South Florida Hospital News
Monday April 19, 2021

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April 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 10


The Health Care District of Palm Beach County has streamlined its online COVID-19 vaccine appointment request process to make it more user-friendly and efficient. The Health Care District announced the launch of a new scheduling system available at The technology allows those who are eligible under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order to self-schedule the time and location of their vaccination appointment. The system rollout is timely as it coincides with the Health Care District marking a milestone of providing 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines.

“We are excited to roll out this self-scheduling link so eligible adults can quickly and easily schedule their appointments at one of our three large-scale vaccination sites,” said Darcy J. Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County. “As eligibility expands and vaccine supply increases, we are well-positioned with our new technology to accommodate demand for the next 100,000 vaccinations.”
The Health Care District’s appointment-only, walk-in vaccination sites are located at the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach, the Burns Road Community Center in Palm Beach Gardens, and the South Florida Fairgrounds in suburban West Palm Beach. These sites are supported by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the City of Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue, United Way volunteers, Palm Beach County leadership and the Florida Department of Health for Palm Beach County.
The new single-step scheduling form gives patients more control, reduces wait times for appointments and makes it clear where patients stand in the process. Individuals who visit the website can schedule themselves until all appointments are full. For those with no internet access, the Health Care District’s helpline at (561) 804-4115 is available to assist in English, Spanish and Creole. Appointments are available based on demand and vaccine supply that is received weekly.  

The board of directors of Catholic Health Services announced that its CEO, Joseph M. Catania, is retiring from the organization after leading its growth and development over the past 30 years. From his appointment to the position, Catania has continually advanced the Mission of CHS, built a focused and cohesive team, nurtured community partnerships, and focused on serving the most vulnerable within the south Florida community.

After decades of guiding the organization through difficult times into fiscal stability and then to remarkable growth, Joe Catania, the only chief executive officer Catholic Health Services has ever had will retire effective September 30, 2021.
With a style of full commitment and ownership, Catania always accepted personal responsibility, not only for the 6,000 people in the daily care of CHS, but also over 2,500 staff members and their families. His holistic approach to ensuring the security and sustainability of the organization was his overarching goal.
“Having served over three decades as CEO, I feel this is the right time for a leadership change. It has been my honor and privilege to serve the community, the Archdiocese of Miami, and lead the great team at Catholic Health Services. I am proud of the people of CHS and the organization we have built,” said Joe Catania.
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Mr. Catania for his professional and personal commitment and dedication to Catholic Health Services. His remarkable contributions and leadership have been immeasurable. He has led this organization with courage and confidence through a transformative journey and CHS is a strong market leader thanks to Joe. Given the extended timeline before Mr. Catania retires, the board of directors will begin a thorough and deliberate CEO selection process,” shared Ralph E Lawson, Chairman of the Board, CHS.
David Rybicki has been promoted to Vice President of Outpatient Services at Lee Health.
Rybicki has more than 27 years of service with Lee Health. Most recently, he spent four years as system director of outpatient operations and special projects where he was instrumental in the advancement of operations, project oversight, budget development, strategic growth and financial contribution to the system. Since joining Lee Health in 1993, Rybicki has served in a variety of leadership roles including oversight of significant growth initiatives of both adult and pediatric specialties to support community access to care.

After 23 years with the organization, Robert L. Lord Jr. has announced he will retire as President of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health effective at the end of 2021.

During his tenure, Rob has served as Chief Legal Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and President and CEO of Martin Health prior to its integration with Cleveland Clinic in January 2019.
Lord currently oversees three Martin Health hospitals – Tradition Hospital in Port St. Lucie, and Martin North Hospital and Martin South Hospital in Stuart – and outpatient facilities in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Lee Health is pleased to announce the newly elected officers of its Board of Directors for 2021.

