Lakeland - Dr. Pam Craven is a professional educator with over 40 years of intense instructional and administrative involvement in the field of education, both in the public and private sectors. She is in her twelfth year as Executive Director of the Learning Resource Center. She is an adjunct with Florida Southern College’s graduate program and Polk State College’s Early Childhood Department.
Dr. Craven received a Bachelor’s Degree in English-Journalism Education in 1967 and a Master of Education Degree in 1988 from the University of South Florida. She began her doctoral studies in 1992 in Interdisciplinary Studies, however switching to Adult Education in 1993. In December 2000, she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education from USF.
Pam Craven has a broad background in educational reform, serving on task forces and advisory boards. Her area of training specialization is learning styles, effective teaching strategies, and integrated curriculum. She is a member of Polk Businesses for WorldClass Education and serves on the READ Polk Board. She is a member of the Leadership Polk Steering Committee. She also is involved with the Leadership Lakeland Alumni, Polk Vision Steering Committee, the Mentoring Alliance of Polk County, the Polk County Grants Alliance, United Way of Central Florida’s Community Impact Cabinet, Phi Delta Kappa International, and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society.
As we gather to celebrate National Safety Month, I can't think of a better time for us to remind each other of the importance of lending a helping hand. The truth is that "personal safety" doesn't have to be a one-person job... or a self-centered act to keep ourselves and only ourselves safe.... it goes beyond that. And that's exactly what the National Safety Council Organization is trying to do with their National Safety Month campaign.
According to the Nation Safety Council, now, more than ever, safety is crucial both inside and outside the workplace, which is why the National Safety Council will still be recognizing National Safety Month in June. Observed annually by NSC, the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, National Safety Month focuses on saving lives and preventing injuries, from the workplace to anyplace.
This year, NSC will shine a spotlight on pressing topics, including, but not limited to: Mental Health, Ergonomics, Building a Safety Culture, and Driving.
In the Northeast Polk Gazette, we want to invite each one of you to think safe, practice safety, and to lend a helping hand to others so that we can help ourselves and others stay safe and healthy. Life is crazy and crazy things are constantly happening around us but if we make a point of being there for each other, life will surely become less complicated and less chaotic.
A wise woman once said... "In a world where you can be anything, be kind" ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee ~
Let's be kind to each other and let's keep each other safe. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.
Lakeland - The COVID-19 pandemic has at least temporarily changed life for many, but a Polk County nonprofit is determined to make sure the learning continues.
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) of Polk County has spent the last 45 years catering to the educational needs of children from as young as five to adults. The nonprofit works with local public and private schools, colleges and has a wide variety of programs to go along with about 400 total tutors.
“We usually have a very robust and far-reaching summer program,” said Pamela Craven, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We have three different levels of study skills courses we usually run. We’re going to be monitoring what local and state governments do, but we’re hoping to have them again.”
For high school students, the Get REAL! Program teaches a variety of skills for high school students, including on-the-job training, resume writing, time management, and practice interviews. One of the newer programs, Get REAL! works in flux with other nonprofits. Craven said she hopes that it can begin in July.
Also on the slate for July is “Camp READY!”. While Get REAL caters to high school students, Camp READY! is a four-week kindergarten preparedness class.
“This is not only to get them ready with reading skills but social skills,” Craven said of the program. “A lot of times, the vocabulary is just not there.”
If possible, Camp READY! will take place in person and will be available at 10 locations across Polk County. There are four Lakeland sites as well as sites in Bartow, Fort Meade, Haines City, Lake Wales, Mulberry, and Winter Haven. Sites are funded by the United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Foundation.
Although the course will go on as planned in person, Craven noted that facilitators will make sure that COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control are met. That includes potentially wearing masks, social distancing, temperature taking, proper sanitation, and limiting movement when possible. There is a $25 fee, but it can be waived based on attendance and other factors.
For Winter Haven students, a Summer Success Camp will be hosted in partnership with the Public Education Partnership (PEP) Center. The program catering to students from first through sixth grades is online and will focus on math, reading, and science. It lasts from June 1 through July 23.
LRC will be offering its Super Summer Success program for students who have completed grades from kindergarten through fifth. The online program will still be hands-on. It aims to improve reading and math skills.
For students with hopes of attending college, Craven said LRC will be offering SAT and ACT prep courses remotely. Programs for ESE and Title I students can also be done remotely, she said.
“We’re using the same models that have proven successful before,” Craven said. “The only difference is they’re online.”
