Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Shands/Lake Shore Hosp Auth Ladies Night Out: Paid With Columbia County Taxpayer Dollars

The Holiday Inn Invoice: $3,335.15

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – This year's Shands/Lake Shore Hospital Authority "Ladies Night Out" went off without a hitch according to reports received by the Observer. The third annual event, like last years, was held at the Lake City Holiday Inn, and once again featured Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Melinda Keener, M.D. This year Dr. Keener was joined by Nephrologist Amapola Whiteside, M.D., and family nurse practitioner, Jennifer Scott, ARPN.

The Holiday Inn invoiced the Authority $3,335.15 for the room and food, the main course being Chicken Alfredo, with blueberry crisp for desert. On April 13, 2015, Authority Manager Berry explained the Authority paid for the "hors d'oeuvres" from the Authority's "education fund." There were no "hors d'oeuvres," provided by the Holiday Inn. However, the Shand's chef prepared Bruschetta.

Run-up to the event

The Healthy Choice?
Chicken Alfredo was the main course. It was prepared with regular pasta and heavy sauce and came with garlic bread. It was paid for by the Lake Shore Hospital Auth from its education fund. This is not "hors d'oeuvres," which were not served.

On April 13, 2015, Linda Silecchia advised the Authority that the Third Ladies Night Out was on the Shands calendar. Ms. Silecchia told the Board, "This is our third ladies night out. This focuses on women from the community. It’s a free lecture. They come in and talk about topics. It’s a wealth of information. This year we have three speakers... talking about health care for women at every age."

Former Authority Chairman and long time Board member Marc Vann, who had twice previously approved spending Authority Funds on the Ladies Night Out, asked, "When we’re helpin’ – quote sponsor – what are we actually doing?"

Ms. Silecchia said that the Authority helped "with some of the details."

Mr. Vann followed up, "Our funds – do we like rent the room; pay for food?"

Manager Berry answered, "Yeah – yeah. We’ll rent the room and pay for the hors d'oeuvres."

Mr. Vann responded, "So we’re actually doin’ the stuff to get them there.... This is coming out of the education fund?"

Manager Berry, "Yes – Yes."

Ladies Night Out: The event

The speakers

Dr. Keener spoke about body makeovers, breasts, and other things, giving a condensed version of her presentation from the previous Ladies Night Out (Saggy Boobs, Droopy Eyes, Mommy Makeovers ). Teresa Westberry of the Lake City Reporter, a satisfied client, said she was happy with her "tummy-tuck."

Dr. Whiteside spoke about obesity and one's kidneys. She explained how the two were related and how obesity affects one's overall health and one's heart.

Nurse Practitioner Scott spoke about one's overall health and the importance of thorough check-ups. Nurse Scott said people should know their family history.

Dr. Keener and Dr. Whiteside are independent members of the staff at Shands. Ms. Scott is an Allied Health Professional: an individual, who is not a member of the Medical Staff, but is trained in the evaluation or treatment of human illness and who provides specified services to patients.

Ladies Night Out: Update

On May 11, Shands/Lake Shore CEO, Rhonda Sherrod updated the Authority Board on the event, "We did our woman's seminar, our lady's seminar last Thursday night. We had nearly a hundred ladies in attendance with three providers speaking. We thank the Authority for your partnership in that endeavor."


The total cost of the reconstruction of the old County Jail into the Lake Shore Hospital HDQ has never been revealed by Manager Berry. However, it is thought to be in the neighborhood of $1.5 million.

The Authority HDQ has two large meeting rooms and room for outside catering and was designed for the type of function which the Authority funded at the Holiday Inn.

Food and Room: Chicken Alfredo and blueberry crisp, paid for with Columbia County taxpayer dollars from the education fund. The Holiday Inn Invoice: $3,335.15.

The flyer and online brochures.

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