This year’s GNL Class XV Healthcare Day used a patient-centered approach to answer these two questions:  How do the indigent, the working poor, those without insurance and the chronically ill–as well as the well-off–get quality care in Collier County? What challenges and opportunities are facing individuals and providers when it comes to accessing and paying for health care?

The Class visited the Neighborhood Health Clinic where they were impressed by the work done for those in need, but of limited means. Nancy Lascheid, co-founder, described with passion and commitment the vision and the successes of this remarkable place, assisted by Nina Gray, CEO and a member of GNL Class XI.

The informative day opened with the “big picture” work of the Collier County Health Department. Deb Millsap, the Director of Nutrition & Health Education, put the health of Collier County residents in perspective as she reviewed Florida’s County 2010 Health Rankings.  From the “big picture” to the mundane, the Class heard from Pharmacist Walt Leuzinger how the role of community pharmacists is growing in importance–and how fewer than 10% of us actually successfully adhere to the drug regimens we are prescribed.

Local doctor John Diaz M.D. explained how concierge medicine can supplement medical volunteerism for the needy; Mary Brodeur outlined the important end-of-life work of Avow Hospice; and Steven Weinman, COO of Collier Health Services (CHS) and GNL Class XV member, described CHS’ work in providing medical and dental care targeting underserved children and adults.

After a wonderful buffet lunch in the Naples Community Hospital’s Garden of Hope and Courage (a 501(c) 3 in its own right and a lovely community facility), the Class heard presentations from Dr Robert Tober, who demonstrated “health care you can use” including the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR, and NCH CEO Dr. Allen Weiss, who outlined the challenges facing health care. In addition, two local attorneys — Kevin Crews and Craig Stevens — reviewed the medical liability system in the State. The day’s presentations ended with Michael Brauer and Ray Blanco from DigiDetect on how the internet is changing health care.

Given the important position health care has assumed in the national picture and the local economy, this session aimed to encourage more civic involvement and leadership in the field by future GNL graduates.

photo of Nina Gray (Class XI), Carol Riner and Sandra Buxton (Class XV) by Van Williams

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