The “Study Habits of Successful Students” courses are planned to take place in person, Craven said but could be moved online if necessary. The week-long course encompasses skills from setting goals, thinking critically and strategies for test-taking. Craven said there will be courses offered for elementary, middle and high school students.
“If we have setbacks, we know parents won’t be wanting their kids to meet in person,” Craven said. “This is something we could definitely do online.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
There are fees associated with most courses, but some can be waived. For more information, visit LRC online at www.lrcpolk.com or call 863-688-9477. Information is also posted on the nonprofit’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“Most programs are underwritten with some other type of funding,” Craven said. “We’re pleased to work with and have support from other nonprofits.”
The Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. (LRC) was founded by the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. in 1975 to help students by providing personalized supplemental education programs and consulting services for parents. At that time it was known as the Learning Disabilities Center and its primary purpose was to serve students with specific learning disabilities and provide support for their parents. The name changed in 1977 as programs for the learning disabled grew in the public school system and LRC expanded its services to help all students maximize their learning potential.
From its humble beginnings as a small volunteer group working in borrowed space to today, LRC has over 500 certified teachers who provide countywide services to over 4,000 students ages five through adult.
About the Author: Mike Ferguson currently serves as the public information officer at the Haines City Police Department. Mike earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University in 2009. Mike and his wife Jennifer live in Davenport, Florida with their two children.
Content Provided By the National Safety Council Website.
USA - Whether it happens at work or on the golf course, overexertion continues to be a leading cause of injury over all age groups. It was the second leading reason (after falls) that adults age 25-64 ended up in emergency departments in 2013, and the third leading cause for kids ages 10 and older, often from too-heavy backpacks, computers and gaming, and poor posture.
Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is, by far, the largest contributor to workers' compensation costs – more than $15 billion, or 25% of the total cost in 2012, according to Injury Facts 2016®. It also is the #1 reason for lost workdays. More than 322,00 people missed work that year due to overexertion.
Here are the statistics for some preventable injuries at work, by industry, from 2018:
* Construction – 320,000
* Manufacturing – 540,000
* Wholesale trade – 110,000
* Retail trade – 510,000
* Transportation and warehousing – 280,000
* Professional and business services – 230,000 * Education and health services – 820,000
* Government – 940,000
Over all age groups, whether work-related or off-the-job, hospitals treated 3,132,271 overexertion-related injuries in 2014, and the trend doesn't seem to be going downward. What gives?
It's Really About Ergonomics
Ergonomic injuries are disorders of the soft tissue, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, and spinal discs caused by:
* Excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching
* Repetitive motion
* Working in awkward positions
* Sitting or standing for a prolonged period of time * Using excessive force
* Vibration, resting on sharp corners or edges
* Temperature extremes
Whether you become injured on an assembly line or typing on a computer, playing video games, or helping someone move, it's important to know the signs. Ergonomic injury is cumulative. Symptoms can include everything from posture problems and intermittent discomfort, to tendonitis, chronic pain, and disability.
Overexertion can be Prevented
Regular exercise, stretching, and strength training to maintain a strong core all are beneficial in preventing injury. Following are some additional tips for work and home:
* Plan a lift before you begin, keep your back straight and lift with your legs
* Limit the amount of time you spend doing the same motion over and over
* Take frequent breaks from any sustained position every 20-30 minutes
* If you work at a desk, move frequently used items close to you, use a footrest
and adjust the height of your computer
* Report pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking or loss of
strength to your doctor before it becomes a full-blown injury.
About the National Safety Council: The National Safety Council is a 501 nonprofit, public service organization promoting health and safety in the United States of America. Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, NSC is a member organization, founded in 1913 and granted a congressional charter in 1953.
This article first appeared in https://www.nsc.org/
Winter Haven - The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the United States and the world.
That is also true for the sports world. Since the second week in March, major college sports, as well as the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, have all come to a grinding halt. The virus has created a realm of uncertainty for professional and college athletes alike, including those from Polk County.
Jack Twyford is set to enter his sophomore season as an offensive lineman at Yale University. The Winter Haven High School graduate said it wasn’t long after the Ivy League canceled its basketball tournament that he realized how serious the virus was.
“I remember people getting pretty mad about the basketball decision,” Twyford recalled. “The (Centers for Disease Control) said we were 14 days behind Italy’s model for a pandemic outbreak. That’s when I knew this was serious.”
Brendan Gant, a former safety at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, will be a sophomore for Florida State in the fall. Gant said the impact was unexpected.
