Hodges University Selects Dr. David B. Borofsky as Interim President

Dr David B BorofskyHodges University, a private, non-profit institution of higher learning offering 25 undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs of study, has named Dr. David B. Borofsky as interim president. The appointment has been approved by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Borofsky has more than 30 years of experience in leadership positions with public universities, community colleges and for-profit institutions nationwide. He succeeds Dr. Jeanette Brock who retired from the institution after more than two decades of service with Hodges.
“Dr. Borofsky brings the perfect mix of institutional leadership, fundraising and educational experience to the position at Hodges University,” said John Agnelli, Chairman of the Board for Hodges University. “We are especially pleased that he was able to come onboard immediately, which ensured a seamless transition of leadership.”

Dr. Borofsky most recently served as president of Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. He originally was appointed as the institution’s interim president in February 2012 and ascended to the role of permanent president just four months later as a result of widespread campus and community support. During his tenure at Dakota State, Dr. Borofsky led the creation of a five-year strategic plan that included significant enrollment management goals. In the first year of this plan, student retention increased 9.4 percent.

Also during his time at Dakota State, Dr. Borofsky created and gained approval from the Board of Regents for three new graduate programs, including the nation’s first Doctorate of Science in Cyber Security. He also had a successful fundraising experience, including securing $7 million to help fund a campus expansion at Dakota State.

The donations of $5 million and $2 million were the two largest contributions in the university’s history. “Dakota State is similar to Hodges University in many ways,” said Keith Arnold, Vice Chairman of the Board for Hodges University.

“The institution has approximately the same number of graduate and undergraduate students with a unique technology mission. In fact, nearly half of its programs are available fully online. Dakota State also has a significant number of non-traditional, adult learners much like Hodges University. ”

Prior to serving as president of Dakota State, Dr. Borofsky was provost at Westwood College in Denver, Colorado. Before that, he served as president of Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington.

Dr. Borofsky also previously served as vice president, District Office for Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and as its campus dean for both the Timberline Campus in Leadville, Colorado and Vail/Eagle Campus in Vail, Colorado.

Dr. Borofsky earned his Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. He also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.

Changing Lives One Cadet at a Time

by Kelly Merritt

JROTC studentsIt really is a great program. I just wish my high school had it at the time when I was young.”

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Garrah may not have had Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps ( JROTC) at his school, but he devotes his time to making sure Collier County students have the opportunity to participate in this program of excellence.

He works with Sergeant First Class Vince Phillips, Army Instructor, at Naples High School while Lieutenant Colonel Garrah is the Senior Army Instructor. Together the dynamic duo manages the program that helps students become their best selves, both academically,  personally and professionally.

“JROTC is a regular high school elective class which means students don’t have to take it, however, many do because it offers them challenges, experiences, growth and fun unlike any other class in high school,” says Lieutenant Colonel Garrah of the leadership class. “The curriculum includes classes in leadership, citizenship, American history, briefing skills, personal finance, physical fitness, team building,
drill and ceremonies, values, career exploration and service learning.”

JROTC extracurricular clubs meet afterschool and on weekends. Cadets can participate in Drill Team, Rifle Team, Color Guard, Drum Corps, Raiders Team, Leadership Team and Academic Team. One of the most popular classes is Cyber Patriot, that teaches cyber security.



“The great thing about JROTC is there is something for everyone and we also volunteer at a wide variety of events and activities,” he says.

JROTC is brimming with success stories. Former cadet Djeunie Saint Louis is graduating from U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Ms. Saint Louis is one of Lieutenant Colonel Garrah’s former cadets from Golden Gate High School and a first generation American. He is attending the graduation and is giving her the commissioning oath in uniform.

“She will make a great military officer,” says Lieutenant Colonel Garrah, who also recalls another cadet whose life was changed by JROTC: Rebecca Dolce, a first generation American with family ties to Haiti. “She was 14 years old just beginning high school, didn’t know how to handle pressure and had some familial issues.”

Djeunie Saint Louis

Djeunie Saint Louis

Over the years Ms. Dolce also developed into a good leader and he selected her to be the Battalion Commander when she was a senior. Later, Lieutenant Colonel Garrah helped Ms. Dolce attain acceptance into the Naval Academy and she is now a Naval Officer serving on a Surface Warfare Ship.

