Blue Zoning Orlando

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — A new community assessment and feasibility analysis in Orange County is aiming to transform and improve local residents’ wellness and reduce health risks to make the county a more prosperous place to live, work and play.

The program is being brought to Orange County by the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Foundation for Orlando’s Future and leaders in the business community, who are working with Blue Zones to begin building a plan for a well-being transformation.

“As one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, Orlando is attracting 1,500 new residents every week. The Foundation is responding in innovative ways to make sure the region’s rapid urban expansion goes hand-in-hand with equitable and inclusive growth,” Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani said in a prepared statement. 

Blue Zones helps people live longer and better through community transformation programs that lower healthcare costs, improve productivity and boost national recognition as great places to live, work, and play, according to its website. Becoming a Blue Zones Community is a three-phase process, which starts with Phase I, the Readiness Assessment. During this phase,  experts collaborate with leaders to assess readiness and build a plan for change.

“Working with local leaders, we will find the best way to apply global solutions to the local context. The final roadmap for community transformation will include strategies for optimizing built environment, food systems, financial literacy, tobacco, alcohol, happiness, and well-being policies so that people are constantly nudged toward healthier choices, behaviors, and lasting habits,” Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder and National Geographic fellow and explorer, said in a written statement.

Blue Zones Project communities have experienced double-digit drops in obesity, smoking and BMI (body mass index), millions of dollars of savings in healthcare costs and measurable drops in employee absenteeism. As stated in its website, through its community-wide approach to well-being, Blue Zones improves or optimizes city streets (smoking policies, bike lanes, sidewalks), public spaces (parks, lakes, walking paths), schools (cafeterias, safe walking paths to school), restaurants, grocery stores, employers, faith-based organizations, and community involvement.

From Sept. 9-13, Buettner and his world-renowned team of experts will meet with community leaders to create the framework for a well-being policy bundle that it hopes will transform Orange County.

“This effort is part of the mission of the Foundation for Orlando’s Future, created by the Orlando Economic Partnership, to equip the region’s leaders with research and strategies that help them plan for the future,” said Giuliani.

 

To learn more, visit:

Orlando Economic Partnership: https://www.orlandoedc.com/Home.aspx 

Blue Zones: https://www.bluezones.com/activate-orange-county/

Philly Legal: These Sectors Are on the Right Side of the Law

by Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Over the last few years, Philadelphia’s legal sector has seen a steady flow of law firms entering the market as well as local firms expanding in and outside the region. As the market gets more concentrated, many firms are betting on key growth areas to expand their practices. 

According to Invest: interviews with leading legal voices in the Philly area, health and life sciences, technology, real estate and finance are some of the sectors keeping attorneys busy. With a diverse business ecosystem in Philadelphia, firms like Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. are experiencing high demand in commercial business, especially in the areas of banking, leasing, real estate financing and real estate development.

“We also have seen growth in our employment practices area, in part due to the #MeToo movement, which is generating many more workplace claims. Commercial litigation is also a growth area for us,” Mitchell Kaplan, managing shareholder at Zarwin Baum, told Invest:. “But we are currently seeing the most growth in our data privacy and cyber-liability department. That department gets involved in the training of businesses to prevent data leaks and breaches. We provide training, prevention and breach response,” Kaplan said. 

Similarly, St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale LLP is growing its intellectual property presence in Philadelphia as a result of the increasing demand in technology litigation around the country. “Intellectual property services, whether it be trademark, patents or copyrights, are required by any business. We support our clients with many trademark and retail issues. For example, in the science, healthcare and pharmaceutical fields, we do a lot of patents and protection of intellectual property. There is high demand for intellectual property services in Philly,” Armstrong Teasdale’s Eastern U.S. Partner and Leader Richard Scheff said in an interview with Invest:. 

According to an article from The Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania-based firms saw demand growth of 2.6 percent last year, slightly above the industry average of 2.3 percent. One of the benefits of Philadelphia’s legal sector is the presence of 20 Fortune 500 companies and over 75 Fortune 1000 companies. 

Besides technology and intellectual property services, financial institutions and real estate companies are particularly robust areas for Philadelphia’s legal sector. “Blank Rome’s Real Estate and Financial Services practices are very strong, particularly in Philadelphia. Both continue to be core areas of our law firm with a strong national presence,” Alan J. Hoffman, chairman at Blank Rome LLP, told Invest:.