“We didn’t expect it to happen,” Gant said. “But our coaches prepared us for whatever.”
Persevering Through Adversity
Both Twyford and Gant were hoping to take on bigger roles for their football programs. For both, spring practice was canceled.
Twyford was on spring break when he received the news that there would be no spring football. Yale was scheduled to begin its spring immediately after spring break. Twyford appeared in two games for the Bulldogs in 2019 and looking to push for more reps as a sophomore and perhaps a starting spot.
“I’m definitely confident in myself and my abilities,” Twyford said. “Spring was a chance to really prove myself to my coaches. You can never have enough reps in practice.”
As for Gant and the Seminoles, spring practice had already gotten underway when it was canceled. Gant played all 13 games at FSU in 2019 as a freshman but was used often at linebacker. For 2020, he had planned to return to his natural position of safety and perhaps work his way into the starting lineup.
"Coming into the spring and getting back into the groove of playing safety was important for me,” Gant said. “I was expecting to take on a bigger role. It was tough.”
Fans often forget about the “student” portion of what it means to be a student-athlete. With the coronavirus outbreak, changes have not only had to be made to football regiments but academic ones.
Gant noted that most of his scheduled classes were already online. Since he arrived in Tallahassee from Lakeland, Gant said he’s taken school every bit as important as football. Forced to do more on his own, Gant has tried to stick to his normal class and study schedule.
“I try to keep the times the same,” he said. “I just made (academics) my main priority. You just have to focus in a little more.”
During this time of uncertainty, Gant remains in Tallahassee. Twyford, however, has gone from New Haven back to his home in Winter Haven.
Classes at Yale, he said, have gone away from letter grades for the spring semester and are now strictly pass/fail. Twyford said he’s unsure of how summer courses will be affected.
“Three or four of my classes were lectures,” Twyford said. “I have a pretty obtuse schedule.”
Team Activities and Staying in Football Shape
Although FSU players and staff have been practicing social distancing, Gant said they can work in very small groups to stay in shape. With a first-year head coach in Mike Norvell, Gant added that players and coaches are doing what they can to meet regularly.
“Our coaches have been preparing us for moments of adversity since they got here,” Gant said. “We want to be a player-led team, so we’re pushing each other to stay on top of stretches and exercises. With a new staff and a new scheme, we have to stay on top of things. We’re trying to keep everything the same as much as we can.”
Gant added that under the current situation, it will be on the players as individuals to work hard and improve.
“I just feel like this is the year of the athlete itself,” he said. “There are no excuses really.”
Being away from campus and with gyms closed back home, Twyford said he’s just using what’s available to him to stay in football shape.
“I have a weight set in my garage – a power rack,” he said. “I sometimes have to get creative to find a way to work the muscles. There’s a certain degree of creativity that goes into it.
“I’m taking it as an extended vacation, only I have to do my schoolwork and work out,” Twyford added. “I’m cherishing the time with my family.”
Will There Be Football in 2020?
With the COVID-19 pandemic having caused the NCAA to end spring and unfinished winter sports, there are questions whether or not fall sports, like football, will take place. Among the items on the table are the prospects of playing in empty stadiums or pushing the season back to later in the fall or the spring.
“I didn’t know it would be to this scale,” Twyford said. “I thought I’d be back in Connecticut by April. If we’re allowed to go up in the summer, I plan to take classes and work out with the team.”
Both Gant and Twyford seemed optimistic about football in the fall.
“I know this situation is serious,” Gant said. “I just feel like, at the same time, we can’t keep the world on lock forever.”
As far as empty stadiums go, Twyford joked that wouldn’t be much different for many Yale games.
“It’s my best guess that we’ll have football in the fall,” he said. “If you’ve ever been to a game outside of Harvard-Yale, we play pretty much without crowds.”
About the Author: Mike Ferguson currently serves as the public information officer at the Haines City Police Department. Mike earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University in 2009. Mike and his wife Jennifer live in Davenport, Florida with their two children.
Lakeland - Peace River Center, a non-profit behavioral health and victim services organization that serves more than 22,000 individuals every year, is hosting virtual sessions during Mental Health Awareness Month.
“Now more than ever it’s important to talk about mental health, be aware of the resources, and share with our friends and loved ones who might be struggling,” said Ileana Kniss, Director of Development and Community Relations at Peace River Center (PRC). “We have transitioned our awareness events to virtual platforms and invite the community to join us for these meaningful conversations.”
