PASCO'S FIRST NICU OPENS: Medical Center of Trinity recently opened a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, with care provided by All Children's Specialty Physicians neonatologists. The $7 million project is the first NICU in Pasco County. It also serves patients in Hernando, northern Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. The new unit is an expansion of the hospital's existing obstetrics program and offers advanced levels of care for babies as early as 32 weeks, as well as for high-risk pregnancies. The facility is at 9330 State Road 54, Trinity.
RIBBON-CUTTING AT ACADEMY AT THE FARM: Academy at the Farm in Dade City recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of its major expansion. The charter school, formed in 2002, is a nonprofit organization and enrolls students in pre-K to eighth grade, serving the Dade City area and unincorporated areas of Pasco County. The school used a $4.05 million USDA community facilities guaranteed loan to purchase and install three modular buildings to be used as classrooms, labs and administrative space, and to purchase 9.8 acres for parking and storm-water management. It refinanced debt to make the project feasible. The expansion will increase the school capacity to 570 students and provide more space and facilities for existing students.
LOCAL ASSOCIATION WINS AWARD: The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors North Suncoast Association received the 2014-15 Jack E. Bobo Award of Excellence, presented by the national organization. The award recognizes associations in the federation that excel in areas critical to their success and growth over a one-year period, including professional development, advocacy, membership and governance. The North Suncoast Association serves agents and advisers in Pasco and Hernando counties.
BNI TO OPEN NEW CHAPTER IN TRINITY: BNI Partners in Profit of New Port Richey, Trinity and Odessa will have a kickoff breakfast from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m. Feb. 9 at Fox Hollow Golf & Country Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. Business professionals are invited to attend.
BNI is a networking organization specializing in the exchange of qualified business referrals among its members. To RSVP, call Amanda Walsh at (727) 277-2520.
HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH: On Jan. 5, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point honored Keith Cotter, lead exercise physiologist, as its Employee of the Month for November.
Cotter is a member of the cardiac rehabilitation department. As Employee of the Month, he receives a pin, a blanket gift, a reception with refreshments for his colleagues, and a front-row parking spot for one month, along with a $50 gift card.
ASSOCIATE NEGOTIATES FIVE NEW LEASES AT SHOPPING CENTERS: Tracy Worrell, senior associate with Crossman & Co., one of the largest retail leasing management and investment sales companies in the Southeast, recently represented landlords in four new lease agreements with restaurant and retail tenants at three shopping centers in Pasco County. Worrell negotiated three leases (Burger King, Lee Nails and China King) at the Shoppes of Dade City, a new Publix-anchored shopping center that opened in the fourth quarter of 2015. At Collier Commons in Land O'Lakes, anchored by Publix and Belk Department Store, Worrell completed a lease agreement with Jersey Mike's Subs. At the Hays Road Town Center in Hudson, anchored by Publix, Worrell leased a unit to Mach Dentistry.
SLEEK & SEXY NIGHT FUNDRAISER: The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Group will host its ninth annual Sleek and Sexy Night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Dulcet Restaurant and Lounge, 6220 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. The event is sponsored by Pontlitz Asset Advisors and will benefit local nonprofit organizations, as well as provide young professionals with educational opportunities. The evening will include complimentary valet parking, photos on the red carpet and a glass of champagne provided by Hits 106 WGHR-FM. There also will be special performances by Dancing with the Local Stars winners Alison Janke and Paul Friedlander, premium hor d'oeuvres, outside patio seating, music and dancing. Participants may join the "sexiest contest" in five categories: sexiest shoes, legs, eyes, hair, smile and swagger. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door, and are available at westpasco.com or at the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce office, DeLuca's Fine Jewelry or the Dulcet. For information, call Becky Bennett at (727) 967-7509.
RIBBON-CUTTING AND GRAND OPENING: Florida Hospital Zephyrhills will have a community open house and ribbon-cutting from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday at its Creation Health Wellness Center, 38233 Daughtery Road, Zephyrhills. The ribbon-cutting, courtesy of the Greater Zephyrhills and the Greater Dade City chambers of commerce, will be at 12:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
GREEN INDUSTRY TRAINING: The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service will offer Green Industry Best Management Practices training from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at its office at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36702 State Road 52, Dade City. The program is designed for landscape professionals who apply pesticides and fertilizers commercially. Preregistration and prepayment are required. Visit the Eventbrite link at ow.ly/WbdoK. The cost for training and lunch is $30. Participants must have a photo ID and prepaid ticket for admission. The cost for Pasco County government and Pasco County School District employees is $20, with the signature of an immediate supervisor on the prepaid ticket. For information, call (352) 518-0156.
ECONOMIC FORECAST LUNCHEON: The Pasco Economic Development Council will present an economic forecast luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, 10641 Old Tampa Bay Drive, San Antonio. Sean Snaith, an award-winning economic forecaster, will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $35. For information or to RSVP, call (813) 926-0827 or visit PascoEDC.com/Events.
TRINITY MARKETPLACE: Local small businesses will gather to showcase and sell their products from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Trinity Marketplace at the Trinity Meeting Center, 7813 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 106, in the Trinity Commons Plaza, New Port Richey. The event will take place on the first Saturday of the month through March. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, call (727) 375-9700 or send email to events@TrinityMeetingCenter.com.
SMALL BUSINESS SEMINARS: Pasco Hernando SCORE is presenting a series of free small business seminars.
• Intro to Microsoft Excel, 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
• Building a Plan for a Successful Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.
• Using the Internet in Your Business, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 12, Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, south of Brooksville.
To register and for information, visit pascohernando.score.org and click on the Local Workshops tab or call the SCORE office at (727) 842-4638.
If you have business announcements you would like to share, mail the details to Jean Hamilton, Business Digest, Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. You may also email items to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Submitted items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.