Congratulations to Blake Medical Center. The establishment of another residency program in Manatee County is a welcome addition to the medical and greater community, one that will hopefully lead to an increase in the physician population. Residents tend to remain in the communities in which they complete their graduate medical education. Blake joins Manatee Memorial Hospital in this important endeavor.
The history leading up to these residency programs reflects the community’s commitment to enlightened growth and development on many levels.
Some 10 years ago, Manatee County stakeholders in the medical community — from all corners of society — gathered to discuss the many challenges confronting the development of a stronger health care delivery system. With little hard data to support speculative judgments and anecdotal evidence, the stakeholders pursued concrete information in order to embark on a knowledgeable course of action. Thus, the Manatee Chamber Foundation commissioned a comprehensive study by a team of researchers from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
The resulting 2008 report, “State of Health Care System in Manatee County: Findings and Analysis,” confirmed worries about a physician shortage among its many other conclusions and recommendations. Two key pieces of advice addressed the personnel issue. One encouraged the development of initiatives to recruit and retain physicians, especially family practitioners. Another proposed the creation of a training or residency program at one or more of Manatee County’s hospitals.
Manatee Memorial Hospital accomplished that goal just two years later with the launch of three-year residency programs in internal medicine and family medicine, the latter boosting another recommendation. The hospital also operates a one-year traditional rotating intern program.
After four graduations, Manatee Memorial executive Vernon DeSear estimates the hospital’s residency programs placed about six physicians into the county’s medical community. Currently, 43 residents are in training. Manatee Memorial’s sister hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, is in the application process for its initial residency program.
Blake’s inaugural class of 2016 features 15 students in the center’s internal medicine residency program. Cheers to Blake for advancing the cause of physician recruitment.
A fix for island bridge congestion?
Here’s an interesting thought, brought to the community by Robert DeMino.
The Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County commissioners are once again reviewing replacements for the two mainland bridges to Anna Maria Island. There’s no getting around the challenges the Cortez Bridge presents. The potential destruction of part of the historic Cortez Fishing Village will not be tolerated by residents there and elsewhere in Manatee County.
So county officials floated a novel idea for both bridges: How about adding a third lane strictly for mass transit. The thinking must have been people will park and ride, and bridge traffic will be reduced.
Here’s our thought: Who’s going to pack several beach chairs, an umbrella, a cooler and other stuff into a bus? Multiply that by, say, a dozen families unloading their vehicles and loading up a bus. That bus would be parked a long time before departing. That’s a non-starter for sure.
Here’s how a state transportation planner poo-pooed the idea in a meeting with commissioners this week: A dedicated lane on the Cortez Bridge would only cut daily vehicle traffic by 2.9 percent, not worth the effort.
Here’s DeMino’s idea, which comes from his “free study,” he writes in a letter to the editor: A third lane for local island residents and commuting employees only.
We might add those vehicles could bear a special sticker allowing third lane use. And obviously, the direction of traffic would have to change frequently. Interesting indeed. Workable? Time to ask the transportation planner.
Quote of the week
“While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
— Maria Sharapova, five-time Grand Slam champion, incensed over her suspension from professional tennis.