All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care

Nurturing a pregnancy and giving birth are among the most beautiful experiences a woman can have. And being a principal partner in determining how that experience plays out should belong to the patient and her family.

That’s the premise behind All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care, an innovative practice of nurse midwives that is pioneering how women approach prenatal care, labor, delivery and post natal care. Opened in November, the practice focuses on women’s health including pregnancy preplanning, OB care for pregnancy and standard well-women gynecological care.
All Women Midwifery & Health Care
The friendly staff at the newly opened All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care on County Line Road offers midwife services to the community, as well as low-risk obstetrics and all gynecological care. Pictured from left: Sarah Grahm, medical assistant; Michelle Hale, certified nurse-midwife; Lenora McCall, CNM; Cheryl Collito, CNM; Vivian McCraw, CNM; Destiny Cruz, office assistant; and Darryn King, biller. CAROL APPLETON

The team at All Women’s consists of four well known, highly respected nurse midwives who have a combined total of 88 years experience, many of those years working with patients in Hernando County.

Midwives are not new to the Hernando County obstetrics community. In fact, Dr. Shakfeh, a well respected presence in obstetrics and gynecological care, brought the first nurse midwife into his practice in 1995. Vivian McCraw is now one of four practicing under the umbrella of All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care.

“There were other midwives at the time working in hospitals in other counties,” Lenora McCall said. One of four midwives at All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care, McCall has an extensive resume of experience in the field. “But Vivian was the first not only in Hernando County but in private practice. It’s pretty unique.”

Lenora McCall has been a midwife since 1976. The difference between having a midwife instead of a traditional obstetrician, McCall explained, comes down to the level of personalized care for the patient.

“When we see patients in the office, we have more time to give to them,” she said. “We get to know our patients better. And during the labor, we stay with them longer.”

The midwife is there during active labor through early post partum recovery. Unless there is a medical emergency requiring surgery where the physician would be called, the midwife will complete the delivery process without the need for a physician.

Nurse midwives are completely qualified to handle normal low risk deliveries. They have advanced training, McCall explained, making them registered nurses who have gone on to obtain a degree in nurse midwifery.

“The midwives will consult or refer to Dr. Shakfeh when the need arises, according to our written protocols,” Michelle Hale said.

“In Florida, we are licensed as advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP) with a nurse midwife specialty,” McCall explained. Education is at the Masters level, she added.

After working as a labor and delivery nurse for years, Cheryl Collito decided to take additional education for her nurse midwifery credentials. She felt women weren’t being treated the way they should in traditional settings.

“I had seen a lot of women receiving C-sections when they didn’t really need it,” she said. “I wanted to take care of women better, to give them choices and be involved in their care.” She has been practicing as a nurse midwife for 15 years.

Michelle Hale wanted to be a nurse midwife since she was a little girl. She became a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery and completed her higher education in 2000.

“I was an ICU Charge Nurse,” she said, “then the Director of Ob/Peds at Oak Hill prior to going to school for midwifery.” Hale worked with Dr. Shakfeh as a certified nurse midwife for the next 12 years.

Hale is also the Vice Chair for the Tampa Bay Chapter of ACNM.

Vivian McCraw had 22 years of experience as an OB nurse and worked along side lay midwives in NY. She interviewed with Dr. Shakfeh in 1995 and become the first midwife in Hernando County.

“I appreciated the chance to bring midwifery care to my community,” McCraw said. After two years at a busy migrant centered clinic in Bradenton, she joined the practice of Dr. Armbruster in 1999.

Lenora McCall was hired by Dr. Armbruster in February of 1999 and remained until his unexpected passing late last year.

McCall, McCraw and Collito worked together for 14 years. Therefore, they’re rapport as a team is already established. They had also worked with Michelle Hale during her time at Oak Hill Hospital, making the blending of these four highly trained and dedicated nurse midwives effortless.

All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care is a highly specialized alternative for women who want a more personalized experience with their pregnancies and general gynecological care.

Hale pointed out that most situations can be handled completely by the skill levels of the midwives in the practice. “We offer VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), low risk OB care, twins and moderate risk pregnancies with the consultation of a physician, and all gynecological care,” she said.

In addition to more personalized care, All Women’s is also state of the art in technological advances. They offer one of the few GE VSCANs, which is a handheld ultrasound device.

