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Health notes: Mease Countryside Hospital celebrates 25 years

Introductory tai chi classes

The slow-moving but powerful health-enhancing exercise of tai chi has been shown to have a beneficial effect on bones and balance. Most movements are done in a standing position, but can also be adapted for those who are unable to stand.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society will offer drop-in introductory classes taught by volunteers from 11 to 11:45 a.m. every Friday throughout December at 1370 Main St., Dunedin.

The organization's main objective is to make tai chi and its benefits available to the community. Call (727) 734-0929.

Hospital celebrates 25th anniversary

In 1986, Mease Countryside Hospital opened as a 100-bed hospital in north Pinellas County. Today, Mease Countryside Hospital has tripled its original bed count and functions as an acute care hospital with more than 1,600 employees celebrating 25 years of improving the health of the community.

"What began as a satellite clinic of Mease Dunedin Hospital is now a growing medical center that provides inpatient and outpatient services from birth to throughout life," said Lou Galdieri, chief operating officer of Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin hospitals. "Reaching out beyond Dunedin to a newly growing area to create Mease Countryside Hospital is a reflection of the vision and commitment of Dr. Jack Mease, founder of Mease Dunedin Hospital."

In recent years, Mease Countryside has enhanced its services by opening the Cardiac Center to treat emergency and elective patients; adding minimally invasive robotic surgical technology; opening the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center to aid in diagnosis of breast cancer; partnering with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital to provide specialty inpatient and outpatient care; and earning "Baby-Friendly" hospital from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund and the Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and the International Lactation Consultant Association.

In 2005, Mease Countryside completed a $99 million expansion that included more operating rooms, a new women's and children's center, pediatric units, neonatal intensive care units, more inpatient beds and a new emergency room.

Mease Countryside marked 25 years of serving the community with a celebration for its staff the week of Nov. 14 featuring 1980s-themed events. The Morton Plant Mease Foundation hosted a 25th anniversary celebration for foundation members and invited guests on Oct. 19.

Seminars, classes and support groups

ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP: Meets weekly at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. (727) 787-1837.

NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP: Meetings are at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays, except holidays, at Crystal Beach Community Hall, 517 Crystal Beach Ave., Crystal Beach; 8 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church, Educational Building, second floor "The Parlor," 421 Main St., Dunedin; 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul United Methodist Church Annex, Open Arms Resource Center, 1897 Highland Ave., Largo; and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road, Palm Harbor. Call toll-free 1-888-947-8885 or visit

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Weight-loss group meetings are 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays at the First Baptist Church of Ozona-Palm Harbor, 610 Pennsylvania Ave., Ozona. The group meets in the building in the back. Call (727) 786-1484 or (727) 785-9564.

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Meets from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage United Methodist Church, Room 11, 2680 Landmark Drive, Clearwater. The first meeting is free. Call (727) 726-2681.

RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL: Abraham Low Self-Help System, a weekly support group for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms caused by fear and anger, meets at 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Lakeview Community Church, 475 East Lake Road N, East Lake, (727) 942-4095; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 942-9008; and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Largo. (727) 586-2585, or leave a message at (727) 525-1749. Free, but offerings are appreciated.

FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY ANONYMOUS: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, (727) 501-2125, and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, (727) 786-3113. Both at Clearwater Community Church, Room 103, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin. Visit

Health news should be mailed to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; faxed to (727) 445-4119; or emailed to

Health notes: Mease Countryside Hospital celebrates 25 years 11/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:03pm]
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