Friday, November 12, 2010

Martin Memorial Auxiliary Provides Second Installment of $150,000 Pledge

The Martin Memorial Auxiliary is two-thirds of the way towards fulfilling a pledge to raise $150,000 for refurbishments to the Martin Memorial Medical Center Conference Center.

Auxiliary officers recently presented members of the Martin Memorial executive team with the second of three planned $50,000 gifts. The Auxiliary anticipates completing the commitment by 2011.

Funding will be used to purchase a new audio-visual system, as well as functional and aesthetic renovations for the nearly 30-year-old conference center. Renovations will be performed in phases.

This isn’t the first time the Auxiliary has contributed funds for this purpose: in 1982, the volunteers donated $75,000 for the construction of the conference center. Today, the conference center serves a wide variety of purposes that can include everything from educational seminars to support groups, community celebrations to hospital staff and Auxiliary meetings.

The Auxiliary, which includes more than 900 members who provide 187,000 volunteer hours to the health system, raises funds through a variety of sources. That includes purchases from the gift shops at Martin Memorial Medical Center and Martin Memorial Hospital South, the thrift shop located at Smithfield Plaza, Philips’ Lifeline personal response service, as well as numerous fund-raisers throughout the year.

Each year the Auxiliary also provides $40,000 in scholarships to residents of Martin and St. Lucie counties who are entering health care related fields.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Educational Forum on Nov. 9 Provides Information on Surgical Patient Care

The Treasure Coast Chapter of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses is hosting a free educational forum and vendor fair on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

The annual event is held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Parish Life Center, located at 701 E. Ocean Blvd. in Stuart.

The event, held in conjunction with the national Perioperative Nurse Week, will provide the public, health care students and medical professions with information and education about the latest advances in surgical patient care.

No registration is required. For more information, please contact Gretchen Menikheim by e-mail at, or by calling (772) 223-5945, ext. 3200.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Martin Memorial Offers Scholarships for Students Seeking Degrees Related to Health Care

Martin Memorial Health Systems and the Martin Memorial Auxiliary are once again offering scholarships to residents of Martin and St. Lucie counties who are pursuing degrees related to health care.

The scholarships are open to high school students in Martin or St. Lucie counties who graduate in 2011, as well as to residents of either county who are considering going back to school and need tuition assistance. Applications are available online at The deadline for submission is Feb. 18, 2011.

For more information, call Christina Romanovsky at (772) 223-5945, ext. 3239, or e-mail

A committee determines which candidates receive scholarships and in what amount. Amounts awarded vary and are based on grades, residency, need, other financial assistance being granted and additional criteria. Funds may be used to offset any costs associated with the pursuit of a degree related to health care.

In 2010, the Martin Memorial Auxiliary and Martin Memorial Health Systems provided $50,000 in scholarships with nearly 50 recipients earning assistance. Since 1978, Martin Memorial has awarded approximately $1.1 million in scholarships to 824 residents of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

The Martin Memorial Auxiliary includes more than 800 members, who volunteer nearly 200,000 hours of volunteer service annually and contribute considerable philanthropic gifts to the health system.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Court Rules in Martin Memorial’s Favor, Clears Way to Build Hospital in Tradition

A ruling by the First District Court of Appeals has cleared the way for Martin Memorial Health Systems to build an 80-bed hospital in the west Port St. Lucie development of Tradition.

On Oct. 26, the appellate court ruled against an attempt by HCA, Inc. – which owns St. Lucie Medical Center and Lawnwood Regional Medical Center – to block Martin Memorial from building the hospital. Martin Memorial had received a final order from the state to move forward, but HCA appealed that order.

The First District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Oct. 19 and made a remarkably quick decision to deny HCA’s appeal and rule in favor of Martin Memorial. Because there was no written opinion from the court, Martin Memorial does not anticipate any further legal challenges.

“This is a critical decision for residents of west Port St. Lucie and the surrounding communities,” said Mark E. Robitaille, president and chief executive officer. “For years they have been telling us there is a significant need for access to medical services and we have done everything in our power to bring that care to them. This is a victory for everyone in the community.”

Martin Memorial has already seen a need for increased medical services since opening a free-standing emergency department in St. Lucie West. Since the Emergency Center opened its doors on Sept. 1, 2009 it has seen over 28,000 patients, exceeding projections for the facility.