In addition to using a Doppler to listen to the fetal heartbeat, All Women’s uses the GE VSCAN to visualize the baby at every visit. The device actually records images and movies in fetuses as early as six weeks gestation. The images and videos are downloadable and can be shared with the patients.

All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care and Dr. Shakfeh are the only practices in the Tampa Bay area that use the GE VSCAN technology.

One objective the team focuses on is educating women on the importance of allowing nature to predict a normal and healthy gestational period. The trend to induce labor is beginning to dissipate, McCall said, as women are better informed about the importance of allowing their pregnancies to complete their natural course.

And, the office is proud of another important fact. Since opening, the C-section rate at Spring Hill Regional Hospital has dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent.

All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5; Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We take care of the whole women,” Michelle Hale said. Not just in health care needs, she added, but by making the office accessible, even for busy schedules.

Name: All Women’s Midwifery & Health Care

Location: 34 Seven Hills Drive, Spring Hill 34609

Telephone: 352-835-7100


Kim Dame is a correspondent for Hernando Today. She can be reached at

Health Events 0930

Mental Illness
Awareness Week

BROOKSVILLE Pasco-Hernando Community College will present a weeklong series of events marking Mental Illness Awareness Week, beginning Monday, Oct. 4 and concluding Friday, Oct. 8, in Building B of PHCC’s North Campus located at 11415 Ponce de Leon Blvd. The week will feature three guest authors, student presentations, two movie presentations, depression screenings, several workshops, and numerous guest speakers. Mental Illness Awareness Week is sponsored by PHCC, the North Campus Psychology and Psi Beta Clubs, BayCare, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Hernando. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. To view the schedule of events, visit For information, call Kathleen De Sousa, Ph.D., PHCC Psychology instructor, at 352-797-5101.

Wheelathon at

BROOKSVILLE Wheelathon for Spinal Cord Injury research will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, 12440 Cortez Blvd., just west of Mariner Boulevard. The purpose of the Wheelathon is to promote awareness that there is progress in the search for a cure of spinal cord injury and to raise funds for this research to continue. The concept is for able-bodied individuals, along with the spinal cord injured, to proceed around a course while seated in a wheelchair. The Spinal Cord Society has joined with the Spinal Cord Support Group of HealthSouth for this endeavor. To participate, attend, or make a donation, call Elaine Baldner, chairperson of the Spinal Cord Society, Brooksville/Spring Hill Chapter, at 352-796-0223.

Healthy Whys series
at Brooksville Reg.

BROOKSVILLE Brooksville Regional Hospital will sponsor its Healthy Whys Physician Lecture Series as follows: “PAD – Early Detection, Risk Factors & Minimally Invasive Treatments” by C. John Ablan, M.D., endovascular and thoracic surgery, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, off Barclay Avenue; and “Detection & Treatment Options for Breast Cancer” at noon Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Silverthorn Country Club. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. For reservations or information, call 352-799-5019.

CPR training at Enrichment Center

BROOKSVILLE Two separate CPR/AED classes will be offered at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, at the Spring Hill Enrichment Center in the rear of Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd. The course meets the guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. The class is designed for the professional health care provider, although anyone is welcome to attend. At the successful completion of the class, the student will receive a two-year certification card. The cost is $20 per person for the complete course to include CPR and Automated External Defribulation. Since seating is limited, early reservations are advisable. For reservations or information call 352-597-8875.

Martinez Chiro
to offer seminar

SPRING HILL Martinez Chiropractic will offer a seminar entitled “Understanding Neuropathy” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at Changes, 12587 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Dr. Robert Martinez will present the seminar, which is free of charge. Topics will include seven signs of neuropathy, what it is and who gets it, how it affects a person, and available treatments. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. For reservations or information, call Susan at 352-686-1686.

‘Celebration of Life’
at Oak Hill Hospital

BROOKSVILLE Oak Hill Hospital will host its 18th annual “Celebration of Life” from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, off Barclay Avenue. A variety of activities will be featured, including a presentation by a panel of the hospital’s physicians entitled “Advances in Women’s Breast Health.” The event will be sponsored by the Women’s Imaging Center at the hospital, and all breast cancer survivors are invited to attend. Admission will be free of charge, and complimentary refreshments will be served. For reservations or information, call 352-597-6333.

