CEP up for national award

The Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership has been named a finalist for the 2017 Chamber of the Year award, presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Finalists will be celebrated July 18 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, business development and quality of life.

Chambers competing for the award must qualify by participating in a vigorous, multi-stage process and meet minimum thresholds in at least three of five key performance areas, including net revenue, net assets, membership account retention and membership dollar retention.

Ocala Health names COO

Ocala Health has announced the appointment of Gabe Bullaro to Chief Operating Officer for the healthcare system that includes Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital and Summerfield ER. Bullaro will provide administrative direction for the organization’s $110 million expansion projects and the operation of ancillary departments.

Bullaro joins Ocala Health from Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in California. While there, he executed many initiatives resulting in program and hospital growth, operational enhancements and an improved patient experience. Bullaro also worked in operational roles at Intuitive Surgical, which makes and operates the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, and partnered with physicians and hospitals to build strong robotic surgical programs. He served as operations officer for the U.S. Navy helicopter squadron flying relief missions in response to Hurricane Katrina and a tsunami in Indonesia. He earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University and master's in business administration from Duke University. 

STEM focus at Youth Energy Academy

SECO Energy, Duke Energy and Ocala Electric Utilities recently partnered with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, the College of Central Florida and Lockheed Martin to bring the third annual Youth Energy Academy to 60 students in Marion County.

During the two-day event, students explored high-skill, high-wage careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They learned how electricity is delivered to homes and businesses, participated in hands-on demonstrations and discovered the soft skills needed for a successful career.

Several years ago, the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy incorporated a Youth Energy Academy model focused on, but not limited to, minority students in St. Petersburg, Orlando and Ocala. The association's goal is to proactively gain the interest of an emerging workforce by educating young people about opportunities in the energy arena.

Munroe Medical Group launches program

New and existing patients of Munroe Medical Group now have any-time access to make an appointment online with select medical providers. Some appointments are available for a same-day or next-day visit.

The group, affiliated with Munroe Regional Medical Center, employs nearly 30 providers in nine specialties at 11 locations throughout the county.

Individuals now have the ability 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to check availability and schedule an appointment using a mobile device or a PC through www.munroemedicalgroup.com. The free online service also helps patients gain access to appointments that open up in a doctor’s calendar due to last-minute cancellations and reschedules.

Providers bookable via the online service include: Ali Nasser, MD — Cardiology; Amanda Burns, MD — General Surgery; Jennifer Toro-Galarza, MD and Fredrick Yutani, MD — both Internal Medicine; Tamara Lopez-Diaz, MD, Michelle Hornstein, DO, and Axel Martinez, MD – all Family Medicine; and Debra Brakefield, CNM — Nurse Practitioner.