“She went with us on one of our JROTC trips to Washington and had tears in her eyes when she saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and understood what those sacrifices meant of all of the names on the memorial,” he says. “It is very gratifying that I was able to attend Rebecca’s Naval Academy graduation this past May and I am proud of what these kids do for our community and our nation.”

Lieutenant Colonel Garrah is quick to share credit for successes like Ms. Dolce and Ms. Saint Louis with his staff and parents. “It really is a team effort with Sergeant Phillips, other adults and cadets and we have an active Booster Club of parents,” he says.

Kim Burns was the Booster Club president at Golden Gate High School when Lieutenant Colonel Garrah was based there. Burns continues to help with the program at Naples High School. He is appreciative of their support.

“My son graduated from Golden Gate High School in 2012 and when he came to GGHS in January his freshman year, the first thing that he wanted to check out was the JROTC program and meet the instructor,” she says. “David has always had a respect and appreciation for the military and he wanted to be a part of JROTC.”

Paul Garrah and Rebecca Dolce

Paul Garrah and Rebecca Dolce

Burns says before JROTC, David was a quiet kid, but being part of the cadets within school helped him to open up as a person.

“I asked David what JROTC did for him and he said JROTC taught him leadership and life skills, allowed him opportunities to show respect and appreciation to the military,” says Burns. “David has joined the Navy and will leave in March for boot camp.”

As a parent, Burns feels the JROTC program has had a positive impact on her son.

“He has become a wonderful young man that we love and are very proud of,” says Burns who along with fellow Booster Club parents supports JROTC cadets and instructors, providing food, transportation, chaperones, fundraising and just being there to cheer on the cadets. “It doesn’t matter what school your child attends – you are proud of all the cadets and you cheer for all of them to succeed in life.”

Rebecca Dolce

Rebecca Dolce

Lieutenant Colonel Garrah moved to Naples in 2004 after retiring from the army. He was hired for the JROTC program at Golden Gate High School and was there for nine years before moving over to Naples High School where he is in his second year of teaching JROTC there.

Lieutenant Colonel Garrah was the focus of Life in Naples Magazine Sandra Lee Buxton’s Winners Circle last month for the work he does with the JROTC.

“We have about 160 cadets in our program and 40 percent are females and our battalion commander is a female and doing a great job,” he says. “Approximately half of the cadets who stay in JROTC until they are seniors join the military after high school or eventually join.”

The leadership and team building skills JROTC students learn, help them in whatever they decide to do. Cadets can also earn ROTC or academy scholarships.

For more information, call 239.377.2226 or visit www.naplesjrotc.com.

SMTP…USB…OLED…What does that mean?

A look at common abbreviations for today’s technology

If you use a computer or handheld device, there is probably a time when you were stumped by a term that did not make sense. Many of these abbreviations are used all the time, yet many of us could not identify their real names. I will attempt to demystify some of these enigmas.


This wireless technology enables communication between Bluetooth compatible devices. It is used for short-range connections between desktop and laptop computers, ‘smart’ phones, digital cameras, scanners and printers. Bluetooth signals have just a 30-foot range, which somewhat limits its use but also makes it less susceptible to interference or infiltration.

Blu-RayBlu-Ray (BD)

With their high storage capacity, Blu-ray discs can hold and play back large quantities of high-definition video and audio, as well as photos, data and other digital content. Blu-ray players can play traditional DVD’s, but traditional DVD players cannot play Blu-ray discs. A  single-layer Blu-ray disc, which is the same size as a DVD, can hold up to 27 GB of data — that’s more than two hours of highdefinition
video or about 13 hours of standard video. By comparison, a standard DVD can hold just 4.7 GB (gigabytes) of information.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A network server uses this protocol to dynamically assign IP addresses to networked computers. The DHCP server waits for a computer to connect to it, then assigns it an IP address from a master list stored on the server. DHCP helps in setting up large networks, since IP addresses don’t have to be manually assigned to each computer on the network. Because of the
efficient automation used with DHCP, it is the most commonly used networking protocol.


Domain Name System is the process for naming computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet. An easy way to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer names into IP addresses. For example, typing in will take you to Google’s home page, but typing Google is easier to remember than that string of numbers!


