docThat’s what Dr. James Studnicki told the audience at the public meeting held today at Heritage Hall. Studnicki was sharing the results of the Comprehensive Assessment for Tracking Health report that was commissioned by the Partnership for a Healthy Community.

On many health indicators, this community is no better than some Third World countries.  Of all the health factors studied Escambia County scored favorable in less than 26%. The death rates of Escambia county is almost 20% higher than the state average.

Major problem areas:

Elderly abuse, suicide rates, all cancer deaths, cardiovascular and heart disease deaths, stroke-caused deaths, poison fatalities, preventable hospitalizations (like diabetes).

No Escambia County Commissioners or Pensacola City Councilmen were in the audience.  Escambia County is spending less on public health today than it did 20 years ago.


questionYesterday, United Way of Escambia County held a meeting in conjunction with Florida Dept. of Health and Partnership for a Healthy Community – labeled “Escambia Community Collaborative 2006”.

Some of those in attendance: Blaise Adams, Evon Emerson, Dr. John Cavanaugh, Dr. Tom Delano, Kevin Doyle, Flack Logan, Michael Duncan, Honor Bell, Dr. Rick Harper,  Steve Deneke, Rhette Anderson, Dr. John Lanza, Francis Dunham and representatives of Legal  Services, Council of Aging,  Dept. of Children & Families, United Celebral Palsy, DEP, Children Home Services, Catholic Social Services, Catholic Charities, Escambia Coalition on Housing, Lakeview Center, Families First and Better Save Our City.

No elected officials – no Escambia County Commissioners, No one from County Administration, no Pensacola City Councilmen and no one from Stop Our City.

Objectives: Define a vision for a strong, healthy Escambia County; community-wide focus to improve priority issues; develop strategies and target resources to combat problems.

Heated moment: PNJ Publisher Kevin Doyle pushed for the group to list six main issues. One participant chimed in what happens if we do a survey, but public doesn’t want to pay for the solution?

My response: “We lead! We say it’s no longer acceptable to be the poorest or second poorest county in the state of Florida.”

At Chamber Pres. Evon Emerson’s request – the group identified these issues:

Education, Affordable Housing, Poverty, Healthcare, Living Wage, Environment, County-wide Public Transportation.

There are more meetings ahead,but this was a good start.

Andrews no longer topless

August 18, 2006

docThe Andrews Institute held a “topping off” ceremony. Dr. Jim Andrews, Baptist Health Care and Morette Construction honored the construction workers who have labored on the world class orthopaedic and sports medicine facility.

The construction on the Andrews Institute – which is located in the City of Gulf Breeze on Hwy 98 – is ahead of schedule. Phase 1 will treat its first patients on Dec. 1, 2006 in the 85,000 sq. ft. main building. Phase 2 is set to open Feb. 1, 2007 – they will begin interviewing for jobs for Phase 2 next month. Phase 2 will have 150 jobs.
The workers were served BBQ (from Billy Bob’s BBQ) by the BHC administrators, Dr. Joe Story and Dr. Andrews as while as Morette Construction supervisors.

Dr. Andrews did address the construction team. He thanked them for making a “dream come true.”

“Your efforts have been unbelievable. You’re building a facility that will be world class and which you can tell your grandchildren you were a part of. Athletes from all over the country will come here.”

“We are really in the same business. I’m just a glorified carpenter. You build buildings. I repair people.”

“I look forward to you turning the keys over to us.”

MartiniEscambia Co. School Superintendent Jim Paul stopped by along with Gary Bergosh (and his wife) and Jeff Bergosh (and his wife). A couple of his former Escambia High School students came up to Paul and talked about how much his teaching meant to them. One shared a story of how Paul once used a rubber snake to wake up a drowsy student.
A parent shared how grateful she was for how the first days of school went. It was good to see Jim and I think the support he got was reassuring to him.

Good feedback on the health issue last week. The uninsured is a big concern on the younger population.

CMP conversation positive – interesting how Stop Our City keeps changing its message. More interest in this election primary that most. The turnout could be larger than many expect.