“We are extremely thankful to so many members of the community who have shown support for this project,” Robitaille said. “That includes individuals who wrote letters of support, community leadership, the Port St. Lucie City Council, the Tradition Center for Innovation, Mann Research Center, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and VGTI Florida. Their commitment and dedication was crucial to bringing health care access to residents of west Port St. Lucie.”

The hospital will be located at the southwest corner of Tradition Boulevard and Interstate 95. Located on a 20-acre site in Tradition, the hospital will be one of the largest economic development projects ever in St. Lucie County. Once fully operational, it will create more than 400 jobs with an average salary of approximately $53,000. The capital investment will exceed $100 million and Martin Memorial is committed to utilizing as many local resources and companies as possible on the project.

Anticipating that the court would rule in its favor, for the past several months Martin Memorial has partnered with KLMK Group, a nationally recognized leader in hospital program development, to help with planning, designing and constructing the proposed hospital. The planning phase is under way and completion of that phase is expected in early 2011. This will be followed by the design and construction phases. Estimated hospital completion date is early 2014.

In the coming months, Martin Memorial will be looking for opportunities to solicit input from community members on the hospital project. The health system is currently in the process of selecting an architect, engineering firm and a construction company.

Martin Memorial is also developing partnerships with the life sciences organizations coming to the area. In the past year, the health system has begun collaboration on two research studies with VGTI Florida. The hospital would be built near Torrey Pines’ current facility in Tradition, and would be near the facility VGTI Florida is now building.
The decision from the appellate court is the latest chapter in Martin Memorial’s attempts to build a hospital in west Port St. Lucie.

Martin Memorial began seeking permission to build a hospital in west Port St. Lucie in 1998 and filed numerous applications over an eight-year period. In June 2007, Martin Memorial received preliminary approval from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration for a certificate of need to build the hospital. The approval was challenged to an administrative hearing by the HCA hospitals. A judge rendered a recommended order upholding the preliminary approval in July 2009. In December 2009, AHCA accepted the judge’s recommendation to approve the project. HCA, Inc. appealed the ruling later that month.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Martin Memorial Auxiliary Hosting Fall Fashion Extravaganza on Oct. 30

For the second consecutive year, the Martin Memorial Auxiliary is hosting an event focused on fun, fashion and philanthropy.

The Fall Fashion Extravaganza will be held Saturday, Oct. 30 from noon to 3 p.m. at Renato’s Italian Ristorante, located at 3720 S.E. Ocean Blvd. in Sewall’s Point. The extravaganza will feature lunch and a fashion show, with fashions and accessories showcased from the Shops at Harbour Bay Plaza.

To register, visit and click on the Fall Fashion Extravaganza link. You can also call (772) 223-5945, ext. 1297 for more information.

The cost is $28 per person, which includes lunch. Proceeds from the event will benefit Martin Memorial Health Systems.

Martin Memorial has one of the largest hospital Auxiliaries in the state, featuring more than 800 volunteers who provide nearly 200,000 hours of service each year. In addition to providing volunteer services, the Auxiliary has a long history of helping raise funds that are used to enhance patient care and access to services for Treasure Coast residents.

In 2009, the Auxiliary completed its $1 million pledge to the Frances Langford Heart Center and in 2010 pledged to raise $150,000 over three years to pay for renovations to Martin Memorial Medical Center’s conference centers. To help ensure future health care providers are able to receive the educations they need, each year the Auxiliary provides $40,000 in scholarships for local students who are seeking degrees in health care related fields. Since 1978, Martin Memorial has awarded approximately $1.1 million in scholarships to 824 residents of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Martin Memorial Offering $100 Mammo Screening for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each year, mammograms provide the early detection necessary that can help successfully treat breast cancer.

During October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Martin Memorial is offering $100 digital mammography screening for women who are uninsured or underinsured. Payments must be self-pay and not made through insurance. A physician prescription is required.

To schedule a screening mammogram, call (772) 288-5817.

Martin Memorial’s diagnostic imaging centers in Stuart and St. Lucie West provide accredited mammography services, combining advanced technologies with the skill of experienced, board-certified physicians and technologists.