Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-October 21, 2015

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Health care startup to hire 500; Denham Oaks is celebrating 20 years; Shelter pets wait patiently for local families

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-October 21, 2015

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    O C T O B E R 2 1 , 2 0 1 5

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    CareSync, a Wesley Chapel-based healthmanagement company, is in the midst of agrowth spurt with new investments of $18million, and a plan to hire 500 new employ-ees over the next 18 months.

    About 100 jobs will be in marketing,sales and development. But, most will be forpeople with medical backgrounds, includingregistered nurses, certified nursing assistantsand clinicians. Some positions also might goto people who have the drive and desire tobecome a nurse.

    The start-up company launched nearlyfour years ago as a software and serviceprovider for chronic disease management.There currently are nearly 120 employees.

    The companys users include health careproviders, caretakers and individual patients

    who want to collect, organize and storemedical data for quick, easy reference.

    The idea is to put everyone involved in a

    patients care on the same page, sharing anentire medical history.

    We are all about creating care plans,said Travis Bond, the companys founder andchief executive officer.

    The company offers options on how toaccomplish that task.

    A free app is available for people whowant a do-it-yourself approach.

    However, the company also offers arange of fee-based services where re-trieval specialists collect, enter andorganize medical information from multi-ple providers. Physicians, nurses and

    DenhamOaks iscelebrating20 yearsBy B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    The year was 1995.Bill Clinton was in the White House.Forrest Gump won Best Picture.The San Francisco 49ers won the Super

    Bowl.And, Denham Oaks Elementary School

    opened in Lutz.The school, which will celebrate its 20th

    birthday on Oct. 30, has been the home ofthousands of school children over the years and has had six staff members since thebeginning.

    They stayed because they felt a sense ofconnection with the school, the staff andthe students.

    Its a sense of family. I am comfortablehere, said Kristen Eales, a first-grade teacher,who spent most of her time at the schoolteaching kindergarten.

    It feels like home to me, added SusanGreen, who is now the schools bookkeep-er.

    I definitely feel a sense of ownership.We put the desks together here. We saw thewalls. We came in construction. You alwaysjust felt like it was your school, saidShannon Presson, who teaches fourthgrade.

    Mary Jane Kranendonk, the schoolsphysical education teacher, marvels at thebeauty of the schools setting.

    Its a natures paradise out there. Wevehad owls, hawks, she said.

    Cathy Cohen, the schools custodian, livesin Carpenters Run. She enjoys living near

    enough she can walk or bicycle to school.I wouldnt want to go anywhere else,

    said Karen Anair, who teaches children whoare deaf or hard of hearing.

    All of those staff members, exceptGreen, have had their children educated atDenham Oaks Elementary, at 1422 OakGrove Blvd., in Lutz.

    Having my children go to school here, Ialways knew they were going to get phe-nomenal teachers, Kranendonk said.

    The elementary school began classes atits Lutz campus on Oct. 31, 1995.

    Denham Oaks began the school year ondouble sessions with Lake MyrtleElementary because of issues between theschool and Mad Hatter Utilities.

    The opening day at the new campus wasparticularly memorable for Cohens twinsons, who were 8 and were going into thirdgrade.

    By Michael Murillommurillo@lakerlutznews.com

    Theyre very busy on Dogpatch Lane.Theyre so busy, that they have more

    business than they can handle.If this were a regular company, it would

    be great news.But at Pasco County Animal Services, it

    means dogs are coming in faster thantheyre being adopted.

    Thats not a good situation for the staff,the volunteers or the animals.

    Were beyond capacity. We have dogs inlittle crates next door, said shelter supervi-sor Lise Meinke. The facility is designed tohold no more than 100 dogs, but it has 150now and more are coming in every day.

    The shelter is desperate to find homesfor its current residents.

    When dogs get adopted, Meinke said itsnot always happily ever after.

    People bring dogs back, sometimes justdays later, for reasons ranging from a disap-proving landlord to excessive barking orchewing.

    While she loves seeing the dogs leave tonew homes, its heartbreaking to see thembrought back.

    When people adopt a dog, they need torealize that there is an adjustment period,Meinke said.

    The dog from a shelter doesnt becomea housebroken, trained dog overnight. Ittakes a lot of time and patience, and its acommitment. You need to work with thatanimal, she said.

    The county wants to see more peoplework with shelter animals, so theyre reduc-ing some of the costs associated with pet

    adoption. Through the month of October,which is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, adopt-ing a large dog (over 25 pounds and morethan six months old) will cost just $15. Thefee includes having them spayed orneutered, vaccines and a microchip.

    Meinke hopes the promotion will helpincrease adoptions and help the facilitymaintain its no-kill philosophy.

    No shelter is truly 100 percent no-kill, be-

    cause some animals have medical or severebehavior issues, Meinke said. But, PascoCounty Animal Services strives to maintain a90 percent save percentage or better. Lastyear the shelters save rate was 94 percent.

    If adoptions pick up, it will help reducesome of the overcrowding. But nobody ex-pects it to go away completely.

    IMAGES ARE COURTESY OF CARESYNCTravis Bond is the founder of CareSync andits chief executive officer.

    Health care startup to hire 500

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOLise Meinke runs the shelter. She relies on her staff and dedicated volunteers to help keepthe animals clean and safe. Shes been known to take some of the shelters dogs home withher, when the animals require extra attention.

    Shelter pets wait patiently for local families

    See STARTUP, page13A

    See SHELTER, page13A

    B.C. MANION/STAFF PHOTOFrom left, Karen Anair, Kristen Eales, Shannon Presson, Mary Jane Kranendonk, CathyCohen and Susan Green have been on Denham Oaks Elementary Schools staff since itopened 20 years ago. The school plans a pep rally and birthday cake on Oct. 30 to celebrate.

    COURTESY OF MEAGAN RATHMANThe yearbook cover from Denham Oaks firstyear, 1995.See DENHAM OAKS, page13A

    BINSIDE,

    PAGE 1BNoah (Royak) the Jugglerdemonstrates his firebreathing skills at theSan Antonio RattlesnakeFestival & Race.

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    2A www.LakerLutzNews.comOctober 21, 2015

    The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman hon-ored Dani Greif, a chalk artist from Lutz, andJulie Graden, a chalk artist from Land OLakes, on Sept. 27, according to a news re-lease.

    The artists were honored at the Tampa BayBusinesses for Culture & the Arts Chalk Walk,

    which was part of the St. Petersburg Festival.Greif received the Peoples Choice

    Award and $261 for her piece showingSalvador Dali lounging on St. Pete Beach.

    For the Peoples Choice Award, attendeespurchased tickets to vote for their favoriteart or artists.

    At age 14. Grief is already an experi-enced chalk artist, chalking at events for

    several years, including the GasparillaFestival of the Arts and Suncoast Arts Fest,the release said.

    Graden received the Mayors Award forher depiction of a classic St. Pete postcard.She has been creating chalk artworks since2003. She is president of the FloridaChalk Artists Association and certified bythe organization as a maestro street painter.

    Ten artists following the theme ofIconic St. Petersburg transformed the side-walks along South Straub Park in downtownSt. Pete during the TBBCA Chalk Walk atSPF15. TBBCA has hosted Chalk Walks annu-all