The awareness activities and virtual sessions include:
* May 1 at 8:30 a.m. Virtual Chat with Mental Health Professionals: Four PRC professionals will discuss mental health, treatments, and services. Attendees can ask questions and will walk away with tools to thrive in this ever-changing world.
* May 6 Wear Green Day: Community members are encouraged to wear green and upload their photos to social media with the hashtag #Green4PRC to show their support of mental health and the organization.
* May 13 at 10:00 a.m. Depression and Anxiety in Children and Teens: Learn more about depression and anxiety in children and teens such as general symptoms, risk factors and what you can do to help a child or teen experiencing depression and anxiety.
* May 20 at 2:00 p.m. What is Mental Health Recovery? What does it mean to be in mental health recovery? Learn more about that and how to access resources in our community such as Club SUCCESS and Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services.
These virtual sessions are free to attend and those interested can visit https://www.peacerivercenter.org/mham -registration/ for details and to register. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time, but they will also have a chance to ask the mental health experts their questions at the end of each session.
About Peace River Center:
Peace River Center is a licensed and accredited, non-profit provider of mental health, substance use, and integrated medical services serving Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Peace River Center provides options for people struggling with mental health and addiction, for children and adults coping with the trauma of abuse and violence, crisis intervention for people in acute need, and housing and community support and integration for people affected by domestic violence or whose recovery requires more support and time. Peace River Center offers inpatient, outpatient, home-, school- and community-based services, telehealth and mobile programs to individuals, groups and families. Peace River Center’s dedicated and compassionate staff of more than 400 operate 36 programs out of 27 locations and provide 24/7 emergency psychiatric response services to the community through our mobile psychiatric Crisis Response Team. In FY2019, Peace River Center had contact with and provided services to more than 22,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors. For more information visit www.PeaceRiverCenter.org.
By: M.C. Reyes, Editor-in-Chief and Member of the Editorial Board.
As we continue the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus, we would like to take this opportunity to do a tribute to those who, day and night, put their lives in danger to save other people's lives... and those are our men and women in medical gowns.
These men and women wake up every day ready to give their 100 percent to help others fight this horrendous virus. They leave their families behind to do the job that they love, even when knowing that the risks of them getting infected are extremely high. If that's not considered a heroic act, I am not sure what is.
As we mentioned on our front page, May 12 is international nurses day, and we, at the Northeast Polk Gazette, would like to give our sincere thanks to the front-line health-care nurses who are putting their lives on hold, and at-risk, while providing care for those in need. Without you guys, the chances of survival of those infected with the virus wouldn't be as promising as they are. You guys are making a difference in people's lives... in families' lives and that will never go unnoticed.
The truth is that thanks to each one of you, and the amazing job that you are doing, we have been able to stay positive while "sequestered" at home... because we know that you guys are there for those who need help.
We know that the fight is not over and that it may be months before things go back to normal... or, at least, to the "new normal," but we have faith that you guys will continue staying strong so that you can do your job to the best of your abilities. But, we also pray God that he gives each one of you the physical, mental, and emotional health that you guys need to be able to deal with what comes your way.
So, without further ado, today we say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
THANK YOU for the sacrifices you make every day, especially during these challenging times.
THANK YOU for your dedication, commitment, and courage.
And, THANK YOU for the service you are providing to the patients suffering from the virus. You are saving countless lives and making a difference in our communities. And, again, your dedication and sacrifices are not going unnoticed.
For that and more, we want to say to each one of you... THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!
Winter Haven - For this month's community leader of the month, we want to feature a community doctor who is working hard to provide sports medicine services to her clients, while at the same time, volunteering in the community.
Meet Dr. Michelle Henne.
Dr. Henne is the head physician for Polk State College, Warner University, and All Saints Academy She’s also actively involved in the Junior League of Greater Winter Haven. She has worked with Warner University by developing its medical policies and procedures for their athletes. She has also been a consultant during Warner’s development of its COVID-19 policies and procedures.
Dr. Henne is a Medical Doctor graduating as a Gold Humanism Honor Society member from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. She also did her undergraduate training at the University of South Florida as part of an accelerated program.
After medical school, she completed her residency at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and her sports medicine fellowship in Orlando. She has worked with high school, college, amateur and professional athletes including those with the MLS, NWSL, Washington Nationals, Kissimmee FireFrogs, a minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, LPGA and Symetra Tour, FINA (International Swimming Federation), FIFA (international soccer federation), US Soccer, and USA Water Ski and Wake Sports.
She moved to Winter Haven to provide specialized care in the community where her husband grew up. She enjoys the opportunity to bring her specialized skills to our community, including local high schools and universities.