High-Definition Multimedia Interface. This is a compact audio/video interface for transferring both audio and video files in an alldigital format. HDMI ports are found on TV’s, computers, video games, A/V Receivers and many other audio and video devices. The standard  HDMI cable can carry standard, enhanced, high definition, and 3D video signals; up to 8 channels of digital audio and an Ethernet data connection. All in a small cable, replacing the white, red, yellow, green and blue cables that were used to connect audio and video equipment in the past.


Hyper-Text Markup Language. This is the language that Web pages are written in. Also known as hypertext documents, Web pages must
conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly in a Web browser.


Internet Message Access Protocol and is pronounced “eye-map.” Most e-mail client programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Mac OS X Mail allow you to specify what kind of protocol your mail server uses. If you use your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) mail service, you should check with them to find out if their mail server uses IMAP or POP3 mail. It is a method of accessing e-mail messages on a server without having to download them to your local hard drive. The advantage of using an IMAP mail server is that users can check their mail from multiple computers and always see the same messages. Most webmail systems are IMAP based, which allows people to access to both their sent and received messages no matter what computer they use to check their mail.


Internet Protocol. (See TCP/IP above) People often use the term “IP” when referring to an IP address, which is OK. The two terms are not necessarily synonymous, but when you ask what somebody’s IP is, most people will know that you are referring to their IP address.


OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diodes, are an offshoot of existing conventional LED technology (see LED above). OLED technology takes this same idea as LED, but flattens it. Rather than an array of individual LED bulbs, OLED uses a series of thin, light emitting films. This allows the OLED array to produce brighter light while using less energy than existing LCD/LED technologies. And since these light-emitting films are composed of hydrocarbon chains, rather than semiconductors laden with heavy metals like gallium arsenide phosphide, they get that “O” for “organic” in their name.


Light-Emitting Diode. Early LEDs produced only red light, but modern LEDs can produce several different colors, including red, green, and blue (RGB) light. Since LEDs are energy efficient and have a long lifespan (often more than 100,000 hours), they have begun to replace traditional light bulbs in many uses. You can typically identify LEDs by a series of small lights that make up a larger display. For example, if you look closely at a traffic light, you can tell it is an LED light if each circle is comprised of a cluster of dots. The energy-efficient nature of LEDs allows them to produce brighter light than other types of bulbs while using less energy. For this reason, traditional flat screen LCD displays have started to be replaced by LED displays, which use LEDs for the backlight.


LTE, an abbreviation for Long-Term Evolution, commonly marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and other wireless devices.


Post Office Protocol. POP3, sometimes referred to as just “POP,” is a simple, standardized method of delivering e-mail messages. When a user connects to the mail server to retrieve his mail, the messages are downloaded from mail server to the user’s hard disk. When you configure your e-mail client, such as Outlook (Windows) or Mail (Mac OS X), you will need to enter the type of mail server your e-mail account uses. IMAP mail servers are a bit more complex than POP3 servers and allow e-mail messages to be read and stored on the server. You may have to check with your ISP or whoever manages your mail account to find out what settings to use for configuring your mail program. If your e-mail account is on a POP3 mail server, you will need to enter the correct POP3 server address in your e-mail program settings. Of course, to successfully retrieve your mail, you will have to enter a valid username and password too.


RDF Site Summary, but is commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication. RSS is method of providing website content such as news stories or software updates in a standard format. Websites such as The Wall Street Journal and nytimes.com provide news stories to
various RSS feeds (or lists) that distribute them over the Internet.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Your e-mail client (such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or Mac OS X Mail) uses SMTP to send a message to the mail server, and the mail server uses SMTP to relay that message to the correct receiving mail server. When configuring the settings for
your e-mail program, you usually need to set the SMTP server to your local Internet Service Provider’s SMTP settings (i.e. “smtp.yourisp.
com”). However, the incoming mail server (IMAP or POP3) should be set to your mail account’s server (i.e. hotmail.com), which may be
different than the SMTP server.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. These two protocols were developed by the U.S. military in the early days of the Internet. The purpose was to allow computers to communicate over long distance networks, transferring information in ‘packets’ of data. The TCP part has to do with the verifying delivery of the packets. The IP part refers to the moving of data packets between devices on a network. TCP/IP has since then become the foundation of the Internet. Therefore, TCP/IP software is built into all major operating
systems, such as Unix, Windows, and the Mac OS.


