services which she ran for 14 years. She retired in 2010 and now serves on the Lakeside Health Advisory Board, Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network Board and is the president of the Women’s Club of Belle Glade.

“She brings a strong sense of fairness and it does not take one long to realize this,” said Andrea Stephenson, executive director of LORHN during the October 24th Rural Health Symposium in Okeechobee attended by more than 100 professionals from throughout Florida. “She is a fierce advocate and does not ‘back down’ when it comes to pushing for programs, services, and support for the residents in the rural communities.”

At this year’s Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, Ms. Calsetta was recognized for more than 21 years of commitment and service to the Glades. More than 200 Belle Glade residents and professionals attended the 54th annual banquet October 23rd at the UF Everglades Research and Education Center.

“Her love and appreciation of the Glades communities has driven her faithful service over these many years,” said Mary Weeks, RN, who serves on the Lakeside Health Advisory Board and was the Chief Nursing Officer for Lakeside Medical Center before retiring in 2010. “The roles in which she has served have required her time after working hours, and on weekends. Her devotion to the Glades is genuine.”

On behalf of the hospital, Ms. Calsetta sits on the Glades PATCH (Planned Approach to Community Health) Board, the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce Board, the Leadership Glades Board, Alzheimer’s Community Care Board, and spent many years on both the Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network Board and the Jerome Golden Board. She was the voice of House Calls and Focus on Health radio shows at WSWN WBGF for over 15 years. She is a prominent figure at Glades’ area health fairs and health and human service planning committees.

The awards are timely as the nation marks National Rural Health Day today, November 15th.  Over 60 million Americans – nearly one in five – live in rural communities, which have unique healthcare needs. By operating Lakeside Medical Center, an acute care teaching hospital in Belle Glade, along with other safety net health programs, the Health Care District provides access to quality care in rural, western Palm Beach County.

Sandra Chamblee and Terri Calsetta with Awards