Dr. Henne is published in many journals including the American Journal of Orthopedics, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, and the 5-Minute Clinical Consult. She has presented at numerous venues, such as the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine, the orthopedic conference at Orlando Health, and the 33rd Annual Colin J. Condron Care of the Sick Child. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering as a member of the Junior League of Greater Winter Haven.
Visit https://relevesportsmedicine.com/ for more information on what Dr. Henne and her team can do for you.
Polk County - Each year, the International Councils of Nurses (ICN) leads the celebrations on International Nurses Day, which is traditionally held on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
This year’s celebrations will be extra special because the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife and because it will be the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth. To mark the occasion, ICN is planning and coordinating a wide range of activities throughout the year.
The theme for 2020, Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health, demonstrates how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. It will encourage nurses and the public to celebrate the big day, but also provide information and resources that will help to raise the profile of the profession throughout the year and attract a new generation into the nursing family.
ICN President Annette Kennedy said she is expecting 2020 to be a momentous year for the profession:
“Having the Year of the Nurse and Midwife coincide with Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial raises the exciting prospect of nurses finally being recognized for all the good they do.
All around the world, nurses are working tirelessly to provide the care and attention people need, whenever and wherever they need it.
We want this year’s International Nurses Day to highlight that nurses are central to the delivery of health care, that nurses are making an invaluable contribution to the health of people globally. Nurses, because of their unique role of working with people from birth to death, need to be involved in health policy."
In addition, the world’s National Nursing Associations will be organizing local events throughout the year to celebrate the profession and demonstrate its unique position in the health-care landscape.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.
Lakeland - As part of our "In the Spotlight" section, for this edition, we would like to feature an organization that is dedicated to offering outpatient therapy services, client-centered individual therapy, group treatment, and family therapy to those who need them the most. These services are offered in the Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties.
Meet the Peace and River Center Victim Services.
Peace River Center is a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to engage, restore, and empower individuals in our community to reach their fullest potential. The vision of the Peace River Center is to be a Center of Excellence for building emotional wellness. The Peace River Center therapists work with prospective clients to create an individualized treatment plan to help support the client in his or her health, wellness, and recovery goals. Therapists may also provide referrals, as appropriate, for specific Peace River Center services such as Targeted Case Management, Psychiatric Evaluations, Adult Recovery Services, and Child Specific services.
Peace River Center was founded in the late 1940s in response to the community’s concern for the emotional and psychological well-being of children. Over time, Peace River Center gradually expanded its services to include adults. A significant growth period for the Center came after the 1973 passing of the Baker Act, which is Florida’s Mental Health Act, enabling them to establish a community mental health center as an alternative to treatment at the State Hospital.
In the late 1970s, Peace River Center opened the first of two domestic violence shelters, and in 2013 we added a primary care Wellness Clinic. Our Lakeland Crisis Campus opened in January 2018.
With 27 locations, 30 programs, and accreditation from The Joint Commission and licensed by ACHA and DCF, Peace River Center is one of the largest behavioral health agencies in Florida. PRC will never deny services to anyone based on their inability to pay. PRC will provide discounts to patients based on family size and income.
Do you need to contact the organization?
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you would like to contact their crisis response team, you can use their 24-hour crisis line: (863) 519-374, or their toll-free line: (800) 627-5906.
The Crisis Response Team is a mobile outreach service that is designed to provide immediate crisis assessment, intervention and counseling, linkage and referral, and crisis follow-up contact. All in an effort to reach a resolution for adults and children who may be experiencing any type of emotional crisis, which can include: suicidal intentions, self-destructive behaviors, or acute, severe, and intense emotional distress. The Team is also equipped to provide suicide prevention awareness, critical incident stress debriefing, and stress management.
You can also reach their crisis stabilization unit at their 24-hour crisis line: (863) 519-3744 or at their business line: (863) 519-3747.
The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is a secured 30-bed public receiving facility for Florida's Baker Act. The CSU provides short-term, intensive, psychiatric stabilization and discharges planning services to individuals in need of emergency treatment either voluntarily or involuntarily meeting the criteria for Florida’s Baker Act. Individuals who experience a crisis are psychiatrically evaluated, observed, and stabilized on the Unit for a period of up to 72 hours for the purpose of returning them to a less restrictive level of care. Services offered at the CSU include medication management, psycho-education on illness, group support, discharge planning and referrals, as well as, family education.
For more information about this amazing organization, visit their website at https://www.peacerivercenter.org/