All posts by Cory Skeates


Lakeland Regional Health Team Member News

Lakeland, Fla. – Lakeland Regional Health has the following good news to share:


  • Disha Narula, MD, joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Hospitalist at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Dr. Narula earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. She completed her Residency in Internal Medicine and her Fellowship in Nephrology and Hypertension at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Narula most recently served as an Internal Medicine Physician and Nephrologist at Regional Medical Practice Primary Care and Cortland Regional Medical Center in Cortland New York. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Nephrology and Internal Medicine.
  • Yatin Kheti, MD, joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician at the Grasslands Campus and Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Dr. Kheti earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and his Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kheti most recently served as Pulmonary/Critical Care Director at Cortland Regional Medical Center in Cortland, New York. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine, Dr. Kheti is fluent in both English and Hindi.
  • James Murray, DO, joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. Dr. Murray earned his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his Internship and Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Ohio. He most recently served as an Obstetrics Hospitalist at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia. Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Osteopathic Board, Dr. Murray sees patients at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children on the south side of the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center Campus.

Local SERVPRO Cleaning Specialist Shares Commonsense Precautions to Help Control Spread of the Flu Virus

Highland City, FL (Grassroots Newswire) November 13, 2019 – Flu season is here, and it’s often marked by the offers of free flu shots in neighborhood pharmacies and stores across the country. The cleaning pros at SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands – experts in cleaning and sanitizing building materials, surfaces, and contents after fire, water, or natural disasters—remind Highland City home and business owners how important it is to step-up routine cleaning efforts during this time of year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu virus can remain viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Cleaning surfaces and objects that are frequently touched minimizes the likelihood of contacting the flu virus when you touch an infected surface.

According to the CDC, nearly 15% of the U.S. population suffered from the flu in 2018. More than 950,000 people were hospitalized and almost 80,000 people died from flu complications, making 2018 the most severe flu season since 2009.1

“As an emergency response company, we understand the hidden danger of contaminated surfaces in a workplace or home,” said David Touchton, owner, SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands. “This time of year, the flu virus can be a ‘hidden danger’ at home, at work, and in the community. It is a serious illness, and we want our Highland City friends and neighbors to take it seriously.”

The CDC recommends the following to help protect yourself or your loved ones from contracting the flu.
1. Get vaccinated. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important protection against this serious virus.
2. Thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more with soap and water) or sanitize them frequently throughout the day, even if you are not infected, to help protect yourself and others.
3. Beware of frequently touched surfaces, like handrails and doorknobs. Keep them clean at home using a bleach and water solution and clean your hands as soon as possible if you must touch them in public.

If you or a family member comes down with the flu despite these precautions, keep in mind the flu spreads primarily through droplets from a sick person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. With that in mind, the CDC offers the following guidelines to help control the spread of the disease:
1. Stay home and keep your distance. Infected droplets from a sick person’s nose or mouth can travel up to six feet and land in the noses and mouths of people nearby, exposing them to the illness.
2. Wait until you are fever free – without medications – for at least 24 hours before returning to school, work, or normal activities.
3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, your sleeve, or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue and clean your hands with soap or a sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol.

There is no such thing as a foolproof flu protection plan, says Touchton, but frequent hand-washing and conscientious cleaning practices at home, work, and in the community are precautions everyone can practice to help keep them and their loved ones healthy. For more flu statistics and tips on how to help prevent the spread of the flu virus, please visit

SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands specializes in disaster restoration, residential, and commercial deep cleaning, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” For more information on SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands, please contact David Touchton at (863)510-5962 or


Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO system has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.


Brian Wesbury Returns to Central Florida’s Economic Forecasting Event set for Mid-January

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (November 12, 2019) – Allen & Company of Florida, LLC, and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce present the Economic Forecast Breakfast 2020, for the 33rd year, on Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 7 to 9 a.m., at the RP Funding Center.  This year, more than ever, expert insights into the local and national economy are critical when considering future planning and budgeting.  From the Green New Deal, “trade wars,” negative interest rates, and inversion, to the United States presidential election, attending the annual Economic Forecast Breakfast will help attendees to make sense of the roller coaster ride that 2019 has been.

Nationally recognized Chief Economist Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors, L.P., returns as our guest speaker for the 33rd annual Economic Forecast Breakfast 2020 sponsored by Allen & Company.  You can plan on hearing a perspective that is steadfastly germane to the economies and politics of the world we live in delivered in a dynamic and unwavering style.

