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Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, has announced that under HCA, its parent company, it has joined Practice Greenhealth, a group of health care organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

To lessen its impact on the environment, Oak Hill has begun recycling in many departments. It has replaced Styrofoam products with more eco-friendly products in food and nutritional services, and nursing departments have done away with the large biomedical containers and are using a point-of-use method where biomedical trash is placed directly into a red bag and put into a designated utility room. Operating rooms are recycling supplies used in surgery (metal and plastic components), which are sold to make park benches.

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Brooksville Academy of the Arts, 22293 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, has added an adult ballroom course to its program.

In addition, the academy will offer five weeks of free introductory art classes beginning Thursday. Art classes will be offered to two age groups: at 4:30 p.m. for ages 7 to 10, and at 5:45 p.m. for ages 11 and up. The classes will continue five consecutive Thursdays through October.

For information or registration, visit www.brooksvilleacademyofthearts.com, send e-mail to bdanceacademy@aol.com or call (352) 799-2614.

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Bene's International School of Beauty has opened a new campus at 1486 Pinehurst Drive, Spring Hill.

Bene's is a private school specializing in vocational training in cosmetology and related arts and sciences. It offers training in cosmetology, barbering, skin care, nail care and massage therapy to prepare students for employment in the beauty industry.

For information, call Felicia Belcher at (727) 848-8415, ext. 315.

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The corporate training department at Pasco-Hernando Community College, in partnership with the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce's Business Resource Council, is offering a discounted rate for a variety of online noncredit courses for small-business owners and those seeking to start a business.

More than 250 instructor-facilitated courses are offered every month, and each one runs for six weeks. Courses are project-oriented and include lessons, quizzes, hands-on assignments and discussion areas.

Tuition is normally $99, but chamber members will receive a $10-per-course discount. All courses include a certificate of completion. The discount is available through June 30, 2010.

For information, visit www.ed2go.com/phcc or call (727) 816-3123.

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Two HernandoDomino's Pizza locations - 8381 Northcliffe Blvd. and 13081 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill - will offer a free large, one-topping pizza to anyone who purchases tickets to the 27th annual Partners in Hope Ball at either of the locations.

The ball will be Oct. 10 at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill. The event benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Tickets are $75 per person. In addition to Domino's, tickets may be purchased from a committee member or at the St. Jude Tampa office.

For information, contact Beth Narverud at (352) 592-2025.

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All nine Hernando County Walgreens stores have signed on to help Gifts from Home send treats to troops serving overseas. The items for October: Reese's peanut butter cups and Snickers candy bars.

Each month, Walgreens selects an item and asks customers to purchase the item and place it into a collection box. In addition, each store has a display standing beside the collection box, featuring the top 10 requested items the troops ask for. Those items can also be placed into the collection boxes.

Linda Kidwell, who runs Gifts from Home, will pick up the items and pack them in care packages heading to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Participating Walgreens are at: 14320 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill; 7305 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill; 20020 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville; 16200 County Line Road, Spring Hill; 4255 Commercial Way, Spring Hill; 11180 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill; 13053 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill; 9819 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee; and 4096 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.

For information on Gifts from Home, call Kidwell at (352) 684-4185.

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What once was a Comfort Inn is now the Best Western Nature Coast.

The hotel, at 9373 Cortez Blvd. in Weeki Wachee, has undergone more than a half-million dollars in renovations and upgrades, including a new lobby with a continental breakfast area. Changes in the rooms include new furniture, new artwork, bedding, curtains, granite vanity tops and new flat-screen televisions with cable. There is high-speed Internet access or Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

For information, call (352) 596-9000.

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The American Heart Association's Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program has recognized the following companies for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace: Brooksville Regional Hospital at 17240 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, and the hospitals that make up the Hernando/Pasco market of the HCA West Florida Division, including Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill.

Who's news

Chance Phillips has been appointed chief financial officer at Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill.

Phillips holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida and has worked as an accountant for Outback Steakhouse International and an auditor for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He also served as controller and co-ethics and compliance officer at Oak Hill Hospital from 2001 to 2005.

Prior to becoming CFO, Phillips served as chief financial officer for HCA Patient Account Services. He currently lives in Pinellas County, but will relocate to Hernando County.

