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  • Crowning Glory

    Edition: Brevard County, Published: Summer 2021

    Computer-driven process restores smiles in single visit.

    Sasha smiles all the time now because she wants everybody to see her pretty teeth. A small-town girl from West Virginia, Sasha Gibson loves to travel and see the world. She especially loves exploring the western United States. It’s home to her favorite vacation spot and the site of her 2019 spring wedding. “Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon in Arizona is absolutely gorgeous,” Sasha gushes. “To get there, we had to hike 10 miles into the canyon. “I got engaged in Phoenix, and we originally planned to get married in Florida in July. Then we thought, Let’s get married while we’re at Havasu Falls. We were already going there to camp and hike. “We called, made the a...

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  • An Ounce Of Prevention

    Edition: Brevard County, Published: Summer 2021

    Detecting macular degeneration early prevents progression, saves vision.

    Data from the latest census shows there are 76.4 million baby boomers among the US population. Baby boomers, the second largest generational group in the nation behind millennials, are individuals born between 1946 and 1964. By 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 or older and at risk for age-related disorders, including macular degeneration. “As our population ages, it is vital for people to know the facts about macular degeneration and understand the importance of early detection,” stresses Ruwan A. Silva, MD, MPhil, a fellowship-trained retina specialist at Florida Retina Institute. “When this disease is caught early, we can often slow its progression a...

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  • Raise Your Expectations

    Edition: Brandon/Sun City Center, Published: Summer 2021

    New retirement community offers an elevated living environment. The sun is rising on a clear, cloudless day and the morning yoga class you signed up for doesn’t start for another hour. That leaves you with plenty of time to stroll through the gardens on your way to the cafe, where you can relax and savor your morning coffee. With spacious courtyards, groomed walking paths and outdoor seating, The Meridian at Brandon looks and feels like a resort. For many, that’s how a day on vacation in a resort-like setting often starts. It’s also the backdrop for how a day spent living at The Meridian at Brandon could begin. For seniors who seek or require supportive independent or assisted living, The Meridian at Brandon has reimagined ret...

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  • Where Everybody Knows Your Name

    Edition: Brevard County, Published: Summer 2021

    FHCP pharmacy team builds strong member relationships.

    Like a doctor who makes house calls, it’s almost impossible these days to find a pharmacist who is able to take the time to get to know the customers he or she serves as anything more than a name they place on the label of a prescription bottle. That, though, is precisely what Michael Parsons and other policyholders of Florida Health Care Plans have found at pharmacies inside FHCP locations in Palm Bay and Titusville. Florida Health Care Plans has created one-stop medical shops where members can see a primary care physician and have prescriptions filled by a pharmacist who’s eager to build relationships with the people they serve. “A lot of pharmacies are pushing pha...

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  • Hear You Loud & Clear

    Edition: Brevard County, Published: Summer 2021

    Advanced hearing aid technology greatly improves speech clarity.

    Everyone has heard of love at first sight. But what about love in the first grade? It actually happens quite often, according to experts, and typically with girls such as Cecelia Franzen, who found her forever love in the first grade and never let go. Cecelia and George Franzen The fact that he was “an older man” didn’t dissuade her a bit. “He was older than me because his mother had held him back a year,” Cecelia says of George, her husband of 60 years. “But that didn’t bother me. By the fourth grade I knew I was in love, and I never looked at another man. “He actually had a different girlfriend for a while. That was in the eighth grade, and it broke my hea...

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  • Eyes & Ears

    Edition: Brandon/Sun City Center, Published: Summer 2021

    Audiologist joins vision practice as part of community-focused expansion.

    Of the five senses, vision and hearing are most closely associated. Sight and sound work in concert to create a singular conscious experience of the world around us.  Acknowledging this relationship, Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute broadened its mission of service to the community and established hearing centers at its Brandon and Sun City Center locations. The centers, which opened in May, are directed by Alaina D. Hodges, AuD, soon to be Alaina Becker, AuD, a board-certified doctor of audiology. “Operating a hearing center within an eye institute makes sense because we treat the same patients,” Dr. Hodges observes. “As peo...

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  • Eyelids On The Blink?

    Edition: Brandon/Sun City Center, Published: Summer 2021

    Injections, surgery bring relief for incessant, involuntary eye spasms.

    An insurance adjustor since graduating from college, Ellen McDonnell investigated countless incidents before retiring in February 2017. The types of cases she scrutinized fluctuated with the weather. “It all depended on the time of year,” Ellen elaborates. “If it was snowing outside, I saw more slips and falls. If it was sunny, there were typically more car accidents.” For most of her career, Ellen worked for USAA, which insures members of the military and their families. She followed that with a stint at Crawford & Co., the world’s largest independent provider of claims management.  “My job was always interesting because it wasn’t repe...

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  • Not For Women Only

    Edition: The Villages, Published: Summer Summer

    Men and women can reverse osteoporosis with innovative exercise program.

    By 1987, Richard Harris’ portrayal of King Arthur in the musical Camelot had become the stuff of legend. So much so that Harris took the show on what he described as a “world tour.” When that tour came to Pittsburgh, Donald Mulneix traveled well outside of his comfort zone to see it. The reason was Bonnie Byron. Men suffer from osteoporosis, too, so they can benefit from OsteoStrong just like women. “Bonnie was a health and physical education teacher, and I was in maintenance at Butler High School in Butler, Pennsylvania, which is about 40 miles outside of Pittsburgh,” Donald relates. “She really wanted to see that show, but she didn’t want to...

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  • Small Hole, Big Problem

    Edition: The Villages, Published: Summer Summer

    Modern surgery repairs tiny defect in center of retina.

    Dr. Matthew Cunningham at Florida Retina Institute, with offices in Lady Lake, Mt. Dora and Clermont, treated Laura Wells and Susan Mikels for macular hole using pars plana vitrectomy. Laura Wells retired for the first time in 2014. The California native was an administrative assistant for Volkswagen of America based in New Jersey, just across the river from her New York home.  “It was a receptionist position, but it also involved a lot of facilities management and special projects,” recounts Laura, 62. “I routinely communicated with Germany and with people in other departments within the company. “Prior to that, I worked as a retail store manager for 10 y...

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  • Raise Your Sights

    Edition: South Pinellas County, Published: Summer Summer

    Kurt underwent cataract surgery at Pasadena Eye Center.

    Surgery for rapid-developing cataracts results in crystal clear vision.

    From the results of a blood test to the credit card number used to pay for an annual checkup, there’s a lot of information shared between doctors and patients that both parties wish to keep private. For years, helping to maintain that privacy was what Kurt Long was all about. “I invented software that protects patient records and electronic records,” says Kurt, the founder of FairWarning, an industry leader in patient protection and data security systems. “We sold the company in December 2020.” Since selling his company, Kurt has begun a new venture. After purchasing some oceanfr...

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