David F. Collins has been re-elected as Board Chairman for 2021. David has been a mortgage banker for more than 29 years and has served as a board member for PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, and as treasurer for the PACE Capital Campaign.
Therese Everly has been re-elected as Vice Chairman. She is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and licensed Florida Realtor who also serves on the boards of the Lee County Homeless Coalition and Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulfcoast Chapter.
Donna Clarke has been re-elected as Treasurer. She is a former Florida State Representative and has served as an adjunct professor with State College of Florida. Clarke previously owned and operated an environmental consulting firm.
Diane Champion has been re-elected as Secretary. She was a business owner/manager for 40 years. She has served as the Committee Chair for Children’s Activities of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event and is an elected member of the Community Council of Lehigh Acres as well as a volunteer at Southwest Florida International Airport.

Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale has named José J. López, M.D., MBA, FACEP as Chief Medical Officer.

Most recently, Dr. López served as Chief Executive Officer at Healthpoint Hospital in Abu Dhabi, where he positioned the hospital as a dominant provider in the local market serving nearly 1,700 patients daily. Previously he established and was Chief of the award-winning Emergency Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi.
Board-certified by the American College of Emergency Medicine, Dr. López earned his M.D., completed his residency, and was chief resident in emergency medicine the University of Massachusetts. He received an MBA in Medical Services Management from John Hopkins University and holds certificate in managing health care delivery from Harvard Business School. Dr. López graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University. 

Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital welcomes board-certified pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist Andres Santiago Endara-Bravo, M.D. Dr. Endara will also serve as the Director of the Indian River Hospital Sleep Center.

Dr. Endara earned his doctorate of medicine from The Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He completed additional training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans, and sleep medicine at University of Miami.
Prior to joining Indian River Hospital, Dr. Endara served as a pulmonary/sleep medicine/critical care physician in North Carolina and in Mississippi. He also currently serves in the United States Army Reserve.

Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital welcomes Brian Burkey, M.D., MEd, FACS, as the inaugural Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. In addition to seeing patients, he also serves as the Institute Chair of Surgical Specialties for the Cleveland Clinic Florida region.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic in Florida, Dr. Burkey served as Vice Chairman and Section Head of the Section of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic Head & Neck Institute in Ohio. Dr. Burkey came to Cleveland Clinic after almost twenty years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, rising to Professor of Otolaryngology and Vice Chairman within that department.
He earned his medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed otolaryngology residency training at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in microvascular and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Ohio State University.
John Afshar, M.D., and John Robinson, Jr., M.D., FAANS, two of the areas highly-experienced neurosurgeons announce they have returned to the Treasure Coast and opened a Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute (PBNI) neurosurgery office in Stuart.
Dr. Afshar is a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery for the spine and brain including neck and low back pain, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, disc replacement/arthroplasty, minimally invasive microsurgery, nonfusion surgery, neck and low back fusion, brain tumors, trigeminal neuralgia and stereotactic radiosurgery/CyberKnife. He is a Diplomate of the prestigious American Board of Neurologic Surgery.
Dr. Robinson is a board-certified double fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in computer guided minimally invasive microsurgical treatments for the spine and brain including neck surgery, minimally invasive lumbar surgery, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, brain and pituitary tumors, spine tumors, CyberKnife Radiosurgery and laser brain tumor treatment. He is a member of the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
Dr. Afshar and Dr. Robinson are on-staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach as well as Laser & Surgery Center of the Palm Beaches, an affiliate of United Surgical Partners International (USPI).  
Holy Cross Health has forged a strategic collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA to combine the best of academic medicine with the best of community care. Holy Cross Health will have access to the breadth and depth of clinical and research expertise at Massachusetts General Hospital to support the delivery of high-quality care in South Florida.
The largest and original teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Mass General is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the world, with clinical expertise spanning virtually every medical and surgical specialty. The 1,042-bed academic medical center, each year admits 50,500 patients and records more than 1.5 million visits to its outpatient programs and Emergency Department. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with more than $1 billion in annual research expenditures.
“This collaboration expands our relationship with Mass General providers and administrators to deliver value across our organization and to our patients, right in our own backyard,” said Mark Doyle, President and CEO of Holy Cross Health.
Holy Cross providers will collaborate with Massachusetts General Hospital experts through a variety of programs, including advisory services, eConsults, and education and training programs. Holy Cross is the first domestic member of the Global Alliance. 
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