Health Care District’s Hospital in Belle Glade Hosts Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation Meeting
The need for jobs and funding for the Glades as well as higher education, the environment and mental health care for elementary school students were among the many topics brought before the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation at its public meeting at Lakeside Medical Center on January 28, 2019. The Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s acute-care, teaching hospital in Belle Glade was proud to host the event as it has done in prior years. Karen Harris, Vice President of Field Operations for the Health Care District welcomed Delegation members and over 100 attendees, including city and county officials, community leaders and Glades’ residents.
“We are pleased to welcome the distinguished members of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation along with public officials and community leaders from Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay, and across the county,” said Ms. Harris. “Our 70-bed, rural hospital that is accredited by The Joint Commission is centrally located in this agricultural region and serves as an ideal facility to host this important assembly of civic engagement.”
Florida Rep. Matt Willhite, Delegation Chair, led the meeting and was joined by Rep. Rick Roth, Delegation Vice Chair, Sen. Kevin Rader (whose District includes Belle Glade and South Bay), Sen. Lori Berman, Sen. Gayle Harrell (whose district includes Pahokee), Rep. Tina Polsky (whose District includes Belle Glade, South Bay and Pahokee), Rep. MaryLynn Magar and Rep. Emily Slosberg.
From left: Stephanie Dardanello, Hospital Administrator; Daniel Padron, DO, CPE, Chief Medical Officer, Lakeside Medical Center; Mayor Steve Wilson, City of Belle Glade, Janet D. Moreland, ARNP, MSN, LHRM, Direct of Nursing, Lakeside Medical Center and Karen A. Harris, VP of Field Operations, Health Care District of Palm Beach County
Karen A. Harris, VP of Field Operations, Health Care District of Palm Beach County and Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County Commissioner
Also in attendance were Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose District includes the Glades; Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson, Pahokee Vice Mayor Clara Murvin, Marcia Andrews, Palm Beach County School Board Dan Liftman, Staff Assistant to U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, Lomax Harrell, Belle Glade City Manager, Lakeside Health Advisory Board members Rev. Robert Rease, Chair, and Eddie Rhodes and as well as Donia Roberts, Esq., former Board Chair.
Citing a high poverty rate, Mayor Wilson thanked the Delegation for all they have done to support the needs of the Glades and appealed to them to do more.
“It’s tough out here,” said Mayor Wilson. “We’ve just got to think outside the box and get more done for the Glades communities.”
In her remarks, Commissioner McKinlay highlighted the importance of farming in the Glades to the county and the nation.
“It (agriculture) is the second leading industry in the state of Florida and one that sustains the economic viability of this community.”
Following the meeting, Rep. Willhite, Sen. Harrell and other meeting attendees toured one of the Health Care District’s two FAA-certified Trauma Hawk helicopter air ambulances that was stationed at the hospital. The legislators and community members had the opportunity to speak to the flight team and check out the state-of-the-art medical aircraft that is a key component of the county’s nationally-recognized Trauma System.
Trauma Hawk flight team (from left): Lt. Gary Sands, RN/EMT-P, Flight Nurse, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue; Lynnette Reid, Flight Medic, EMT-P, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue; Greg Werner, Pilot, Health Care District of Palm Beach County; Gerald M. Pagano, Director of Aviation Operations, Health Care District of Palm Beach County
Rep. Matt Willhite, Chair, Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation and Lt. Gary Sands, RN/EMT-P, Flight Nurse, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue