Health First Health Plans receives highest accreditation
Health First Health Plans has been awarded an accreditation status of "Excellent" - the highest possible level - from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
Health First Health Plans has received this top rating for both its commercial and Medicare plans for the third consecutive three-year accreditation period.
The accreditation survey process includes on-site and off-site evaluations of more than 60 standards and selected performance measures conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts.
Information from health plan records, consumer surveys, and interviews with health plan staff are collected.
A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team's findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the plan's performance.
For more information, visit www.HealthFirstHealthPlans.org, call (321) 434-5665 or call toll-free at (800) 716-7737.
New law waiving fees for military veterans in effect
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation encourages military veterans, who have been honorably discharged within the past 24 months, to apply for a new licensure fee waiver available through the department.
The department now has the ability to waive initial licensure fees for military veterans under a new law that passed during the 2012 Legislative session. The waivers could save veterans anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars, depending on the license type.
Through House Bill No. 517, the initial license fee, initial application fee and initial unlicensed activity fee will be waived for veterans returning from service, provided the veteran applies for licensure within 24 months of being honorably discharged
The law will apply to new licenses granted for more than 20 professions under the department's jurisdiction, including construction, real estate, certified public accountants and cosmetologists.
The waiver can be downloaded from the department's military services webpage at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/dbprmilitary.html and should be included in applications for professional licensure.
For more information, visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
Federal and Junior Duck Stamps help protect wetland habitats
The 2012-13 Federal Duck Stamp is on sale across the United States, giving hunters, stamp collectors and anyone with an interest in migratory birds and other wildlife an easy way to help conserve habitats.
Ninety-eight percent of proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to acquire and protect vital wetlands supports hundreds of species of migratory birds, wildlife and plants.
Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe joined representatives of the U.S. Postal Service, Bass Pro Shops and other conservation partners at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail store in Virginia recently to celebrate the first day of sale of both the $15 Federal Duck Stamp and $5 Junior Duck Stamp.
The new stamps are now available at thousands of post offices, Bass Pro Shops and other sporting goods stores and retail locations across the country, and can also be purchased online at www.duckstamp.com.
The electronic validation may be used to hunt or obtain free admission to a refuge immediately, while a physical stamp is mailed to each customer.
Learn more about the Federal Duck Stamp Program online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps, or on Facebook at USFWS_Federal Duck Stamp. Learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp at www.fws.gov/juniorduck, or on Facebook at Federal Junior Duck Stamp.
Watersong hires new community's lifestyle advisor
Watersong, a retirement community located in Melbourne, has hired Anna Harpster as lifestyle advisor.
Ms. Harpster is an experienced sales and marketing professional who most recently served as account executive for Mederi Caretenders Home Health in Melbourne.
In her new position, she will help future members transition into a healthier and happier retirement lifestyle at Watersong.
Watersong is located in Viera.
For more information about Watersong, visit www.Water-Song.com.
Temporary homes for pets without long-term commitment
There has been an influx of pregnant dogs and dogs with very young litters of puppies relinquished to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard in the past several weeks.
Some of these moms and puppies are currently in temporary foster homes until the puppies are old enough to be weaned from their mothers, but some aren't.
To find out more about the SPCA's foster program, to make a contribution to its medical fund or to donate supplies for the care of homeless pets, please call the SPCA's dog adoption at (321) 267-8221, Option 3, or for cat adoption, Option 4.
Viera High School takes third place in video contest
Viera High School was recognized as the third-place winner in the Florida School Board Association's video contest and was awarded a prize of $1,000.
Viera's video was shown at the joint conference of the association and the Florida Association of District Superintendents, which was held recently in Tampa.
Schools were encouraged by the association to submit a 1- to 3-minute, student produced public service announcement centered around one of three themes: "What Public Schools Have Done for Me?" "Public Schools - Reaching for the Future" and "What's Super About Public Schools."
Viera's award winning PSA may be viewed at www.fsba.org/videolibrary.asp.
Crosswinds Youth Services recognizes staff members
Crosswinds Youth Services recently gave special recognition to several of its outstanding staff members.
Ann Fosburr, program assistant, received the Dale Carnegie Award for her professionalism and positive attitude in her work with the Independent living services program.
Michele Cassel, independent living specialist, was recognized with the Tortoise Award for her perseverance and commitment to quality.
Michael Burgess, youth care worker, received the Employee of the Quarter Award for his excellent work in the Robert E. Lehton Children's Shelter.
Crosswinds Youth Services Inc. is a nonprofit organization with its campus in Cocoa. It provides a variety of services for youth and families in crisis throughout Brevard County.
For more information about Crosswinds and its programs, call (321) 452-0800 or visit www.crosswindsyouthservices.org.
The Performance Academy at Harmony Golf Preserve
Under the leadership of the Harmony Golf Preserve director of instruction and community outreach, Spencer Graham III, Harmony has designed an academy specific to coaching clients to become exceptional players in golf and ambassadors for the game.
It is called the Performance Academy at Harmony Golf Preserve & Junior Golf Performance Academy.
The academy emphasizes measurable progress in every aspect, with a major focus on short game, golf course management and tournament preparation.
