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The Heart of Healthcare at Polk

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To the innumerable Allied Health students of Polk State College who are impacted by its generosity, The Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center has proven in so many ways how aptly named it is. From the establishment of several scholarship programs at Polk State to the ongoing warm and caring interactions of its Medical Staff with students, Heart of Florida is a lifeblood of Polk State College’s Allied Health programs and, by extension, of our community.  Working directly with students, particularly Polk State College Nursing students, has allowed the hospital’s Medical Staff to observe firsthand the enormous difference scholarships make in the lives of Polk State students, and inspired them to establish the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center-Medical Staff Endowed Scholarship at the Polk State College Foundation in 2009. This scholarship is available to Polk State College Allied Health majors who reside in the Greater Haines City area. By addressing the county’s critical nursing shortage of the past few years, their vital contributions will ultimately and profoundly affect and save lives.

“We like to support, inspire, and encourage nurses — they are a vital part of the care of the patient. Our medical staff is cognizant of the need for good nurses, and that was the impetus behind creating this scholarship. We’re very impressed with the quality of nurses that come out of Polk State,” said Dr. Manual Jain, past President/Chief of Staff of the Medical Staff’s Executive Committee.

And the admiration is mutual – Polk State College could not be more deeply grateful for the huge positive impact that the hospital has made on the Polk State College Nursing program. In 2010, the Polk State College Foundation honored the hospital’s Medical staff for its generous donation of $20,000 to the Foundation, and for the priceless hands-on support given to Polk State College’s nursing students by the Medical Staff.

“Nurses are an extension of our work. They are truly the eyes and ears of our hospital. I can’t think of anything better than nurturing minds and helping students to fulfill their potential,” said Dr. Jain, who was present at the ceremony along with fellow member of the Medical Staff’s Executive Committee, Dr. Wael Jamaleddine, Secretary/Treasurer. Their colleague Linda Pilkington, Vice Chair of the Polk State College District Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board’s Immediate Past Chair, was also in attendance.

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center and the Polk State College Nursing Program work tirelessly hand-in-hand to provide Nursing students with a top-notch education that helps them meet the challenges of a nursing career in the twenty-first century.

“The standard of nursing has been elevated. It’s evolved to the point where today’s nurses are really empowered by the knowledge they have. Instead of just following doctor’s orders, they have their own standards to follow,” Dr. Jain noted.

The hospital also realizes that the profoundly important and difficult healthcare field requires a very special type of individual.

“Caring for others the way those in the healthcare field do – not everyone can do it. No matter how much you pay, not everyone can or are willing to be right there in the trenches, taking everything in with all your senses – it’s a difficult job that requires a special courage and dedication,” said Dr. Jain.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Neriah Roberts, Jerry Miller, Linda Pilkington, Dr. Wael Jamaleddine, Dr. Eileen Holden, Dr. Manuel Jain, Rick Garcia, Greg Littleton, Teresa Martinez and Ernie Pinner.