How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
I was born and raised in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, N.Y. I moved with my family to Spring Hill in 1984.
Who are the members of your family?
My husband, Fawzi; two sons, Adam and Danny; and daughter, Suzanne, and her husband, Alex. And I can't forget Lucy, my Jack Russell.
Tell us about your career.
Upon graduation as a registered nurse from Kings County Nursing School, I practiced at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and was head nurse of the intensive care unit and critical care unit. As I continued my education, earning a bachelor's degree and master's degree in health management at Long Island University, I held various positions, including staff development director, nurse administrator of special procedures and diagnostics, director of critical care and neurosurgical nurse practitioner.
After starting a family, I managed my husband's medical practice, Brooklyn Vascular Center. When PineBrook Medical Center opened in 1984, we relocated the practice as Gulf Coast Surgery Center.
Continuing my education, I received board certification in quality assurance and medical quality, health care risk management licensure, and certifications in both medical management and procedural coding. In 2008, I developed a private consulting business called Coastal Healthcare, which offers services in patient advocacy, medical decisionmaking, risk management, guardian support, medical record review and referral services.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I am proud to say I have been a member of the Hernando County Medical Society Alliance, a branch of the Florida Alliance, since moving to Florida. The goals of this organization are health education, community service and physician support. I have recently become involved as a community liaison for the Crescent Community Clinic, which serves the uninsured and indigent of Hernando County, and also volunteer with People Helping People, which provides meals and support to the indigent.
I am a member of the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central, Business and Professional Women of Hernando, Professional Association of Healthcare Office Managers, Community Resource Council, Hernando Senior Services Network, Brooksville Regional Hospital Women's Advisory, Greater Federation of Women, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Association of University Women.
I am also a member of three organizations dedicated to children and family support and advocacy — Guardian Ad Litem, New Beginnings Youth Shelter and the Hernando County Boys and Girls Club. If there is time left over, I act as a backup volunteer for HPH Hospice.
I have supported Youth and Family Alternatives' New Beginnings Shelter since its inception in 2001, and I'm a member of YFA's local advisory board, now called the leadership council, which serves as ambassadors in the community. For five years, I volunteered for the Dawn Center and worked as a member of the county's Rape Crisis SAVE (sexual assault victim's exam) team. Though I no longer work in that capacity, I still volunteer for the Dawn Center.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I love the beach, concerts, theater, movies, reading and travel.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
Watch the beautiful sunsets at Pine Island, relax with a glass of wine and plan some fun activities with family and good friends.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
It looks like the Brooksville Downtown Development Committee is making some great strides in revitalizing the community. With its historical significance, beautiful old trees and houses, and potential, I think having a destination that links us back with old Florida definitely adds to the character of Hernando County.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I had always wanted to visit the pyramids and see the Nile River, so it was a dream to get to go there on my honeymoon!
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at email@example.com or (352) 848-1438.