Pride Center’s Coffee & Conversations

Florida Medical Center was the presenting sponsor of Tuesday’s coffee & conversations program at Pride Center.

Miguel Fernandez, director of Florida Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services unit, gave tidbits on his 27-year career in health care. Fernandez recently returned to Florida from Georgia where he worked in juvenile justice for 16 years.

Florida Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services unit is located on its North Shore Campus, 5000 West Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. It is a 47-bed facility that offers electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) to treat people suffering from severe depression, mania or catatonia.

“I want to make sure that when people come to our psychiatric unit they are treated with dignity and respect, that we address their psychiatric needs and we return them back to the community in proper placement,” Fernandez said.

Before Fernandez spoke, John Baumgartner informed the audience of a new “Life” program starting Aug. 22. The 18-week cycle meets Tuesday nights and is designed for HIV positive men who have sex with men. The program is proven to increase T-cell counts, Baumgartner said.

“It gives guys a boost,” Baumgartner said.

Other speakers included Julia Schwartzman with the “Tools for School” drive, Patti Lynn, community liaison for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Lee Lawson of American Veterans for Equal Rights, James Senior of Edward Jones Investments, AARP’s Betty from the Bronx, Pride Center CEO Robert Boo and Pride Center Development Director Roger Roa.

More than 125 people signed in for this week’s coffee and conversations.

For more information, contact Bruce Williams, Senior Services Coordinator at 954-463-9005, ext. 109.


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