New support group:
‘Life After Stroke’

HUDSON The Heart Institute at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will offer its new Life After Stroke Support Group meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the conference room of the hospital located at 14000 Fivay Road. The support group kickoff will feature a “Let’s Get Acquainted” agenda, and the speaker will be Dawn M. Carroll, R.N., M.S., Director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the medical center. The goal of the group is to provide interactive support by providing awareness and education for stroke survivors and their families. Information and valuable resources will be provided, as well as a discussion on future topics. The seminar is free of charge and is open to the public. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. For reservations, call 727-869-5498 or 888-741-5119 (available 24 hours a day). For information, contact

Chatterboxes meet
at Care Center

NEW PORT RICHEY Community Chatterboxes meet from 3 to 4 p.m. every other Thursday at Community Hospital Health Care Center, 5400 School Road. The next scheduled meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 30. Community Chatterboxes is a support group to assist individuals suffering from communication deficits (i.e., aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, etc.) as a result of a cerebral vascular accident or other neurological disorders. The group was originally established for outpatients that had been discharged from traditional speech therapy but still wished an outlet to practice and interact with others with the same problems. Caregivers and spouses are encouraged to attend. For information, call 727-845-0757.

Breast cancer
support group

BROOKSVILLE The Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will host its monthly women’s breast cancer support group from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, at its center located at 7154 Medical Center Drive. Dr. Norman Anderson, radiation oncologist, will present a lecture on Pericome Promise nutrition. Light refreshments will be served. For information, call Tambra Randazzo at 352-592-8128.

Cancer Institute
to host caregivers

SPRING HILL Florida Cancer Institute holds its Caregiver Support Group at 4 p.m. the second Thursday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute’s Spring Hill Center located at 10441 Quality Drive, Suite 203, in the Medical Arts Building next to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. The next scheduled meeting will be held Oct. 14. For information, call Pamela McGee, support group facilitator, at 352-688-7744.

Man to Man to
meet Oct. 5

BROOKSVILLE Florida Cancer Institute will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Brooksville Center located at 7154 Medical Center Drive, off Kadri Boulevard, across from the High Point community. Guest speaker will be Dr. Norman Anderson, radiation oncologist, on the topic of nutrition. Co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, “Man to Man” usually meets from 6 to 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope’s Brooksville Center. Topics that are frequently discussed are: importance of early detection, signs and symptoms, prognosis, disease stages, incontinence, impotence, various treatment options including hormone therapy and medications, and especially the latest research and treatment modalities. Speakers will include physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and others. For information, call Mary Capo at 352-596-1926.

Fashion show
at Gulf Harbors

NEW PORT RICHEY Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope will co-sponsor “The Age of Innocence,” a New York-style runway fashion show, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Gulf Harbors Yacht Club, 3926 Marine Parkway. The show will feature the latest fashions from Dillard’s of Port Richey and will also feature breast cancer survivors as models. Ticket cost is $30 per person and entitles the bearer to lunch, door prizes, and the fashion show. A cash bar will be available, with all proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. The event will benefit the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team of Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope in New Port Richey. Since tickets are limited, early reservations are encouraged. For tickets or information, call the American Cancer Society at 813-949-0291 Ext. 114.

‘Look Good’ program
at New Hope

SPRING HILL Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope has announced that it will host the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good…Feel Better” program once a month in its conference room located at 7154 Medical Center Drive. The program is held periodically on Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m., and the next scheduled meeting will be held Oct. 28. This is a free group program that teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients to help combat the appearance-related side effects of treatment. “Look Good… Feel Better” is free and open to all women cancer patients in active treatment. Reservations are required. For information, call Mary Capo at 352-596-1926 Ext.150. For information about the Florida Cancer Institute, call 1-888-206-0054 or visit

In addition, a Look Good Feel Better Support Group meets from 3:30 to 5 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute’s Spring Hill Center, 10441 Quality Drive, Suite 203, in the Medical Arts Building, next to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. The next scheduled meeting will be held Oct. 20. For information, call Peggy Beckett, R.N., support group facilitator, at 352-688-7744.

Tours offered
at Birthplace

NEW PORT RICHEY The Birthplace at Community Hospital is now offering tours through its Family Education Program at the hospital located at 5637 Marine Parkway. The next scheduled tour will be conducted Saturday, Oct. 16. The tours are conducted by a Registered Nurse educator who will meet with small groups and guide them through the Birthplace. Participants will visit the labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum rooms and will observe the Birthplace’s Infant Safety and Security Program. Participants are welcome to bring questions with them. Since spots are limited, reservations are required. For reservations or information, call 727-834-5630.