Finance and technology also form part of Duane Morris LLP’s Top 5 sectors in terms of revenue and areas of focus. “About 85% of our revenue is in the following industries: financial institutions, health and life sciences, technology and telecommunications, infrastructure (including construction and energy) and finally, retail and consumer products. Those areas are our focus across the firm and in Philadelphia, which is our largest office with over 200 lawyers,” Matthew Taylor, chairman & CEO at Duane Morris LLP, told Invest: 

Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Q2 2019 report projects a good year in 2019 relative to earlier post-recession years, although it will be a challenge for the industry to see a repeat of 2018’s strong performance.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C.: https://www.zarwin.com/ 

Armstrong Teasdale LLP: https://www.armstrongteasdale.com/ 

Blank Rome LLP: https://www.blankrome.com/ 

Duane Morris LLP: https://www.duanemorris.com/ 

Miami Dolphins Kick Off Season With New Training Complex, Partnerships, Roster Moves

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019 — With a new head coach and a rebuild underway, the Miami Dolphins will field a re-tooled look when the NFL’s 100th season kicks off next week. That look extends beyond the players and coaches, with a new training complex in the works and fresh partnerships that emphasize community involvement and impact. 

The Dolphins recently broke ground on the $135 million state-of-the-art training complex and sports performance clinic in Miami Gardens. The facility, named Baptist Health Training Complex, is part of a multiyear partnership with Baptist Health that is projected to open in spring 2021. 

“The Baptist Health Training Complex will be a state-of-the-art football facility with Baptist Health providing a world-class sports performance clinic available to the public so people can have access to the same care the players get,” Miami Dolphins Chief Executive Officer Tom Garfinkel said in a written statement.

The 125,000-square-foot training facility and 92,200-square foot indoor field will be significantly larger than the team’s current facility. The complex will also house an innovation hub, a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area, a dedicated recovery area that includes cryotherapy and isolation tanks, an athletic training room with an expansive rehabilitation space, meeting rooms, an outdoor practice area with two full natural-grass fields, full indoor practice facility and other amenities. 

Another significant announcement by the Dolphins and its FOOTBALL UNITES™ program was the partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) through Values Matter Miami, which promotes education and values among the city’s students. According to an official announcement, starting in September, the Dolphins will recognize a student each month who best exemplifies a specific value.

“The Miami Dolphins are proud to strengthen our relationship with M-DCPS by supporting the Values Matter Miami Program to directly impact the students of Miami-Dade County,” Jason Jenkins, Miami Dolphins’ senior vice president of communications and community affairs, said in a written statement about the partnership. 

These initiatives are part of the Dolphins goal to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Miami Dolphins: https://www.miamidolphins.com/ 

Baptist Health: https://baptisthealth.net/en/pages/home.aspx 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: http://www.dadeschools.net/ 

Values Matter Miami: http://osi.dadeschools.net/valuesmatter/

Technology Shaping Healthcare Sector in Miami

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019 — The health sector in Miami, already known for its positive outcomes, is banking on innovation and technology to keep its high ranking as a healthcare provider. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, virtual reality, electronic medical records, digitized healthcare and blockchains are some of the advances that are transforming the industry. 

The Renfrew Center of Florida is among the local institutions integrating virtual therapy to improve access for patients. Virtual healthcare allows patients to communicate with out-of-town healthcare providers without the necessity of traveling. It represents a more affordable and convenient way to receive care. 

“Virtual therapy is an area of significant growth in the mental health field that allows us to reach people who live in areas where there aren’t therapists or treatment facilities for eating disorders,” Gayle Brooks, chief clinical officer at The Renfrew Center, told Invest:. 

The center recently launched a telehealth therapy group in Florida, which provides support to anyone in the state who is struggling with any eating disorder. “This program works for two types of people: those who come into that group and discover that they need a higher level of care, or those who use it as a tool for their continuing care after they receive a higher level of treatment,” Brooks explained. 

According to a Deloitte survey, 58–69% of physicians expect to increase their use of technology. Tenet Health’s Miami-Dade Group CEO Jeffrey Welch, in an interview with Invest:, emphasized the importance of technology to provide faster and more effective solutions that can lead to healthier individuals living in healthier communities. 

“Every one of our hospitals in the area has at least one robot that can be used for thoracic general surgery, gynecological and colorectal procedures,” Welch said. “The goal is to utilize technology to provide minimally invasive treatment options that can reduce recovery time and get people their lives back, so they can do what they love,” he added.

Accenture’s Digital Health Tech Vision 2019 report showed that 94% of healthcare executives say that the pace of innovation in their organization has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.

Health institutions, like Miami Jewish Health Systems, are also integrating innovative programs to improve the delivery of care. The Florida PACE Centers (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is an example of how a diverse and innovative program can keep people out of institutions. 