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Mary Ann Ryan, a Realtor associate, has joined the office of Re/Max Advantage Realty, 4320 Lake in the Woods Drive, Spring Hill.

Ryan has been a resident of Hernando County for more than 25 years and is active in several community organizations. She has been a Realtor for more than 10 years and specializes in marketing and sales of residential homes.

Ryan can be reached at (352) 238-3655.

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Deborah Brunner, Wanda Brooks and Shea Carlin, employees at Brooksville Regional Hospital, 17240 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville, were recently recognized for going above and beyond in their work for the month of August.

The "Caught in the Act" award, which recognizes an employee who went above and beyond the hospital's standards of excellence in service to a guest, was given to Brunner, who works in human resources.

The HOPE or "Helping Others While Pursuing Excellence" award, which recognizes someone who has received accolades from patients and/or guests, was awarded to Brooks in mammography and Carlin in respiratory therapy.

Events

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will have the following ribbon cuttings this week:

- Mary Kay Cosmetics, 4040 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, noon Tuesday. For information, contact Scarlet Torres at (352) 671-2575.

- Kim2bfit, 3031 Landover Blvd., Spring Hill, noon Wednesday. For information, contact Kim or Herson Garcia at (352) 428-6368.

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The Spring Hill Professionals Chapter of Ali Lassen's Leads Club will meet from noon to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at Ercolano's Italian Restaurant, 4185 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.

Club members and guests can order directly off the menu. A separate membership fee is required to join the club.

The speaker this week is Dianne Hogg, certified real estate appraiser with Full House Services.

The club offers members each week the opportunity to give brief business presentations and exchange leads collected for other members during the previous week. The club offers noncompete business classifications to avoid conflicts of interest.

For information, call Lois Bleicher at (352) 200-4809 or visit www.leadsfl.com.

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Belk Department Store, 13151 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, will offer health care employees a 20 percent discount (15 percent in the home and shoes departments) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

For information, contact Chris Tracy, store manager, at (352) 592-1515, ext. 201.

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Hernando Biz ... Net-Connecting for You, a new networking group, will meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Course Lane, Spring Hill.

A minimal dues structure is in place. Members are asked to attend at least three meetings a month and order breakfast from the menu.

New members are welcome. For information, contact Al Johnson at AJohnson50106@tampabay.rr.com.

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Green World Path Inc., 1665 Donto Way, Brooksville, will offer a free class, "Health and the Media," beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The speakers will be Bobby and Kerrie Broe, from Tuberose.com, who will discuss alternative medicine, the media and the abuse of power. The Broes are published authors who have written books on alternative medicine and natural health. They own and operate Tuberose out of their home in Brooksville.

Staffers will offer tours of the facility and garden. For information or directions, call (352) 799-0200.

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The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly Networking at Noon luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the Brooksville Country Club at Majestic Oaks, 23446 Links Drive, Brooksville.

The cost is $10 per person with a reservation, $15 without reservation and $20 for nonmembers. Cancellations must be made 24 hours prior to the event. Deadline for RSVP to Carla Hayes at (352) 796-0697, ext. 15, is Wednesday.

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The Green Bean Organic Market, 11020 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill, will host a free class on achieving optimal health through natural medicine from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Dr. Carlos M. Garcia, a holistic doctor from the Tampa Bay area, will conduct the class. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and interned at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.

Garcia offers alternative cancer treatments, chelation therapy, bio-identical hormone replacement, IV vitamins and antioxidants, as well as weight loss and pain management.

The class is free and open to the public. For information or to make a reservation, call (352) 688-7979.

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The Hernando County Bar Association will host a continuing education opportunity for its members.

Ed Hobin, outreach project coordinator in the community and legislative affairs department of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, will speak on the history and role of water management districts in Florida, the role of water use permitting, and the application of Florida Statutes Chapter 373 from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 14 in the grand jury room at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., Brooksville.

The program has been approved for one hour of continuing legal education credit by the Florida Bar. For information or to RSVP, contact Derrill McAteer of the Hogan Law Firm at (352) 799-8423 or via e-mail at derrill@hoganlawfirm.com

If you have announcements you would like to share with our readers, mail the details to Jean Hayes, Business Digest, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613-6174. You may also e-mail items to jhayes@sptimes.com or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.

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