Birthplace offers pediatric CPR

NEW PORT RICHEY The Birthplace at Community Hospital will hold a pediatric CPR class from 9 to 11 a.m. the fourth Saturday of each month at the Birthplace located at 5637 Marine Parkway. The next scheduled meeting will be held Oct. 16. Pediatric CPR teaches how to save the life of a child. Participants will learn the skills of the American Heart Association course, “CPR for family and friends.” The fee is $15 for one person and $25 for two people. For reservations or information, call 727-834-5630.

class at Birthplace

NEW PORT RICHEY The Birthplace will offer a motivational class outlining the health benefits of breastfeeding from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Community Hospital located at 5637 Marine Parkway. The class will focus on fundamentals and how to access support. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. To register or for information, call 727-834-5630.

Restless Legs Group
to meet Nov. 18

SPRING HILL Restless Legs Support Group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Florida Sleep Institute, 4075 Mariner Blvd. The topic will be an update regarding the new RLS Study planned for the Florida Sleep Center plus an open group discussion. To attend or for information, call Betty or Bill Kinahan at 352-200-5440.

Resource Room
at Pinebrook

BROOKSVILLE American Cancer Society has a Hernando Resource Room which is open from noon to 4 p.m. every Wednesday in Suite 203 of the Main Entrance at the Pinebrook Regional Medical Center, 14540 Cortez Blvd. Bras, wigs, prosthesis, turbans, and scarves are available free of charge for uninsured or underinsured patients. For information on other American Cancer Society free programs and services, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit online at

TOPS meets
each Tuesday

SPRING HILL TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Chapter 604 of Spring Hill meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd. Weigh-in is held from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m., followed by an informative meeting from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Visitors are welcome to attend the first meeting free of charge. Meetings include programs offering advice for losing weight. In addition to the meetings, social functions such as auctions, fashion shows and picnics are held throughout the year. New members, both men and women, are welcome. For information, call Nancy at 352-592-1088 or Doris at 352-666-9525.

Ostomy Group
meets 3rd Thursday

BROOKSVILLE Hernando County Ostomy Association meets from 2 to 4 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at the Oak Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. New members are welcome. For information, call Joan at 352-686-1077 or Ellen at 597-5426.

Hospice offers
support groups

BROOKSVILLE HPH Hospice holds bereavement support groups from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays at HPH located at 698 S. Broad St. or from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at HPH located at 12260 Cortez Blvd. The organization invites any adult who is grieving over the death of a loved one. The groups are led by an HPH bereavement counselor and are open to the community. The support group is free of charge, and reservations are not required. For information, call 1-800-486-8784 or visit

Amplified phones
for residents

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida offers amplified and text telephones and ring signaling devices free of charge to Florida residents through its contract with Florida Telecommunications Relay. An individual must be over the age of 3 and certified as being deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, or speech impaired. Equipment will be available by appointment every Tuesday morning at the Spring Hill Enrichment Center located behind Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd. To schedule an appointment for equipment or for more information, call 1-866-685-9477 or 727-853-1010 or visit online at

Divorce Care to be
held Wednesdays

WEEKI WACHEE Christian Church in the Wildwood will hold Divorce Care sessions from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays in Building C, Room 202 of the church located at 10051 Country Road. Sessions will be conducted weekly for 13 weeks. The cost will be $13 for the workbook, and child care will be provided for children up through the eighth grade. To register or for more information, call the church office at 352-596-1388 Ext. 224 or visit online at

Northcliffe Baptist
offers GriefShare

SPRING HILL GriefShare recovery seminar and support group will meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m. each Saturday at Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd. GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. Seminar sessions will include “The Journey of Grief,” “The Effects of Grief,” “When Your Spouse Dies,” “Your Family and Grief,” “Why?” and “Stuck in Grief.” For information, call the church at 352-683-5882.

St. Andrew’s offers support groups

SPRING HILL St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2030 Deltona Blvd., is offering the following Community Support Groups:
Divorce Care will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Krysher Hall of the church. Trained facilitators can assist and give support to people who are separated or divorced. For more information, call Geri at 352-683-7013.
Griefshare will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday. The program is for people who have lost a spouse or close friend. Trained facilitators will be available to offer advice and support. For information, call the church office at 352-683-2010.
Both programs are ongoing and can be joined at any time.