“Miami Jewish Health has a reputation for being innovative in the delivery of healthcare for the elderly. Our PACE centers, which are responsible for the delivery of all primary, acute, long-term care and supportive services, continue to grow and expand,” Jeffrey Freimark, CEO of Miami Jewish Health Systems, told Invest:. 

Miami Jewish Health also has a major project underway called the S. Donald Sussman EmpathiCare Village, which will be wildly innovative in terms of its free-range open-living environment for patients with neurocognitive disorders.

According to Deloitte’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Predictions 2020 the top external factors that will shape the sector are: more informed and demanding patients, new business models due to digitized medicine, wearables and mHealth applications, Big Data and the influence of technology and science in regulations and patient safety. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

The Renfrew Center: http://renfrewcenter.com/locations/non-residential/coconut-creek-fl 

Tenet Health Miami-Dade Group: https://tenetflorida.com/ 

Miami Jewish Health: https://www.miamijewishhealth.org/ 

Philly Life Science Leaders Boosting Infrastructure, Partnerships

by Yolanda Rivas

 

2 min read July 2019 — With more than 800 related companies and a rich network of health and education systems, the life sciences sector in Greater Philadelphia is growing at a steady pace. All the activity is driving local organizations to develop new infrastructure and local partnerships to cater the burgeoning segment. One prime example: uCity Square 

“There’s nothing like it right now in the Philadelphia region,” Steve Zarrilli, president and CEO of the University City Science Center, told Invest:. A community for entrepreneurs and innovators, uCity Square is an example of the recent efforts to connect businesses, residents, institutions and innovators to form a growing hub in Philadelphia.“Spark Therapeutics and Invisible Sentinel are two of the companies located in University City, and we recently announced that Amicus Therapeutics is creating one of its research centers here as well. These and other companies at uCity Square will play a significant role in the growth of Philadelphia’s life sciences sector,” Zarilli said. 

More than 80 percent of all companies in the life sciences industry have a presence in the Greater Philadelphia region. As stated in Invest: Philadelphia 2019, health-focused sectors provided an economic impact of $88.5 billion for Pennsylvania in 2016 and an economic output of $24.6 billion total between 2011 and 2016 for the Greater Philadelphia region.

Numerous research, biotech and medical devices organizations contribute to the role of life sciences as a key player in Philadelphia’s economy. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is an example of that impact, with more than 3,400 people employed at its Upper Providence research and development facility. According to GSK Vice President of Medicine Opportunities Research Unit David Payne, the site is the company’s hub for pharmaceutical R&D in the United States, and represents 40% of its global pharmaceutical R&D workforce. 

As part of its efforts to contribute to the local life sciences sector, GSK continues to look for partnerships and alliances. “We want our U.S. R&D hub at Upper Providence to be a magnet for talented scientists, researchers and physicians. This is a great research center for innovators to build their careers. Every function required in the ‘molecule to medicine’ journey is represented at our hub, providing opportunities for employees to broaden their R&D knowledge and enable career progression and diversification,” Payne said.

Besides the demand for qualified professionals, there is also a need for infrastructure development to support the region’s scientists, entrepreneurs and life sciences companies. As Zarrilli explains, the Science Center’s goal is “to build an additional 3 million square feet of office, lab, residential and retail space over the next seven to 10 years, to further define the leading-edge community we envision at uCity Square. We will do our part to help make Philadelphia a leader in gene therapy and other areas of life sciences.”

As the growth in Philadelphia’s life sciences sector continues, it will impact different areas and draw more entrepreneurs and companies to the region. According to Zarrilli, the advances in the life sciences arena, especially in therapeutics, will lead to additional advancement in areas such as medical devices and digital health. “Life sciences is clearly the strongest area of innovation in Philadelphia, but it will spawn activity in other areas that are complementary.”  

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

University City Science Center: https://sciencecenter.org/ 

GlaxoSmithKline: https://us.gsk.com/en-us/ 

uCity Square: https://ucitysquare.com/ 

Spotlight On: Dr. Winnifred McPherson, Director & CEO, Virtue Medical Staffing Services, LLC

By Max Crampton-Thomas

July 2019

2 min read  — The staffing industry is a multi-billion dollar market that quite often flies under the radar, but its impact and contribution to the overall economy should not be understated. With almost 17 million temporary and contract employees being hired by American staffing companies, this industry is vital to not only a sustainable economy but also to the country’s growing workforce. Staffing companies service a variety of markets including I.T., advertising, and perhaps most important healthcare. 

Although they are a relatively new staffing agency in the market, Broward County based Virtue Medical Staffing Services LLC has big plans to quickly expand their footprint within South Florida’s healthcare industry. Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale spoke with Dr. Winnifred McPherson, CEO of Virtue Medical Staffing Services LLC and discussed the keys to success and plans to expand within the staffing industry.  

