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Healthcare from the Heart

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Heart of FL - 2014 DBOT Photo

As a heart beats blood that fortifies the body, generous donors such as the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center provide the vital nutrients that keep the Polk State College Foundation helping the many students whose lives are transformed by obtaining a higher education. The partnership between Heart of Florida and Polk State is a beautiful one that allows each to grow and thrive.

To the innumerable Allied Health students of Polk State College who are impacted by its generosity, The Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center (HOFRMC) 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.

Heart of Florida has donated a generous $32,000 to The Polk State College Foundation over the years, and the Foundation has honored the hospital’s Medical staff in 2010 and most recently in May of 2014 not only for its generous monetary gifts, but for the priceless hands-on support given to Polk State College’s nursing students by the Medical Staff.

Board member of the Polk State College Foundation Kevin Ashley expressed the gratitude of Polk State College for all that the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center’s Medical Staff has done for Polk and its students.

“The College, Foundation and the students that benefit from these scholarships are extremely grateful for the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center’s Medical Staff’s generosity.  These vital contributions address the nursing shortage in our community and will ultimately change and will save lives!” said Ashley.

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.

In May of 2014, Dr. Aftab Khan, the Vice Chief of Staff/Vice President of the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center Medical Staff, described the inspiration of the Medical Center staff for its dedication to Polk State.

“All of us on the medical staff at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center know the importance of this community and of education. So this is our mission, knowing how important education is for future generations,” said Dr. Khan.

“We always appreciate what nurses do for us. I mean, without good nurses, a physician cannot even operate in the hospital. And getting good, well-trained nurses is not an easy thing to obtain. Polk State College does a tremendous job with that, and so if we provide them with scholarships and hands-on support, and then later on they join our nurses’ staff at Heart of Florida, it’s a big reward for us,” he explained.

In 2010, Dr. Manual Jain, past President/Chief of Staff of the Medical Staff’s Executive Committee, expressed similar feelings about the indispensable, hard-working nurses who form the basis for the wonderful, mutually beneficial bond between Polk State and Heart of Florida.

“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. Jain.

“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.

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.

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.