DivorceCare meetings

SPRING HILL DivorceCare divorce recovery seminar and support group will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, 5030 Mariner Blvd. Seminar sessions will include “Facing My Anger,” “Facing My Loneliness,” “Depression,” “New Relationships,” “KidCare” and “Forgiveness.” For information, call 352-686-9954 Ext. 409.

Health Dept. offers
family services

Hernando County Health Department offers family planning assistance at both of its facilities located at 300 S. Main St in Brooksville and in the government complex located at 7465 Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill. The Health Department family planning services are based on FDA-approved methods which include condoms, birth control pills, Depo-Provera, IUDs, diaphragms, along with abstinence and natural family planning methods; counseling regarding vasectomy services; pregnancy testing; and a comprehensive exam (health history, health promotion and community resource information, physical examination and lab tests including Pap smear and testing for sexually transmitted diseases). Fees for services are based on the client’s income. The services are free of charge for those who have incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. To make an appointment or for information, call 352-540-6800.

Volunteer positions
available at Oak Hill

SPRING HILL Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association has a wide range of volunteer opportunities at the hospital located at 11375 Cortez Blvd. Morning, afternoon and evening shifts are available in both patient contact and non-patient contact areas. For more information, call the Oak Hill Hospital Volunteer Association office at 352-597-3038.

support groups

NEW PORT RICHEY Community Hospital, the future Medical Center of Trinity, will host Lymphedema support group meetings at 3 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at the Medical Center located at 5637 Marine Parkway. Meetings will be conducted by Alisha Cover, a licensed physical therapy assistant. Since seating is limited, reservations are required. For reservations or information, call 1-877-4-HCA-DOCS (1-877-442-2362).

NEW PORT RICHEY Florida Cancer Institute – New Hope will host its Lymphedema support group from 3 to 4 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at its center located at 8763 River Crossing Blvd. Lindsey Wisniewski, licensed physical therapy assistant at Community Hospital, plans and conducts the meetings. For information, call Lindsey at 727-845-0757.

Overeaters Anon. lists meetings

Overeaters Anonymous of Hernando County offers a 12-step recovery program for anyone who is suffering from compulsive overeating or food addictions. Weigh-ins, fees or diets will not be conducted. The meetings are held weekly as follows:
* At 1 p.m. every Tuesday at West Hernando Public Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., off State Road 50, near Weeki Wachee.
* At 7 p.m. every Thursday at DaySpring Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship Hall, 6000 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.
* At 1 p.m. every Friday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Coulton Building of the church located at 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill.
* At 2:30 p.m. every Saturday.
For more information, call Overeaters Anonymous toll-free at 1-800-544-6353 or call Karen at 352-200-8433 or e-mail For detailed information, visit its website at

Elder Helpline
offers support

West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging’s Elder Helpline offers support for caregivers and their aging parents. The Helpline provides information for older adults and their caregivers by helping callers make informed decisions about available assistance. It is the starting point in getting connected with programs or services that can meet the needs of the older adult or caregiver. For more information, call 1-800-96Elder (1-800-963-5337) or visit

Mixed martial
arts classes

BROOKSVILLE Elite Vale Tudor, a mixed martial arts school, is now offering adult physical conditioning classes from 9 to 10 a.m. and Brazilian jiu jitsu classes (with gi) from 10:30 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays at the school located at 945 Candlelight Blvd. EVT will also be offering Kombat Kidz, a mix of kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. In addition, Capoeira Kids, a traditional Brazilian practice which consists of music, martial arts and acrobatics will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Ages for all children’s classes are 6 to 12 years old. For class fees and more information, call 352-232-0475.

Al Anon meetings
at Holy Trinity

MASARYKTOWN Holy Trinity Lutheran Church conducts an Alcoholics Anonymous Family Group meeting at 7 p.m. each Tuesday in the Ministry Center of the church located at 1214 Broad St. (U.S. 41). Meetings are open to the public. For information, call 352-796-4066.

Autistic children
support group

BROOKSVILLE The Harbor Behavioral Health is offering a free support group for families with autistic children from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at The Harbor located at 7074 Grove Road.
The support group is for caregivers of children with autism. Babysitting will not be offered during the meetings, so prior arrangements must be made for child care. For information, call 352-346-1677.