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/4/06

August 5, 2006

Rick's Blog

The top posts of 8/4/06

  1. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  2. Stop Our City, Part 4
  3. Port may land big fish
  4. Stidham stalls
  5. Studer Group/Covenant Hospice Alliance
  7. UWF prez speaks
  8. Drinks on the house
  9. Charlie Crist’s double life
  10. IN Your Head Radio – 8/3 show

newspaperThe Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to present Dale Knee, president of Covenant Hospice, as the speaker for the August Gopher Club Breakfast on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the Pensacola Civic Center.

Knee will be focusing on the Studer/Covenant Alliance and how a local hospice program became a national model. This will be an enlightening look into the world of palliative care and how Covenant partnered with the Studer Group to develop Excellence in End-of-Life Care.

RO Note: Irony – Stop Our City paints Quint Studer has a slick Yankee interloper. Yet here he is forming a partnership with the Covenant Hospice to help improve the care for the last days of the lives of many of the SOC members.

Could it be Studer isn’t the villian Marty Donovan, Melanie Nichols, Charlie Fairchild and the Stop Our City gang try to make him out to be?

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/3/06

August 3, 2006

Rick's BlogBlog moves to top 25 (#22). Thanks to Math Quiz and new SOC cartoon.

Here’s today’s top 10

  1. Can you pass Eighth Grade math?
  2. Stop Our City, Part 4
  3. Charlie Crist’s double life
  4. Stop Our City calling
  5. UWF prez speaks
  6. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  7. Benny Washington wants leniency for bomb
  8. Democratic Chair goes after me
  9. Healthcare for some, Part 2
  10. Charlie just doesn’t get it

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/2/06

August 2, 2006

Rick's BlogAnother record. Most visitors to date. Top 25 blogs worldwide


  1. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  2. Dammit, why cant we be first in something
  3. Walmart and Healthcare
  4. Charlie just doesn’t get it
  5. Bye, Bye Raymond
  6. Oh, My God, Part II – Check out Tom Wells
  7. Private schools are not that great
  8. Healthcare for some, Part 2
  9. Who makes what?
  10. Letter from Parents of Lisa Dickson

newspaperHouse Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has made it clear Social Security reform is next on his list for legislative action. Washington Times article

“In 1990 when I first ran for Congress, I talked about the need to reform these big entitlement programs because the sooner we began the process, the easier it would be to make the necessary changes so that these programs were sustainable for the long term.

Here it is 16 years later and while we’ve done some things on Medicare of the market reforms in the prescription-drug bill will pay big dividends — we as a nation need to step up to this tsunami that’s racing right at us and deal with it.

I talked to the president about it because I threw cold water on his commission idea. You know, typically, when politicians don’t want to deal with something, they create commissions. I have had serious conversations with the Senate about a joint select committee — made up of the chairs and subcommittee chairs and maybe a few other interested — members to deal with this. Democrats didn’t want to participate.

If I’m around in a leadership role come January, we’re going to get serious about this.

According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Pres. Bush’s privitization plans would sharply cut guaranteed benefits – especially for medium earners. An AP poll conducted this spring showed 60% of Americans don’t like the way Bush is handling this issue. Click for the polling data.

Nevertheless, Bush, Boehner and the Neo-con conservatives are going to plow ahead with their plan. If you have to make cuts – look at other U.S. handouts – farm subsidies, oil industry incentives. Abolish Homeland Security – move its functions back to Justice and Interior. Abolish the Dept of Education – something Reagan wanted to do in the 1980s.

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/1/06

August 1, 2006

Rick's Blog We moved into Top 30 Blogs. Today’s most viewed posts:

  1. Dammit, why can’t we be first in something
  2. Steve K corrects Outtakes column
  3. Walmart and Healthcare
  4. High paying job opens up
  5. SOC secret weapon unleashed
  6. WD Childers campaign card – the backside
  7. Oh, My God, Part II – Check out Tom Wells
  8. WCOA Blog down
  10. IN thoughts on WD Childers going to jail ; Democratic Chair goes after me; PYP Political Forum Update

New logo Also our radio show, In Your Head Radio has taken off and quickly becoming a cult favorite on WUWF & WEBY. If you missed the first two shows, you can download them – IN YOUR HEAD RADIO