Category Archives: Member Announcements


St. Leo Invites Citizens to Attend Information Sessions

Please join St. Leo University at the Lakeland Education Center Information Sessions.

The Lakeland Education Center offers flexible class schedules, affordable tuition, outstanding faculty and an environment tailored to busy adult students. Whether you’re finishing a degree or starting a new program to enhance your career, Saint Leo is where YOU belong.

Choice of Information Sessions:
Wednesday – December 13, 10am – 4pm
1144 W. Griffin Road, Lakeland, FL 33805

Thursday – December 14, 5pm – 8pm
Family Fundamentals
1021 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805


Visit us at one of the information session locations to learn more about Saint Leo’s degrees of all education levels at the Lakeland Education Center:

  • FREE Cocoa and cookies for holiday enjoyment
  • 1:1 time with your Admission Counselor
  • Facts about financial aid & scholarships
  • Instant review for admission when you bring an unofficial transcript
  • Fee waiver for on-site applications

RSVP with the link above or by calling the Lakeland Education Center at (863) 337-4900.

If you can’t make our open house, I have a dedicated team of academic advisors that would love to meet with you and help make your dream of a college degree a reality.


Community Invited to ‘Living Well + Eating Better’ Luncheon and Dinner on Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lakeland Regional Health invites residents to jumpstart their New Year’s resolutions at two free Living Well + Eating Better community gatherings on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

Special Guest Donald Hensrud, MD, Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program Director, will motivate guests as he brings to life the essentials of The New York Times bestselling book, The Mayo Clinic Diet. Each guest will receive a complimentary copy of the hardcover book to bring home for continued use.

A special nutritious lunch will be served during the afternoon program from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and a delicious, healthy dinner will be prepared for the evening program from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. – all featuring recipes from The Mayo Clinic Diet. Lakeland Regional Health dietitians, physical therapists and community health experts will be on hand to screen guests for balance, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index and weight.

In addition, Mayo Clinic Clinical Dietitian Elizabeth Bailey, RDN, LD/N, will make a special appearance to lead breakout sessions on the best ways to apply the book’s messages to everyday life and talk one on one with guests.

71.5% of residents in Polk County are obese or overweight, according to the Florida Department of Health.

“Obesity among the youth and adults in our community continues to be a concern, as does ensuring that families have access to nutritionally adequate foods,” said Timothy J. Regan, MD, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center President and Lakeland Regional Health Chief Medical Officer. “Lakeland Regional Health is committed to providing education and wellness outside of the walls of our patient exam rooms and strengthening the health of our community.”

As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Lakeland Regional Health physicians have convenient access to Mayo Clinic’s respected expertise, knowledge and resources.

Dr. Hensrud is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He writes and lectures on lifestyle and nutrition topics and has written several books, including The Mayo Clinic Diet and two award-winning cookbooks.

“Why did we write The Mayo Clinic Diet? Because you wanted it,” Dr. Hensrud writes in the book’s foreword. “Bogus Mayo Clinic diets have been circulating for decades. These diets have no connection to Mayo Clinic, but their popularity told us that people are hungry for a diet based on Mayo’s research and clinical experience.”

Those who attend the event will receive participatory gifts and enrollment in an ongoing discussion on healthy eating and active living.

To RSVP for the events, call 863.687.1400 or visit Space is limited. Deadline to RSVP is January 10.


Members on the Move: Lakeland Regional Health Team Member News

Lakeland Regional Health has the following good news to share:

  • Aarti Patel, MD, joins Lakeland Regional Health as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Dr. Patel earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in St. Lucia. She completed both her Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and her Residency in Psychiatry at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Patel sees patients at the Behavioral Health Sciences location, 500 S Florida Ave, Lakeland.
  • Jasmine Weaver, DO, joins Lakeland Regional Health as a Family Medicine Physician. Dr. Weaver earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. She completed her General Surgery Residency at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, New York. She completed her Family Practice Residency at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York. Certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, Dr. Weaver sees patients at the Lake Miriam location, 4710 S Florida Ave, Lakeland.
  • Daniel Westawski, MD, FACS, joins Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Dr. Westawski earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his Residency in General Surgery at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He completed a Fellowship in Plastic Surgery at the University of Utah Hospital and a Fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Westawski is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery and specializes in female and male breast surgery and inpatient and outpatient cosmetic procedures.