Mr. Graham has been coaching golf full-time for 19 years.
In addition to the performance academy's curriculum, in 2013 Harmony will also offer a unique full-time residential and commuter program for worldwide elite level junior golfers.
The Junior Golf Performance Academy blends remarkable, full-time golf training with academics and college preparation.
The headquarters for the JGPA will be located in the Town of Harmony.
For more information, call (407) 891-8525, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.harmonygolfpreserve.com.
The 'Connecticut Club'
The "Connecticut Club" is being formed by former Connecticut residents who now live in the North Brevard area of the Space Coast.
You are invited and welcome to join this newly-formed social club.
If you are interested, email email@example.com or call (321) 868-6765.
NASA and Craig Technologies sign agreement
NASA has signed a new partnership with Craig Technologies of Melbourne to maintain an inventory of unique processing and manufacturing equipment for future mission support at the agency's Kennedy Space Center.
Under a five-year, non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement, NASA will loan 1,600 pieces of equipment to Craig Technologies.
The equipment supported Space Shuttle Program capabilities, such as flight hardware and cable fabrication. It was used in manufacturing, repair and inspection processes necessary for space flight hardware, avionics and ground processing.
Craig Technologies will be able to use the equipment for five years beginning in January or until NASA requires use of it, whichever comes first.
Craig will be required to operate, maintain and store the property at a single location within a 50-mile radius of Kennedy.
The equipment currently is located in the NASA Shuttle Logistics Depot in Cape Canaveral, and is managed by United Space Alliance.
The equipment will remain there through the end of the year when the current USA lease expires.
For more information about Kennedy, visit www.nasa.gov/kennedy.
Brevard Rescue Mission awarded grant
Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from the Boeing Employee Community Fund.
The "Transporting Families to Financial Independence Grant" will be used to support transportation service for the families to get to jobs, school and medical appointments.
Brevard Rescue Mission is privately funded by donations from individuals, civic organizations, foundations, churches and area businesses.
Donated funds provide housing, education, transportation, counseling, medical care, parent training, household budgeting, tutoring, job training, food and clothing and case-manager support services.
For more information, call (321) 480-9100 or visit www.BrevardRescueMission.org.
Schools continue to earn high marks
School grades have been announced, and out of Brevard's 69 elementary and middle schools that received their annual state grades, 64 percent received an A, with 94 percent of schools receiving an A or B (does not include charter schools).
According to data released by the Florida Department of Education, 38 Brevard public elementary schools received an A, 16 received a B, two received a C, and one received a D.
Six of BPS middle schools received an A, five received a B and one received a C.
Out of 1,811 elementary schools statewide, Brevard has three of the top 10 elementary schools based on points earned for the school grade: No. 2 is Freedom 7 Elementary School of International Studies; No. 8 is Robert Louis Stevenson School of the Arts and No. 10 is West Melbourne Elementary School for Science.
Every BPS Middle School increased in total accountability points.
For more information, call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 796.
Space Coast Cancer Center offers clinical trials
Richard Levine, MD, principle investigator of the Clinical Trials Department at Space Coast Cancer Center, is a co-author on the recent publication, "Effects of a Brief Multimedia Psycho Educational Intervention on the Attitudes and Interests of Patients with Cancer Regarding Clinical Trial Participation: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial."
The article was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in July.
The purpose of the study was to determine if a brief discussion with patients regarding clinical trials has a positive impact in their willingness to participate in clinical trials.
The center offers clinical trials to cancer patients as an affiliate of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, the largest research network in the United States.
For more information or questions, contact Linda Perez, clinical research regulatory coordinator, at (855) 894-HOPE (4673), Ext. 3510.
Brevard County Health Department honored
Heidar Heshmati, M.D., director of the Brevard County Health Department, was honored at the 2012 annual conference of the National Association of County and city health officials, a body of peers, for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need.
The Sexual Assault Examination Response Program was one of 39 public health programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive the official's Model Practice Award.
The Sexual Assault Examination Response Program was implemented in partnership with the State's Attorney Office, Sexual Assault Victim Services, Salvation Army and Serene Harbour Domestic Violence Shelters, law enforcement agencies, and the Brevard County Health Department.
This award puts Brevard County Health Department into special company - a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation.
For more information about the Model Practice Awards and to view a list of other award winners, visit www.naccho.org.
'Free' prenatal classes in Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne
Pediatrics in Brevard physicians Dr. Tara Forcier, and Dr. Jan Borowski are hosting "free" prenatal care classes for all Brevard County 'soon-to-be' moms.
Sessions are held at the Pediatrics in Brevard Rockledge office, 134 S. Woods Drive, and the Melbourne office, 1755 W. Hibiscus Blvd., on the first Tuesday of each month; sessions are held at the Cocoa Beach office (located in the Cape Canaveral Hospital Medical Plaza), 701 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway, on the third Thursday of each month. Monthly classes at both locations begin at 6 p.m.
All prospective parents and grandparents are welcome. Topics will include the importance of "well visits," the options of circumcision, breast feeding and immunizations, and more.