Universal Serial Bus. It can be used to connect keyboards, mice, game controllers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and removable media drives, just to name a few. With the help of a few USB hubs, you can connect up to 127 peripherals to a single USB port and use them all at once (let me know if you have tried this!). Though USB was introduced in 1997, the technology didn’t really take off until the introduction of Apple Computer’s iMac (in late 1998) which exclusively used USB ports. The newest version of USB is 3.0, which is much faster than USB 2.0.


4G, short for fourth generation, is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G and preceding 5G. A 4G system, in addition to the usual voice and other services of 3G, provides faster mobile broadband Internet access, for example to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.


4K has become the common name for ultra high definition television (UHDTV), although its resolution is only 3840 x 2160, a little less
than the 4000 pixels required for true 4K resolution.


5K monitors display images at a resolution of 5120 x 2880. This is about 60 percent more pixels than 4K displays, which have a resolution
of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Jeff Bohr
Naples Mac Help
239.595.0482 | jeff@jeffbohr.com

Guadalupe Fire and Ice



The Guadalupe Center in Immokalee is a symbol of hope.

For more than 30 years, the nonprofit organization has guided pre-kindergarten through high school-aged students toward a better future, one focused on education as an answer to breaking the cycle of poverty.

The success stories – 79 college graduates, thousands of kindergarten-ready students and first-generation children speaking English – are many.

In 2014, the center served 1,065 children through its three core programs, graduating nearly 100 from the Early Childhood Education Center; expanding its after-school mentoring to four Immokalee elementary schools and 650 children; and helping 14 college-bound high school seniors in its Tutor Corps Program secure $1.1 million in scholarship and financial aid, including up to $16,000 they each earned tutoring younger students. To date, 101 Tutor Corps graduates are attending college, 70 students are enrolled in the program and a record 27 seniors are among the class of 2015.

Tutor Corps Graduates

Tutor Corps Graduates

With costs ranging from $1,700 to $9,500 per pupil, Guadalupe Center relies on the generosity of its many community benefactors who provide precious funding and volunteer hours.

Also supporting the center is its annual signature fundraising event, which raised $780,000 during the 2014 sold out soiree. Organizers of January 14’s “Fire & Ice: Igniting the Flame of Learning” at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, are hoping patrons will once again pledge to help more children and make on the spot scholarship matches for Tutor Corps seniors.

“We are proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved over the past 30 years, but we are far from finished,” said Roger Vasey, development committee chairman. The needs are great. Parents work hard but live below the poverty line. Currently, 350 children are on the Early Childhood Education Program’s waiting list, the center has identified a need for additional after school elementary enrichment sites, and Tutor Corps receives more student applications than the program can accommodate.

Tutor Corps students know all too well the chance they’ve been given, the difference their participation makes in their lives and the students they tutor.

“A favorite moment for me at the center was the day that I graduated college and came back as a teacher,” said Esmeralda Sanchez. “Seeing that moment when these children discover they’re capable of doing something that they thought they couldn’t do before is indescribable.”

Each day, employees, tutors like Sanchez, and volunteer Tutor Corps mentors David and Rebecca Shopay see the excitement for learning flickering in the eyes of a child.

Former teachers and first generation college graduates in their families, the Shopays have mentored several students since volunteering in 2006.

Rebecca recalls a Dartmouth graduate sharing her experience being so far from home.

“She was enormously homesick those first few years away from her family, so she tacked a picture of her mother out in a field picking
tomatoes to her bulletin board,” Rebecca said. “It helped her stick to her goal.”

“These kids have found their way into our life and our hearts, and we have been richer for the experience,” added David. Attendees of Fire & Ice, featuring live music, exciting auction lots and a fantastical world of flames and frost, will have an opportunity to meet the Tutor Corps class of 2015. They’ll also be able to contribute to students’ college funding during “Scholarship Raises.”

The event, from 6 to 10 p.m., also features auction prizes that will whisk winners to New York City, Napa Valley and France or allow them to host the party of the year. William Boyajian of Port Royal Jewelers in Naples, has created the diamond, sapphire and platinum Orchid Bee ring inspired by a Tutor Corps student essay and photo.

For more information about Guadalupe Center and Fire & Ice, visit www.GuadalupeCenter.org or call 239.657.7124.