Respite Room
at First UMC

SPRING HILL First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill will feature The Respite Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday in Burns Hall of the church located at 9344 Spring Hill Drive. The Respite Room provides a weekly program for persons with memory challenges such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This opportunity enables a person to be part of a social setting and participate in activities that are specially designed with them in mind. The program provides caregivers a brief break from tasks and time for themselves. Also, a caregivers support group meets at 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month. For information, call Chris Powers at 727-863-6868.

ER wait times
available online

HCA Oak Hill Hospital, Community Hospital and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point now post Emergency Room wait times to see a qualified medical practitioner on their Websites and via text messaging. Visit or text ER to 23000.
The Emergency Department wait times for these hospitals is updated approximately every 30 minutes using an average from the previous four hours.

Health Dept. offers
childbirth classes

SPRING HILL Hernando County Health Department/Nature Coast Community Health Center will offer Childbirth Education classes from 6 to 8 p.m. each Wednesday at the Health Department located at 300 South Main St. Facilitated by Margaret Purdy, MS, ED, CBE, the series will offer pregnant women and a partner information, instruction and resources to promote a healthy delivery. A partner is not required to participate in the classes. The cost of the program is $60; and participants can pay by cash, check or credit card. The program is free of charge for Healthy Start clients. Registration is limited to 10 participants and 10 partners. To register or for information, call Susan DeLise at 352-540-6819.

Elder Options
offers help

Elder Options, of the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging, exists to promote the independence, dignity, health and well-being of elder citizens; to plan, fund and administer a coordinated continuum of services; and to advocate for the needs of older Americans. Anyone who is 60 or older and is being hurt or taken advantage of by someone they know or trust, should report suspected cases of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation by calling 1-800-96-ELDER or 1-800-965-5337. To report elder abuse, call the confidential Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Memory program

HUDSON CARES Early Memory Loss Program will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday at the CARES Rao Musunuru, M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway. The program is for individuals who are experiencing early memory losses and need a proactive day program to provide social support and memory retraining skills. The CARES “Senior Moments” Early Memory Loss program offers individuals and their families opportunities to reduce the progression and challenges of potential memory disorders through early intervention. For reservations or information, call Christine Powers at 727-863-6868.

Hearing Clinic
held at CARES

HUDSON The St. John’s Hearing Institute will hold a hearing clinic at the CARES Rao Musunuru, M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, from 9 to 11 a.m. the second Monday of each month. Ear wax checks and ear wax removal, hearing screenings and hearing aid checks will be provided. Participants who wear hearing aids will receive one free package of batteries. Amplified telephones are distributed to the hearing impaired by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at no charge to qualified Florida residents. For information, call the Center at 727-868-6363.

RSVP seeking volunteers

BROOKSVILLE The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is seeking volunteers, and the only requirement of the program is to be 55 years of age or older. A representative of the RSVP Welcome Center located at 880 Kennedy Blvd. will find a position that will fit the interests and needs of interested volunteers. Some of the areas available are mentoring, tutoring, teacher’s aide, teen pregnancy, Meals on Wheels, senior centers, nature, museum docent or researcher, library, food banks, thrift stores, clerical, and animal care. If interested in volunteering or for information, call from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 352-796-8117.

Miracle on Wheels qualification

Miracle on Wheels announces that Medicare’s regulations make it easier for seniors and others with debilitating conditions such as arthritis, stroke, heart and breathing problems, or diabetes to obtain a power wheelchair at little or no cost. Anyone who is suffering from any condition that severely limits their mobility should call Miracle on Wheels toll-free at 1-800-400-4210.

Co-Dependency group to meet

BROOKSVILLE The Co-Dependency (CoDA) Words of Wisdom (WOW) Group meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday at the Salvation Army, 15464 Cortez Blvd. The group is a 12-step fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and fulfilling relationships. For information, call Valarie at 352-596-2492.

‘Children Loved’ support group

SPRING HILL St. Frances Cabrini Center will offer an “Our Children Loved and Remembered” support group at 7 p.m. the first and third Friday of each month in Room 3 of the Cabrini Center located at 5030 Mariner Blvd. The support group is for parents and grandparents that have lost a child of any age or religion. For information, call Dorothy at 352-684-1369 or Carol at 352-686-1310.