For more information on the monthly educational care classes for soon-to-be-moms, call (321) 636-3066, Ext. 206. For additional information about Pediatrics in Brevard, visit www.pedsinbrevard.com.
Sheriff's aviation unit wins international award
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit was recently awarded third place in the Forward Looking Infra Red Vision Awards Ceremony, which was hosted at the 2012 Annual Airborne Law Enforcement Association Convention.
The FLIR Vision Awards are presented annually to airborne law enforcement teams with the best video of a rescue, chase, apprehension or surveillance mission. Only one video per team may be submitted for award consideration.
Cpl./pilot Chris Sands and deputy/tactical flight officer Joseph Barrera were among the top three finalists selected from video submissions from around the world. Cpl. Sands and deputy Barrera were recognized for demonstrating their outstanding coordination and quality of teamwork while assisting, tracking and apprehending a burglary suspect in the city of Cocoa in April 2012.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit has previously been awarded first-, second- and third-place and are the only airborne law enforcement unit in the world to be recognized as a finalist in six out of the last 11 years for this award.
As part of the award, a charitable donation on behalf of the Sheriff's Office, will be presented to The United Way of Brevard.
A copy of the video may be picked up at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit, 910 Airport Road, Merritt Island.
Further information may be received by contacting chief pilot Coppola at (321) 455-1475.
Authors' group elects new leadership
The volunteer Space Coast Writers' Guild members recently elected author Donna Chesher as its president.
Ms. Chesher's previous nonprofit experience includes fundraising with the University of California.
The guild is dedicated to encouraging, instructing and developing writers, and the new leadership's goal for the guild is an emphasis on outreach.
More information on the guild is available at www.scwg.org, (321)254-8464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NASA history now available on iTunes U
Marking the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA has added an extensive collection of historical video, audio, photographs and documents to iTunes U.
iTunes U is a platform for making educational resources available to a wide audience through the iTunes Store.
NASA's History Program Office iTunes U site currently contains about 300 items that represent a broad sweep of NASA history-related to important moments, activities and figures in NASA history. The site's content is free to download.
The site includes Apollo program material with a collection of items for each of the Apollo missions, as well as a special Politics of Apollo collection of key documents related to the U.S. lunar program.
The site also features eBooks from the NASA History Series.
To view all of NASA's iTunes U sites and download material, visit www.nasa.gov/connect/itunesu.html.
Twelve Panthers named scholar athletes
Florida Tech recently placed 12 student-athletes on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II Scholar Athlete list for earning a grade point average of at least a 3.50 during the 2011-12 academic year.
Eight members of the women's tennis team earned recognition, including Katie Close (Marine Biology), Stephanie Dohner (Marine Biology), Abigail Greif (Psychology), Katarina Huba (Chemistry), Kristina Huba (Chemistry), Abbey Keister (Communications), Monica Price (Chemistry) and Alexis Weinnig (Oceanography).
Only one institution among 71 schools had more than eight association scholar athletes, Lewis University. Lewis had 10 student-athletes recognized, followed by FIT, Florida Southern and Minnesota State-Mankato, which each placed eight on the list.
The eight Panthers helped FIT's women's team receive an association All-Academic Team honor. To earn the award, a team must have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above.
Four members of the men's team were also chosen as scholar athletes. They include Beau Fieldsend (Sports Management), James McLane (Software Engineering), Jimmy Nguyen (Electrical Engineering) and Mike Schmidt (Aerospace Engineering).
For more information, call (321) 674-8250 or visit www.floridatechsports.com.
Rehabilitation open house
The Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Center gave an open house recently and welcomed the community. It was a unified celebration for the facility's state of renewal that is meant to give back to the community.
An expansion included the renovation of common areas, including a fresh café and bistro.
With a novel ice cream parlor and a surround-sound movie theater, there will be more choices for residents and patients to enjoy friends and family.
Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Center offers comprehensive rehabilitative outpatient and inpatient services for short or long term care.
All residents have an individualized plan of care developed with the resident's family involvement and coordinated with all medical staffing.
It is located at 251 Florida Ave., Melbourne.
To schedule a private tour or to request more information, call (321) 725-3990.
Savannahs Junior Club results
Savannahs Golf Course 2012 Junior Club Championship recent results:
. Boys 16-18: Michael
DeMorat, winner with 74;
Alec Norris, runner-up
with 78; Alex Blue, third
place with 82
. Boys 14-15: Taylor
Whalen, playoff winner
with 85; Blake Gladden,
runner up with 85; Matt
Lanze and Nicholas
Scheneilein, third place
with 93 each
. Boys 12-13 (9 holes):
Matt Maffei, winner with
49; Brian Lanze, runner up
. Boys 11 & younger (9
holes): Robert Dance,
winner with 49; Jordan
Tibbetts, runner up with
. Girls 16-18: Madalyn
Wright with 119
. Girls 14-15: Sabella
Goodwin, winner with 122
. Girls 12-13 (9 holes):
Dayna Owens, winner
with 41; Trinity Falzone,
runner up with 75
. Girls 11 & younger (9
Aprandini, winner with 69
Thirty-two players competed in this year's event.
All players were treated to lunch upon completion of play.
- For Hometown News