On the Town round table

Published on September 24th, 2012 | by Dr. Richard Martorano


A Healthcare Round Table Discussion

I went to a very interesting roundtable discussion last Tuesday (September 18) at Sugar Mill Country Club.  The roundtable was presented by Vitas Hospice Care, Americare Home Health, Just Checking In, Mom Home Companion Service and Tiffany On The River, an assisted living facility.

Marianne Chapin, co-owner of Just Checking In, Mom asked me to moderate the event and act as MC.  This roundtable discussion is a very innovative concept designed by the sponsors.  Over 40 guests sat at tables with a local physician and discussed current healthcare issues.  The idea of the event was to inform the guests as to what local practicing physicians are seeing and are experiencing in the way of changes in today’s healthcare.

The forum was not intended to be a political discussion but rather a glimpse into the challenges, rewards and changes local doctors face in caring for residents of this community.

After a 15 minute dialogue, the physician would rotate to the next table and speak with the guests at that table.

Some of the current topics for discussion included:

  • The changes taking place in healthcare today regarding paperless records
  • How the insurance industry has affected patient care
  • How the economy has affected physicians’ practices
  • How governmental regulations over the years have impacted patient care
  • Physicians’ perceptions as to what would be the ideal scenario for today’s healthcare
  • Physicians’ preferences in communication between doctor and patient

The $20 donation to attend the event went to benefit the Bert Fish Medical Center Foundation for its Community Health Center.  Over $500 was raised.

Susan Thornton, RN, Community Liaison for Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, one of the sponsors for the event, welcomed all the guests, introduced the physicians and explained the concept.  Desiree Culver and Carla Hiles of Tiffany On The River and AmeriCare respectively were on hand as sponsors and to present gifts raffled off during table changes.

Physicians practicing in Southeast Volusia County and on the staff of Bert Fish Medical Center participated in this forum and included:

Kirstin McCabe-Kline MD -medical director of the emergency department at Bert Fish Medical Center.  Dr. McCabe received her M.D. degree from the University of Texas.  She is currently serving as a partner with Emergency Medical Professionals who provide contracted services to Bert Fish Medical Center, Florida Hospital Deland and Florida Hospital Fish Memorial.  She is married to Dr. Tom Kline, an Optometrist for Tomoka Eye Associates.

William Gilmer, MD – an Ophthalmologist in practice with Doctors Dean and Miller in New Smyrna Beach.  Dr. Gilmer is a native Volusia County resident.  He received his M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine and is a widely published author for his research into diseases involving the eyes.  He currently serves as a Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Bryan Heath, MD – a Gastroenterologist practicing at the New Smyrna Beach Ambulatory Center.  He is Board-Certified and a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  He served four years in the Air Force before locating to New Smyrna Beach.  Dr. Heath has 26 years experience specializing in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.  He is a local surfer and can be seen regularly riding the waves at the inlet. He is a member of the New Smyrna Beach Bible Chapel.

Kurt Schierlinger, DPM – Board Certified Podiatric Primary Care physician in Volusia County since 1987 and Graduate of Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. His office is located on S. Ridgewood Ave. in Edgewater.  Dr. Schierlinger is the house Podiatrist for several local nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

April Ferguson, DO – currently working for Bert Fish Medical Center as the Medical Director of its Community Health Center.  She is Wound Care Certified and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida State University Medical School located in Daytona Beach.

With all the changes taking place today in healthcare, it was a very interesting evening of dialogue and exchanges between local practitioners and community residents.

It was a very interesting evening and one that is going to be continued by the sponsors after the first of the year.  Our congratulations to the event sponsors and we wish you every success in the future with these round table discussions.

About the Author

A prominent musician, producer, composer, music director, adjunct university professor and owner of R. Martorano Productions LLC and Music, Etc. Inc. who is residing in New Smyrna Beach. He has produced and directed over 30 Broadway musicals for community or Dinner theater and worked with some of the biggest names in show business. He has also produced over 30 jingles and TV commercials. Dr. Martorano has an undergraduate and Master degrees from Florida State University and Rollins College and Doctorate in Music and Broadcast Communications from California State Western University. He is a feature contributor to the New Smyrna Beach Observer and can be reached at rjaem2222@bellsouth.net or on his web page RMartoranoproductions.com

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