Celebrate Recovery at Life Center

SPRING HILL Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step program for those with hurts, habits and hang-ups, will be held at 7 p.m. Fridays and Mondays at Bridge Family Life Center, aka First Baptist Church, 7279 Pinehurst Drive. The Friday program is a time of worship and a lesson followed by small groups for fellowship and discussion. Child care is provided on Friday nights only. The Monday program is the men’s and women’s 12-step study groups. For information, call 352-683-2863 or visit the church’s Website at

Yoga classes at Inner Peace

BROOKSVILLE Hatha Yoga classes will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesdays and at 6 p.m. Thursdays at the Inner Peace Bookstore and Wellness Center, 421 West Jefferson St. Bring a mat or towel and bottled water. The cost is $7 per person, but the first yoga class is free of charge with instructor Rachel Oleson, 352-346-8619. For information, call the Bookstore at 352-544-0304.

A Reiki clinic will be held at 7 p.m. each Wednesday at the Inner Peace Bookstore and Wellness Center. Reiki is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Energy, an energy all around people. Reiki allows the person to feel deeply relaxed, calm and peaceful. The cost for the clinic is $10 per person or $22 per month, and Reiki books will be available for purchase. For information, call Maria at 352-544-0304 or Vicki at 352-442-1240.

Outreach Center offers support

SPRING HILL Beautiful Mind Outreach Center, 10554 Spring Hill Drive, in the Brothers I and II Plaza, is a self-help rehabilitation and recreation center which helps those with a mental illness help themselves and also offers support and education to their families. The Center provides support groups, education groups, friendship groups, bingo, arts and crafts, computer classes, bowling, scrapbooking, guest speakers, social activities and more. For information, call the Center at 352-684-0004 or Ginny at 352-686-2687.

Brooksville Regional introduces EUS

BROOKSVILLE Brooksville Regional Hospital has introduced its full-service gastrointestinal program incorporating a relatively new procedure, the Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS). EUS combines the techniques of endoscopy and ultrasound examination to obtain images and information about various parts of the digestive tract through a less invasive procedure than surgery. The procedure enables physicians to detect and determine treatment for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, masses and lesions in body tissues at earlier stages, as well as determine how aggressively these masses should be treated. The hospital is located at 17240 Cortez Blvd. For information, call 352-799-5019 or visit

DivorceCare meetings

SPRING HILL DivorceCare divorce recovery seminar and support group will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at St. Frances Cabrini Parish, 5030 Mariner Blvd. Seminar sessions will include “Facing My Anger,” “Facing My Loneliness,” “Depression,” “New Relationships,” “KidCare” and “Forgiveness.” For information, call 352-686-9954 Ext. 409.

Celiac Group to
meet 4th Saturday

CRYSTAL RIVER Celiac Support Group meets from 10 a.m. to noon the fourth Saturday of the month in the Community Room at Coastal Region Library located at 8619 West Crystal St. The support group is for those who have celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. Everyone is welcome; bring friends or relatives who also may be gluten intolerant. Anyone who would like to bring a gluten-free snack, bring the recipe and/or list of ingredients for those with other allergies. For information, call Mary Lou Thomas at 352-628-9559.

Mid-Florida Services provides meals

Mid-Florida Community Services provides nutritious meals year-round to seniors age 60 and over. Seniors are welcome to visit any one of its four dining sites within the county. In addition, the Meals on Wheels program provides nutritious lunches five days a week to seniors who are homebound. The daily contact by the program’s volunteers ensures a visit by someone who provides companionship, while checking on the person’s health and well being. Volunteers are welcome, and donations are appreciated. For information, call 352-796-1425 or 352-796-0485.

Arc seeking volunteers

Arc Nature Coast is seeking volunteers for its POSSE Program, Enrichment Program at the Community Café or Neff Lake Road facility, any of several office locations, community outings and special events. Applications and background screenings are required for any position which involves direct contact with customers. There is a one-time fee of $28 for submission of paperwork to two outside agencies. Orientation and tours of the facilities will be available to all volunteers. For information and application forms, contact John DiRienzo at or by calling 352-544-2322.

