AHCA Suspends the License of the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills

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 Today, the Agency for Health Care Administration issued an emergency suspension order on the license of the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills. On September 13, the Agency issued a temporary moratorium on admissions for the facility, which stopped new patients from being admitted. On September 13, the Agency also initiated an investigation of the facility and the preliminary results have shown that a permanent emergency suspension of licensure is warranted and necessary. Today’s action will suspend their ability to operate a nursing home, and prohibit the facility from admitting any patients.

Per the AHCA investigation’s initial findings, residents of the facility did not receive timely medical care because the trained medical professionals at the facility overwhelmingly delayed calling 911. Also, these patients were not timely evacuated to the air-conditioned hospital located across the street. These patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of, for example, 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and 107 degrees Fahrenheit - far too late to be saved. The facility also made many late entries into patients’ medical records. The “late entries” were recorded hours after a nurse visited the patients, and therefore, portray an inaccurate depiction of the situation at the facility.

Agency Secretary Justin Senior said, “As more information has come to light on this egregious situation, this facility absolutely cannot continue to have access to patients. This facility failed its residents multiple times throughout this horrifying ordeal. It is unfathomable that a medical professional would not know to call 911 immediately in an emergency situation. The facility also entered late entries into medical records claiming safe temperatures for patients while those same patients were across the street dying in the emergency room with temperatures of over 108 degrees Fahrenheit. No amount of emergency preparedness could have prevented the gross medical and criminal recklessness that occurred at this facility. For that reason we will suspend their license and completely terminate them from the Medicaid program. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect patients in Florida – especially those who are frail and can’t take care of themselves.”

Between 1:30AM and 5:00AM on September 13, several residents suffered respiratory or cardiac distress, and at least eight of those patients ultimately died as a result of not receiving the medical attention they deserved. On September 13, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills added many late entries to patients’ medical records. This includes a facility nurse recording a patient’s temperature at 101.6 degrees, but the patient was actually no longer at the facility, and had a recorded temperature 108.3 by the hospital. In a second, and very egregious case a late entry was added that stated the patient was resting in bed with respirations even and unlabored, however, this resident had already died before this entry was made.

This facility’s license to operate a nursing home in Florida is immediately suspended based upon the facts presented to the Agency. Their Medicaid participation has been terminated. A copy of the facility’s suspension order is attached. AHCA is currently conducting an investigation. The Hollywood Police Department and FDLE are also conducting a criminal investigation.

Voicemail of Nursing Home calls to Gov. Scott deleted by Scott Administration




Florida governor under fire over nursing home voicemails left during hurricane
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is facing criticism after his office revealed that four voicemails sent from a nursing home where eleven residents died in the aftermath Hurricane Irma were deleted.
CBS Miami reported on Saturday that Scott's office said the four voicemails, which were all received during a 36-hour period before the first resident died, were handed off to the appropriate agency and then deleted.
Eleven people died at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a nursing home that lost power and air conditioning during Hurricane Irma. Authorities said the deaths were heat-related.

“The voicemails were not retained because the information from each voicemail was collected by the governor’s staff and given to the proper agency for handling," the governor's office told CBS in a statement.
A vice president at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills told CBS that she requested "immediate assistance" for the residents at the nursing home.

Last week, Scott's office denied that the nursing home ever indicated its residents were in immediate danger, and stressed that the calls were referred to the appropriate authorities.
“Every call made to the governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned,” Scott’s spokesman said last week in a statement to the CBS affiliate.
Florida's Department of Health has laid blame for the deaths squarely on the nursing home.
“Let’s be clear – this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities,” DOH spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said. “It is 100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients.”

“The families of those that died tragically in this nursing home deserve answers. We need a full, independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding this deeply disturbing situation and any violation of sunshine laws by the Scott Administration.”