LRH CEO Named to Becker’s Hospital Review ‘183 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know’ For Sixth Consecutive Year

Lakeland Regional Health President and Chief Executive Officer, Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, is named to the Becker’s Hospital Review “183 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know” for the sixth consecutive year.

Per Becker’s Hospital Review, “The men and women on this list lead some of the largest and most successful nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country.”

Dr. Thompson joins prestigious company this year including the CEOs of Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Temple University Health System, New York-Presbyterian, NYU Langone Medical Center, Wake Forest University, University of Pennsylvania Health System and Lakeland Regional Health’s affiliate, Nemours Children’s Health System.

“We are deeply blessed to have Dr. Thompson leading Lakeland Regional Health’s work delivering nationally recognized healthcare to the patients and families we serve. Her visionary leadership makes an outstanding impact on our organization’s ability to advance the future of healthcare for our community,” said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lakeland Regional Health.

During Dr. Thompson’s tenure at Lakeland Regional Health, affiliations were formed with Mayo Clinic Care Network, USF Health, Nemours Children’s Health System and Orlando Health to provide expanded high quality healthcare services, not just at the 849-bed Medical Center, but throughout the region, through substantial growth in physician practices and ambulatory settings. In addition to leading the LRH organization, she assumes regional system responsibilities for the Orlando Health system.

Dr. Thompson, together with her leadership team, initiated a performance improvement effort resulting in a redesigned Emergency Department facility and workflow. These improvements reduced wait times and walkouts, prompting national and international attention from other healthcare systems interested in learning about and applying the successful model in use at LRH.

Dr. Thompson is a tireless advocate for the patients and families served by LRH, spearheading the development of the eight-story Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, the largest expansion in the history of Lakeland Regional Health’s Medical Center. Dr. Thompson shares her insights on numerous community, professional, and corporate boards that reflect both her professional and personal interests and is a Director for the Florida Hospital Association.

For a complete list of Becker’s Hospital Review “183 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know”, visit



Noted local attorney Bob Puterbaugh will be honored by Florida Southern College for his distinguished service to the community with an honorary degree at the college’s winter commencement ceremony on December 16.

Mr. Puterbaugh, a longtime partner in the firm of Peterson & Myers, P.A., will be honored with the degree of doctor of humane letters during the commencement ceremony for undergraduate students at 10:30 a.m. in Branscomb Auditorium.

Mr. Puterbaugh has served for many years as FSC’s legal counsel and also on its Board of Trustees. He is well known for his pro bono work and as an expert in the field of healthcare law, serving as senior counsel to the board of directors of Lakeland Regional Health Center. He also has been a vigorous supporter of the arts in Lakeland, especially the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College, where he is a past president.

“Mr. Puterbaugh has made an incredibly positive impact on Florida Southern College through his wise counsel throughout the institution,” said President Anne Kerr. “His wisdom, expertise, and sincere interest in superb education have resulted in many positive growth outcomes for Florida Southern. His professional success and important civic leadership are also major advantages for our entire community. We are privileged to recognize him at our commencement ceremony by awarding the well-deserved honorary doctorate.”

At commencement, the college will confer approximately 124 undergraduate degrees and approximately 92 graduate degrees. Of the graduate degrees, five will be doctoral degrees granted by the School of Education.

Due to the continued growth of its graduate program, FSC will for the first time hold a separate ceremony for its graduate students, which will take place at 2:30 p.m., also in Branscomb.

The guest speaker at both ceremonies will be architect Jeff Baker of the firm Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker of Albany, N.Y. Mr. Baker has been the architect for several projects involving the college’s collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, including the 2008 restoration of the Water Dome and the Theatre-in-the-Round. He also designed the college’s new admissions building, currently under construction along Lake Hollingsworth Drive.

During the morning ceremony, the college will confer the President’s Scholar medal upon one of its graduating seniors. The medal honors a graduate whose academic standing is in the top 1 percent, who exemplifies the values of the College, and who has a demonstrated commitment to scholarship, student leadership and service.

At each commencement, a Senior Speaker, representing the senior class, addresses the convocation. This year the Senior Speaker will be Gabriella Scoleri from Ocoee, Fla., who is graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in Musical Theatre.