Leukemia group meets Tuesday

SPRING HILL The Florida Cancer Institute’s Leukemia/Lymphoma Support Group will meet from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Florida Cancer Institute’s Spring Hill Center, 10441 Quality Drive, Suite 203, in the Medical Arts Building, next to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. Topics that are frequently discussed are: the importance of early detection, signs and symptoms of leukemia-lymphoma, prognosis, disease stages, the various treatment options, and especially the latest research and treatment modalities. For information, call Jeff Haight, R.N., support group facilitator, at 352-688-7744.

Hearing services has phones

PORT RICHEY Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida has recently announced the addition of several new telephones, ttys and captioned telephones which are available through its no-charge equipment distribution program. Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers amplified telephones and related equipment free of charge to permanent Florida residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or speech-impaired. The telecommunications access program is funded by a surcharge on all landline phones in Florida. Equipment is available Monday through Friday at the Main Office located at 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd. or at satellite locations throughout Pasco and Hernando counties. For information or to make an appointment, call 727-853-1010 or 1-866-685-9477.

Medicare recipients eligible for wheelchair

All Medicare recipients should now be aware that if they suffer from conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders, and have difficulty walking or propelling a standard wheelchair, they may be eligible to receive an electric wheelchair paid for by Medicare. For information on Medicare eligibility, call 1-800-810-2877.

Grief support group meets Fridays

SPRING HILL Survivors Grief Support Group meets at 1 p.m. Fridays in Conference Room 1 of Oak Hill Hospital located at 11375 Cortez Blvd. Everyone is welcome. For information, call Rose at 352-596-6752.

Enrichment Centers list activities

Department of Veteran Services of Hernando County will be addressing concerns and answering questions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday at the Brooksville Enrichment Center, 670 Broad St., Brooksville; and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday at the Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. Capri Home Care will be checking blood pressure and will host a question-answer session about general health concerns from 10 to 11 a.m. every Thursday at the Brooksville Enrichment Center. Contours Express will be sending a personal trainer to assist the exercise class at 8:45 a.m. every Wednesday at the Brooksville Enrichment Center. A volunteer will take blood pressure Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Spring Hill and Tuesdays at Brooksville. Support groups are available, such as Parkinson’s, diabetic, Alzheimer’s, Ostomy, nurses, well spouse and breast cancer. For information, call the Spring Hill Enrichment Center at 352-597-6331 or the Brooksville Enrichment Center at 352-544-5900.

Wishes on Wheels has wheelchairs

Wishes on Wheels has electric power wheelchairs available for nonambulatory senior citizens 65 years old and up, and the permanently disabled of any age, if they qualify. For information, call 1-800-823-5220 or visit

SHINE opens new site

SPRING HILL SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) has a site at the Little Red Schoolhouse located at 1208 Kenlake Ave., off Spring Hill Drive. Trained SHINE volunteers are available from 11 a.m. to noon every Wednesday. Volunteers offer information and assistance with Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicaid programs, and prescription assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. They can also provide valuable information about Medicare to persons soon to turn 65. SHINE is a statewide program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Multiple SHINE sites are open in Hernando County; call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-262-2243 for site locations or to be referred to a SHINE counselor.

WOW program offered at YMCA

SPRING HILL Hernando County Family YMCA offers a Working on Weights program that meets twice a week for four weeks on the Wellness Floor of the facility located at 1300 Mariner Blvd. The program features one-on-one instruction with a personal wellness trainer to help achieve personal goals while addressing personal limitations and comforts. For information, call Olivia Matles at 352-688-9622.

Yoga in the park

BROOKSVILLE Yoga in the park will be offered Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at Hernando Park, 205 East Fort Dade Ave. The cost is $7. For information, call Rachel at 352-263-4923 or Hernando County Recreation Department at 352-754-4031.

SHINE program assists seniors

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers the free SHINE program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) at the following locations:
11 a.m. to noon, Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place, Brooksville.
11 a.m. to noon, Spring Hill United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.
11 a.m. to noon, Little Red School House bookstore,
1208 Kenlake Ave., Spring Hill.
11 a.m. to noon, East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor.
11 a.m. to noon, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.
SHINE counselors offer information and assistance with Medicare (filling out paperwork, bills and filing appeals), Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicare prescription drug coverage, long-term care planning and pharmaceutical assistance programs.
No appointments are necessary. For information or for counseling locations outside Hernando County, call the Elder Hotline toll-free at 800-262-2243.

Editor’s note: Healthy Happenings events will only be listed as space permits. E-mail submissions to Karen Raimondi at or to Paula Nelson, the special sections editor, at