Worst GOP Health Care Repeal Effort Yet


As Senate Republicans try to force through their secretive Graham-Cassidy-Heller health care repeal bill, without a CBO score or regular order to allow for hearings and debate, here is a look at some numbers from health care experts that show how truly devastating this would be for Americans across the country:
32 MILLIONAs many as 32 million people could lose their health insurance after 2026.
15 MILLIONAt least 15 million people would lose their coverage in the next year alone.
$4.1 TRILLIONStates are projected to lose as much as $4.1 trillion in federal health care funding over the next two decades.
20%Average premiums could increase by 20%, if not more, in the next year alone.
$16,174According to AARP, a 60-year old making $25,000 could have to pay $16,174 more per year for the same coverage they have today.
31%: Federal funding for children who receive Medicaid coverage would be cut by 31% over the next two decades.
15%: –Federal funding for people with disabilities who receive Medicaid coverage would be cut by 15% over the next two decades.
ZEROGuaranteed protections for people with preexisting conditions would be gutted.

Lauderhill to Open More Parks as Clean Up Continues After Hurricane Irma

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Lauderhill Staff is working at cleaning up the enormous amount of debris around the City.  
West Wind Park, St. George Park, Maye Jenkins Park, 17th Street Park, Boulevard Woods Park, Waterford Park, and Lauderhill 6-12 are now open. Tonight the sports field at West Ken Lark Park will reopen (not the building). Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 20th the Lauderhill Sports Park will reopen. 
While playing and enjoying the parks please do so with caution. Some park features/amenities have been closed as they were damaged from the storm.  In addition, some Park and Facility hours may be shortened. You can call the Parks Department at 954-730-3080 for Park and Program specific information. 
Garbage and Recycling pickup has resumed on your regularly scheduled days. STORM RELATED DEBRIS is being picked up now- Do not put out regular bulk garbage at this time.  For single family homes, place your debris in your swale. Condos and apartments need to place storm related debris where bulk trash is normally located. Please keep vegetative debris separated from other debris like fences and building materials. Vegetation and foliage must be piled in no larger than 10 foot portions. Please ask your guard gates and security companies to work with the haulers and waste companies who are picking up debris. If you have questions concerning garbage or debris, call 954-730-3000
If you have experienced property damage or loss directly caused by Hurricane Irma, register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance – even if you have insurance, please visit www.disasterassistance.govor call 800-621-3362.

Florida Tolls return Thursday Morning



Tolls on a vast majority of Florida’s Turnpike system, all Florida Department of Transportation roads and bridges, and all regional toll facilities throughout the State will be re-instated this Thursday, September 21st at 12:01 a.m. Tolls were suspended on Tuesday, September 5th to help facilitate Hurricane Irma evacuation and relief activities.

Tolls will remain suspended on the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike south of the interchange with S.R. 874 (Mile Post 0-17) to assist Monroe County residents with recovery efforts.

GROCERY GIVEAWAY AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION ON SATURDAY


In the United States, one in six people struggle to get enough to eat. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel wants to help fight hunger, so he's partnered with the Wayne Barton Study Center's Good News of Christ Ministries to distribute free food, via the Grocery Giveaway Food Distributions.
10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, September 23
Pilgrim Christian Church
1773 N State Road 7, Lauderhill, FL 33313
The goal of the event is to enhance the health, welfare and education of the community through healthy eating. Participants are encouraged to bring bags and carts to fill with meat, produce, bread, dairy and frozen foods. Everyone is welcome to attend this free community event.
The Wayne Barton Study Center was founded by former Boca Raton police officer Wayne Barton, who has created a safe recreation and education venue for youth to study, learn and play. These Grocery Giveaways are taking place throughout South Florida.
For a complete schedule of the Broward County Grocery Giveaways, visit sheriff.org or call the Broward Sheriff's Office Community Services Department at 954-831-8901.



