10894830659?profile=RESIZE_710xPreparing to start the Heart Walk are (l-r) Brian Maciak, Lanelle Meidan, Patti Patrick, Troy Rice, Ava Parker, Darcy Davis, Gina Melby, Michele Jacobs and Hilda Gonzalez. Photo provided by Daniel Decius

By Christine Davis

The Palm Beach County Heart Walk last month at the Meyer Amphitheatre — which attracted more than 4,500 participants, including heart disease survivors and stroke survivors — raised more than $900,000 for research for the American Heart Association.
Michele Jacobs, from the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, was the top fundraising individual, and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County was the top fundraising company, said Heart Walk chair Gina Melby, the CEO of HCA Florida JFK Hospital.
Melby also announced the 2023 Heart Walk chair, Brian Maciak, president and chief operating officer of Big O Tires, and executive vice president and general counsel of TBC Corp.
Donations are still accepted at www.PalmBeachHeartWalk.org through Dec. 31.


10894831452?profile=RESIZE_710xThe prototype prosthetic hand being developed at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Photo provided

People with prosthetic hands may find it difficult to perform tasks like using a screwdriver or can opener. That’s because prosthetic hands have five individually actuated digits, but only one grasp function can be controlled at a time.
Aiming to empower amputees to fully control the dexterity of their artificial hands, researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science have received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
In the prototype they are developing, individual fingers can be controlled to accomplish more complicated tasks like the motion needed to turn a screwdriver. The technology includes a special skin sensor — an analytical device that measures biological or chemical reactions by generating signals — that can be trained by algorithms to sense the signals to control the hand.
Clinicians will interact with 10 study participants over the course of one year for muscle training via smartphone.


Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute executive director, received $5,000 from the Society for Neuroscience in a 2022 Science Educator Award at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego. An internationally renowned neuroscientist and leading expert in brain neurochemistry, pharmacology and molecular neuroscience, Blakely came to FAU in 2016 as the founding executive director for the university’s Neuroscience Research Institute.
Blakely is credited with launching the institute’s Ascend program (Advancing STEM: Community Engagement Through Neuroscience Discovery). Ascend at FAU addresses the shortage of middle and high school students studying science, technology, engineering and math in Palm Beach County.
Blakely is also credited for developing “Brainy Days,” FAU’s celebration of the neuroscience initiative, which supplements the recognition of national Brain Awareness Week during March.


Lincoln Mendez has been appointed to the newly created role of north region executive of Baptist Health South Florida to go with his job as Boca Raton Regional Hospital CEO. He will be responsible for driving Boca Regional and Bethesda hospitals’ growth across Palm Beach County, with a focus on expanding access to orthopedics, cardiac and vascular, cancer and neuroscience services.
Additionally, a search is underway for a new CEO for Baptist Health’s Bethesda Hospitals, who will succeed Nelson Lazo upon his retirement.


Healthgrades placed Delray Medical Center within the top 10% of hospitals nationally, giving it a “Stroke Care Excellence Award” for the 14th year in a row.
“Consumers can feel confident that recipients of the 2023 award have demonstrated their ability to deliver consistently exceptional outcomes,” said Dr. Brad Bowman, chief medical officer and head of data science at Healthgrades.
Delray Medical Center also achieved five-star ratings for its treatments of heart failure, cranial neurosurgery, upper gastrointestinal surgeries, colorectal surgeries, sepsis and respiratory failure.


Caron Treatment Centers is expanding its services for substance-use-disorder treatment and recovery in Florida with a new medical facility and additional programming.
Caron Florida, which offers the programs at Caron Renaissance in Boca Raton and Ocean Drive in Delray Beach, recently added a stand-alone mental health program.
In early 2023, Caron Florida will add detox services and an older adult program when it opens its new 10,000-square-foot medical facility, the Keele Medical Center, at 4575 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach.
The center is slated to open to patients in mid-January. For more information, visit www.caron.org.


10894829870?profile=RESIZE_710xFrom left, Carrie Browne, Dr. Christine Koehn and Lauren Zuchman at the Palm Health Foundation panel discussion. Photo provided by Coastal Click Photography

The Palm Health Foundation hosted a “Celebrating Human Flourishing Through the NeuroArts” panel discussion in October at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, in Jupiter.
Speakers focused on the scientific study of neuro-arts, showing how artistic experiences lead to improved physical and mental health, disease prevention and enhanced brain development in children.
The discussion was moderated by Palm Health Foundation’s director of stewardship and strategic partnerships, Carrie Browne.
Panelists included: Nicole Baganz, Ph.D., director of community engagement and programming, FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute; Cindy Surman, program director of BBT4PD (dance for those living with Parkinson’s) at Boca Ballet Theatre; McLean Bolton, Ph.D., research group leader, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience; and Kenya Madison, Ed.S., senior director for Healthier Delray Beach, a Palm Health Foundation Healthier Together initiative. 

Send health news to Christine Davis at cdavis9797@gmail.com.

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