What is the key to success in the staffing industry? 

“In this type of business you have to have employees who meet the demands of your clients, and because the unemployment rate is so low in South Florida for medical professionals, we have to find these quality candidates wherever we can. We cannot be confined to only looking for those who have years of experience, and we must look to our recently graduated or graduating students in the area. As a staffing agency, we do not ever like to say that we do not have anybody for a position. We try our best to be proactive in making sure there is always a candidate ready to go.”

How do you plan to grow your business into the future? 

“We hold two licenses that let us service a larger audience. The first is a nurse registry license that allows our employees to work in Broward and Palm Beach counties, both in medical facilities as well as homes. Then we have a Health Care Services Pool license that allows us to work anywhere in the state of Florida but only in a facility. Our plan is to keep expanding further north, and the Health Care Services Pool license will allow us to do that. To be successful in staffing, we have to be both flexible and have the ability to work anywhere that has demand.”

Where are you currently finding the most demand for your services? 

“Right now, the majority of our demand is in elderly care. We have corporate hospice clients, so a large portion of our business and workforce is in hospice care. We are striving to attract both corporate and private clients. Private clients will normally require full-time care because they may be living alone or with a family member who cannot be home all the time to take care of them. We also target senior living communities, and we will speak with these homeowners associations to let them know that we are an asset they can depend on.” 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

http://www.virtuemedicalstaffing.com/

Atlanta’s health doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg

By staff writer

July 2019

As home to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta has healthcare written into its DNA. But until now, the city has focused more on control than prevention. After years of lackluster patient outcomes, Atlanta is beginning to recognize that prevention is healthier approach.

In 1990, Georgia ranked 43 among all 50 states in the America’s Health Rankings annual report. Over the years, the state has slowly climbed and in 2018 it held 39th place.

Although there is a way to go for Georgia as a whole, Atlanta is somewhat ahead of the curve. When compared to the rest of the state, metro Atlanta has some of the lowest Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) rates – the measure of premature death – even though the metro area has the fifth-largest population in the U.S. with 5.9 million residents.

In the same rankings, although metro Atlanta ranks moderately for “Outcomes” (how healthy people feel), it is has one of the lowest rankings for “Factors” (behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and sedentary lifestyles). Although major cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in the state and region, Atlanta’s rates have been on the decline over the last 10 years.

“We have to get back to prevention,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, who previously served as chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, at the Health Journalism 2019 conference in Baltimore.

According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, a health research group that works with U.S. employers, poor worker-health costs amount to “60 cents for every dollar employers spend on healthcare benefits.”

Earlier this month, CVS announced an ambitious plan to open 1,500 HealthHUB stores by the end of 2021, with Atlanta named as one of its strategic locations. HealthHUBs combine a traditional CVS store layout with health services; in particular, focusing on preventive care, wellness activities and education and management of chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.

And employers are starting to see wellness costs as another business essential. The global wellness industry is now valued at $4.2 trillion – more than half of total health expenditure[CN1] , which comes in at $7.3 trillion.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle has even launched an award recognizing the Healthiest Employer. Atlanta-based Catalyst Fitness won the award in 2017 and says the key to improving a balance sheet lies in guaranteeing that staff are healthy, and that doesn’t always just mean providing an insurance plan.

“Regular exercise can significantly improve workplace health. Instances of absenteeism and staff turnover, low staff morale and reduced productivity can be alleviated with a corporate wellness program in Atlanta that energizes and motivates tired employees,” says the company on its website. “Boredom, repetitive motion injuries and workplace fatigue can only be combated with physical and mental stimulation.”

Another company founded in Atlanta is AMP Recover, which provides data that allows better outpatient care. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the burgeoning injury prevention and wellness market and love seeing providers and patients take a more proactive and preventative stance,” said CEO David Nichols in an interview with Hit Consultant magazine.

Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, told the Value-Based Care Summit hosted in Atlanta that the next step is tracking results. “We (now) have an opportunity to start documenting and cataloguing these cost savings,” Johnson said. “There are plenty of instances where we are saving a lot of money.”

Organizations Work Hard to Improve Access to Healthcare in Philadelphia

By staff writer

March 2019

Although Philadelphia is already known to be a city of medical firsts — including the first medical school, first hospital and first medical library in the United States — its public and private healthcare entities continue creating new and innovative partnerships to fight health inequities and improve access to healthcare.

The Health of the City 2018 report from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health showed that although most key health indicators in Philadelphia continue to improve, disparities in key health outcomes persist, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities and those experiencing poverty.