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Lauderhill Administration Announces the Opening of Several Parks as Staff is Cleaning Up After Hurricane Irma

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Lauderhill’s City Hall is returning to normal operations while the Parks/Utilities/Public Works Staff work tirelessly to clean up our streets, medians, swales and public parks.   Restoration has been an enormous effort by the men and women who have worked every day since Hurricane Irma blew through our City. 
All of our roads are passable now. By tomorrowSeptember 19, 2017, we expect the following parks to reopen and some programming to resume at West Wind Park, St. George Park, Maye Jenkins Park, 17th Street Park, Boulevard Woods Park, Waterford Park, and Lauderhill 6-12.  
Proceed at open parks with caution and realize some park features have been closed as they are damaged from the storm.  In addition, some Park and Facility hours may be abbreviated. You can call the Parks Department at 954-730-3080 for Park and Program specific information. 
Garbage Pick-up and Recycling has resumed on your regularly scheduled day. STORM RELATED DEBRIS ONLY is being picked up now.  For single family homes, place your debris in your swale. Condos and apartments need to place storm related debris where bulk trash is normally located. Please keep vegetative debris separated from other debris like fences and building materials. Vegetation and foliage must be piled in no larger than 10 foot portions. Please ask your guard gates and security companies to work with the haulers and waste companies who are picking up debris. If you have questions concerning garbage or debris, call 954-730-3000.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has started the Operation Blue Roof Program in Broward County. They will provide a temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. This program is available at no cost to eligible primary homeowners in BrowardCall at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information.
If you have experienced property damage or loss directly caused by Hurricane Irma, register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance – even if you have insurance, please visit www.disasterassistance.govor call 800-621-3362.
Log on to the City’s web page at www.lauderhill-fl.gov, our Facebook page at https://facebook.com/cityoflauderhill/, follow us on Twitter at @CityLauderhill or listen to us on 1650 am for City specific information.
Thank you for your continued patience.

Portions of Several Cities in Broward to be Sprayed for Mosquito Larvae


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Portions of Several Cities in Broward to be Sprayed for Mosquito Larvae

- Previously scheduled spraying was canceled due to Hurricane Irma -


 The recent heavy rains in Broward are prompting the need for the Mosquito Control Section to spray some areas of the County to reduce the mosquito larvae population. The mosquito being targeted is the Aedes Aegypti, the mosquito known to carry and transmit the Zika virus.

Residents and business owners are being urged to survey their property to remove any standing water to prevent mosquito breeding, bites and diseases.

The Mosquito Control Section will perform preventive truck larviciding between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM, weather permitting, between September 20 and September 29, 2017 in some areas of Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Tamarac, and Wilton Manors (see map). More specific spray schedule information can be found here.

The spraying of larvicide using trucks is a proactive measure. There are still no active transmissions of the Zika virus in Broward County. The areas chosen for spraying are based on a number of factors including requests from the Florida Department of Health, population density, and the number of women of childbearing age in the community.

The mosquito larvicide to be used is VectoBac WDG. The active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti, strain AM6552), a naturally occurring, biodegradable bacterial mosquito larvicide which is not harmful to humans, pets, bees, aquatic habitats or environmentally sensitive areas. It is certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and is registered for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, VectoBac WDG has been reviewed by the World Health Organization and is listed as a recommended formulation for control of mosquito larvae.

People living in the area who have registered with the State to be alerted prior to spraying will be notified.

In addition to this truck larvicide spraying, the Broward County Mosquito Control Section continues to work closely with the Florida Department of Health and Code Enforcement partners in Broward's 31 municipalities to eliminate mosquitoes and their habitats.

Broward County Mosquito Control Section also treats areas of the County based on requests received from residents. To request service online, complete the Mosquito Spray Request Form. Requests can also be made by calling 954-765-4062.

For more information on what you can do to protect your property and yourself, visit www.Broward.org/ZapZika. You can also follow us on Twitter, using #ZapZikaBroward.

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Restore 954 A Family Day Of Food And Fun For Hurricane Irma Areas




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Hot Meal Distribution at BBT Center Courtesy of Jet Blue




Food trucks stretched around the front entrance of BB&T Center on Wednesday and Thursday, hundreds lining up to grab a hot meal which, for some, was the first one they had enjoyed since Hurricane Irma began approaching South Florida this past weekend.