On this 33rd year of the Economic Forecast Breakfast and anniversary of the partnership between Allen & Company of Florida, LLC, and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, Allen & Company will continue to provide Continuing Education Credits for Florida Certified Financial Planners™ (CFP®s) for attending the 33rd annual Breakfast.  The morning event will be held at the RP Funding Center on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  Florida CFP®s interested in earning up to 1.0 credit for the event must pre-register online.  At the event, they must specify their intent at the Allen & Company registration desk and receive a form that will need to be authorized at the registration desk after the event.

“This forecast breakfast originated from the idea that independent business owners needed exposure to economic intelligence.  The macro level of material that Mr. Wesbury shares translates significant concepts into easily digestable, relevant data that paints an economic landscape for businesses both small and large,” comments Ralph Allen, he further comments, “each year I feel the same way, that this year is the most critical in our countries history, and this year is no different.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #EFB2020.  Questions for Mr. Wesbury may be submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #EFB2020.  The question and answer period will occur shortly before the end of the program.  Questions submitted via Twitter will take precedence.  Doors will open at 6:45 a.m. for registration and breakfast at the RP Funding Center.  Please register online at

About Allen & Company of Florida, LLC

Since 1932 Allen & Company of Florida, LLC, has provided financial planning and wealth management services to the communities we serve.  Headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, with operations in Winter Haven and Viera, Allen & Company is Florida’s oldest investment firm. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment adviser, or Allen & Company of Florida, LLC, DBA Allen & Company, a registered investment advisor and affiliate of LPL Financial.

About the Lakeland Chamber

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements: The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice; and, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.


Citizens Bank & Trust Announces Additions to Lakeland Advisory Board

Lakeland, FL Citizens Bank & Trust, is excited to announce the newest members recently added to the Lakeland Advisory Board

“Citizens Bank & Trust is fortunate to have this outstanding group of Lakeland Business Leaders join our team. We are truly thankful for the knowledge and experience that they each offer our bank as we work together meet and exceed the financial needs of the community.” Said, Citizens Bank & Trust President Greg Littleton.

The New Lakeland Advisory Board Members are:

Jackie Robb Britt – Co-Owner of Rubber & Accessories, Inc.

Rubber & Accessories, Inc., a second-generation fabricator and supplier of industrial products co founded by her Father and his business partner in 1972.  The Rubber & Accessories corporate office is located in Lakeland, FL with a branch in Tucker, Ga, providing Conveyor Belt, Hose and Gasket solutions to customers in the Southeast.

Brandon Clark – The Ruthvens

Brandon joined The Ruthvens in 2018 as Vice President. In this role, he has responsibility for The Ruthvens’ construction and development activities, leasing, finance and operations. Prior to joining The Ruthvens, Brandon was a Vice President Corporate Banker with J.P. Morgan for eight years. In this role, he had responsibility for companies headquartered in Florida with revenue or market cap over $1 billion. Before joining J.P. Morgan, Brandon was a member of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s Financial Services and Technology group in Atlanta, GA.

Gasper Kovack Jr. – Retired

Former Assistant to the Executive Vice President, Container Division, Union-Camp Corporation, Wayne, New Jersey, 1970-1972. Former Manufacturing Manager, Union-Camp Corporation, Corrugated Container Plant, Lakeland, Florida, 1972-1976. Former Chief Executive Officer, Highland-Exchange Service Cooperative (HESCO), Waverly, Florida, 1976-2016. Professionally retired, March 2016. Current Board of Directors Member: Boys and Girls Clubs of Polk County, Polk PACE for Girls, FCBI Workers Compensation Insurance Company, Gasparilla Island Water Association.

Dennis A. Ross – Retired U.S. Congressman

Dennis graduated from Auburn University in 1981, where he then attended law school at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.   In 1989 Dennis started his own law practice, formerly known as Ross Vecchio, PA.  While running his law practice, Dennis also served in the Florida State House of Representatives for eight years.  In 2010, Dennis ran for and was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served Florida’s 15th Congressional District for eight years.  After retiring from Congress, Dennis joined Southeastern University in January of 2019, where he now serves as the Director of the American Center for Political Leadership.

David Touchton – ServePro Bartow/Lakeland Highlands

In addition, David Touchton will also be joining the Lakeland Advisory board following his January 2018 retirement from the Citizen Bank & Trust Board of Directors. Mr. Touchton served as a member of the board of directors for 9 years.

These new members join the current Lakeland Advisory Board that includes; David Curry, Gene Engle, Corey Miller and Chris McLaughlin.

Citizens Bank & Trust is a full-service financial institution that has served Polk County since 1920. In addition to business checking and savings plans, they also offer a wide range of loan products, as well as trust and investment services. As Polk County’s oldest community bank still in existence, Citizens continues to provide customers with high quality financial products and superior customer service.

For more information on Citizens Bank & Trust visit; or contact Donovan Tinsley at Tinsley Creative, email:; phone: 863-583-0081.