“As we assess the areas that need us most, our focus areas have been north, west and southwest Philadelphia, and we’re spending a lot of time and resources on creating communities of health in those underserved neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Davis, senior vice president and executive director of the American Heart Association in Philadelphia told Invest:.

Throughout the years, the American Heart Association has established strong partnerships with faith-based organizations, schools and community centers in order to educate and better serve the community in areas ranging from heart health and diabetes care to healthy cooking and physical fitness.

In addition, organizations such as The Renfrew Center, a treatment center for eating disorders, have created solid connections with insurance companies and a full continuum of care in the Philadelphia area.

“Mental health coverage has been a major focus area for us,” said Samuel Menaged, founder and partner of The Renfrew Center. “As the pioneer in the field of eating disorders, one of our missions is to take responsibility for expanding public awareness and understanding about mental health.”

Today, the Renfrew Center Foundation advances eating-disorder education, prevention, research, advocacy and treatment, and works to bring about better access to treatment.

Philadelphia is home to the second-largest university population in the U.S., and institutions of higher education also play a significant role in the healthcare arena. For example, in December 2018, Drexel University’s College of Medicine was given a $1.5 million, three-year grant to address the opioid epidemic.

“As an academic health center, we reach at-risk individuals in the community for evaluation and then offer evidence-based treatment,” said Daniel Schidlow, dean and senior vice president for medical affairs at Drexel. “Our research and educational programs will help the college develop new models of care to help curb the epidemic.”

There’s still much work to be done. Philadelphia’s 2018-2022 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) identified two priority areas that need urgent attention: Improving access to, and utilization of, primary care; and a more robust effort to address social and economic determinants of health issues. The Invest: team will continue covering these efforts and many others focused on bringing about better health care access to all Philadelphians.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

The Renfrew Center: http://renfrewcenter.com/

Drexel University College of Medicine: https://drexel.edu/medicine/

American Heart Association in Philadelphia: https://www.heart.org/en/affiliates/pennsylvania/philadelphia

A Hub for Medical Innovation

By staff writer

February 2019

There are certain aspects of a community that will always prove to be true. One such truth is when you have an area like Tampa Bay that is home to nearly 3 million people, and that number is steadily increasing year after year, there is inevitably going to be a need for more medical care. With that comes an increased emphasis on medical education. So how is Tampa handling this increased demand? The simple answer is: innovation.

Tampa is home to a number of highly praised and widely recognized medical institutions, and one of these institutions is Ultimate Medical Academy. The academy is using innovative methods for its online school to better equip those students who might not have the flexibility in their lives to go to an actual campus. Invest: Tampa Bay recently sat down with the school’s president, Derek Apanovitch, to discuss how they are best supporting their medical students.

“It has been a good year at Ultimate Medical Academy,” Apanovitch told Invest:. “We reached 15,000 students nationwide, and we have more than 45,000 graduates across the country. We also received four more years of accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

“We have what we call learner-services advisors who are assigned to individual students on their first day of class and stay with them through the duration of their program to help keep them on track,” Apanovitch continued. “One of the obvious challenges of running an online learning environment is that you don’t have students in front of you. We try to reaffirm that human element through constant interaction with our students, many of whom are single moms who are juggling part-time jobs and child care, so it’s important that someone is always available to help them. Faculty and the student support center employees are always on hand. That’s integral to the success of our students.”

Online institutions like Ultimate Medical Academy are proving successful because of their accessibility. This idea of accessibility has also been adopted by Tampa’s hospitals, making it so their patients have access to the items they need without having to go out of their way to procure them.

Invest: Tampa recently spoke with Tampa General Hospital’s CEO and president, John Couris, to discuss how they are leveraging innovative technologies to improve patient experience.

“We use a system called Epic for our electronic medical records (EMRs), and arguably it’s one of the best EMRs in the world,” Couris said. “It has improved access to clinical information exponentially for patients. Patients can access test results. They can communicate and message their doctors. They can make appointments. They can fill prescriptions. They have a to-do list for healthcare and tracking. They have a healthcare summary. They can see and pay their bills. They can do an e-visit, and they can share their records with any other Epic institution in the world. Not every institution has that kind of technology and infrastructure. We have it, and we’re continuing to get better at it.”

Innovation is not a new concept, but it is one that is necessary for Tampa Bay’s continued success in the medical field. As long as medical professionals and institutions continue to innovate, Tampa Bay will continue to be at the forefront of Florida’s medical community!

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:
Ultimate Medical Academy: https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/
Tampa General Hospital: https://www.tgh.org/