Hot Meal Distribution at BBT Center Courtesy of Jet Blue

JetBlue will be proving hot meals for a second day to the South Florida community in Sunrise after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
The airline says 20 food trucks will be on hand to pass out hot meals for anyone in need. The meals will be given out Thursday at the BB&T Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“As the South Florida area begins to recover from Hurricane Irma, we wanted to provide one small piece of comfort to our neighbors in the area,” said a JetBlue spokesperson in an email.
Thursday’s event is the second day in a row the airline paid for meals for South Florida residents, after hundreds turned out to the arena Wednesday.

Please help us spread the word to those in need in the community. On Thursday, September 14, JetBlue will provide hot meals from 20 food trucks at the BB&T Center located at  2555 NW 136th Ave, Sunrise, FL 33323.  dinner 4:00pm – 7:00pm.  All are welcome – neighbors, first responders, etc.

As South Florida begins to recover from Hurricane Irma, Jetblue wanted to provide one small piece of comfort to our neighbors in the area. Additionally, Jetblue is reviewing locations for these food trucks for a second day on Thursday. We will update you once we have additional details.

Hurricane Relief Fundraiser At Lips Oakland Park

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“An Evening With Victor Victoria” at Lips, 1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 305-597-4404. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3.
Dan Linblade, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, and Heiko Dobrikow, executive vice president of the Las Olas Company, will make their stage debut at Lips’ “An Evening With Victor Victoria.” The show and fundraiser supports hurricane relief efforts, in partnership with Neighbors 4 Neighbors. Lindblade and Dobrikow will be made over by the ladies of Lips, who will perform throughout the three-course dinner. VIP tickets cost $150 and include two cocktails with dinner, plus priority seating. General admission includes the three-course dinner. Tax, gratuity and valet parking are included with both tickets.
Tickets can be purchased through Neighbors 4 Neighbors at BlackTie-SouthFlorida.com.

Governor Postpones September Municipal elections

Following requests from the Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Fort Myers Interim City Clerk and Cape Coral City Clerk, Governor Scott is directing municipal elections to be moved from September 26, 2017 to October 3, 2017   Please see the Executive Order HERE .

Hurricane Irma Resources

Broward County Commissioners have given preliminary approval to the proposed fiscal year 2018

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Broward County Commissioners have given preliminary approval to the proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. The FY 2018 recommended total budget, which includes tax supported and non-tax supported funds, is $4.8 billion.  A second public hearing takes place September 26th

Overall, the total budget increases by $48 million which reflects an increase in the operating budget of $129 million offset by an $81 million decrease in the capital budget. This represents an increase of slightly more than one percent in the total $4.8 billion budget. 

Based on the Broward County Commission's direction, the proposed total millage rate will remain the same as fiscal year 2017. The proposed combined millage rate for FY18 is 5.6690 per thousand dollars of taxable value. Generally, homestead taxpayers will experience a slight increase in County taxes. The increase in assessed value for homestead property owners is capped at 2.1% for FY18. For other properties, the change in the assessed value of each property will determine how much the property taxes will change. 

The budgets for county agencies increases $25 million and addresses critical priorities such as opening the expanded Broward Addiction Recovery Center to help respond to the opioid crisis, providing additional resources for human services programs and paratransit, increasing Zika prevention efforts, additional funding for elderly home care, environmental programs, libraries and expansion of the County's affordable housing program. 

The General Fund budgets for the Broward Sheriff's Office, Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections, increased by $26 million with a significant portion funding fire and emergency management personnel.  

It's important to note that Broward County taxes consist of less than one-quarter of the overall tax bill, which also includes city taxes, school district taxes and special taxing districts.  Commissioners voted 7 to 1 to approve the budget. Commissioner Chip LaMarca voted against the proposed budget, favoring a lower property tax rate based on the certified tax roll increase of 8.8% from FY2017 due to increases in property values. Commissioner Tim Ryan was not present. 

County Commissioners are expected to approve a final budget after the second budget hearing on September 26th. The fiscal year 2018 budget takes effect on October 1, 2017.