Be a Big Wig to Support the Children’s Museum

Big Wig1It will be a hair raising experience for this year’s Night at the Museum fundraiser benefitting the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon). The adults only event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at the 38,000 square foot museum.

The theme for this year is “Big Wigs.” Guests are invited to doff a hairy cap – long or short, tame or wild, fun or fancy – enjoy live entertainment, food, drinks, dancing and a live auction along with some of the museum’s most exciting new interactive programming.

Big Wig 2“How much fun it will be to see everyone in crazy wigs,” said Vicki Tracy, director of The Arlington and this year’s Night at the Museum
chair. “This is going to be one of the most memorable events of the season.

Christopher Lombardo, an attorney and chairman of the museum’s board, said, “Any chance I have to wear a wig, I’m taking it.”

Hors d’oeuvres from local caterers will be served throughout the museum. In a high-end tent outside, guests will enjoy a wide variety of everything from meat to fish offered by unique food trucks coming from Miami just for the evening. A dessert extravaganza will also be

Big Wig 3Nationally acclaimed musicians The Chase Band from North Carolina will keep people on the dance floor in the entertainment tent, while a selection of local artists will perform throughout the museum as well.

Exciting items already acquired for the trendy live auction include a trip to Greece and a custom piece of jewelry from Los Angeles based designer Arun Bohra and his Arunashi Fine Jewelry Collection in partnership with Marissa Collections.

Guests can also see the newest exhibits and explore the 14 interactive galleries with custom programs just for that night.

Big Wig 4Tickets are $400 per person and are available now at www.cmon.org, on the “Big Wigs” Facebook page, or by calling Kim Scardino at
239.260.1714. Sponsorships are also available.

In support of Big Wigs, Marissa Collections will donate a percentage of all sales from the Arunashi Fine Jewelry Collection now through the Feb. 7 gala date.

For more information about Big Wigs, visit www.cmon.org.

Age-related Macular Degeneration – What you need to know

Bascomby Dr. Jaclyn Kovach

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among Americans age 50 and older and likely affects over 30,000 individuals in Naples. This condition causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina, which is a tissue that lines the inside back portion of the eye similar to wallpaper.

The macula is composed of millions of light-sensing cells that provide sharp, central vision. It is the most sensitive part of the retina, which turns light into electrical signals that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are translated into the images we see.

As AMD progresses, a blurred area near the center of vision is a common symptom. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger and blank spots may develop in the central vision. AMD by itself does not lead to total blindness, however, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to drive, read, and write.

Age is a major risk factor for AMD. The disease is most likely to occur after age 55. Other risk factors for AMD include smoking, Caucasian race, positive family history for the condition, and even elevated blood pressure and cholesterol may play a role.

AMD is most often diagnosed prior to the development of visual symptoms, when a retina specialist performs a dilated eye exam and examines the person’s macula. This is why it is important for everyone over age 55 to have yearly, dilated eye examinations. In addition to checking visual acuity during the eye exam, the ophthalmologist will perform an Amsler grid evaluation. Changes in central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy, a sign of AMD. An optical coherence tomography test will also be performed during the visit. This quick and painless imaging modality projects light waves onto the macula, creating an image of your macula at a microscopic level. This is one of the most sensitive ways of diagnosing AMD in its earliest form.

During the eye exam, the retina specialist will look for drusen, which are yellow deposits under the macula. Most people develop some very small drusen as a normal part of aging. The presence of medium drusen indicates the first stage of AMD, known as early AMD. People with early AMD typically do not have vision loss. Another sign of AMD is the appearance of pigmentary changes under the retina. The development of these changes and the presence of large drusen are indicative of progression to intermediate AMD. Most people with intermediate AMD will not experience any symptoms.

People with late AMD suffer vision loss from two causes: damage to the light-sensing cells of the retina, called geographic atrophy and/or the
development of wet AMD. In wet AMD (also called neovascular AMD), abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These vessels leak fluid and blood, which leads to swelling and damage of the light-sensing cells in the macula. The damage may be rapid and severe, unlike the more gradual course of geographic atrophy. It is possible to have both geographic atrophy and neovascular AMD in the same eye, and either condition can appear first. It is also possible to have one eye with a later stage of AMD than the other.

Right now, there is no cure for AMD. Researchers have found links Age-related between AMD and some lifestyle choices. You might be
able to reduce your risk of AMD or slow its progression by avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish.

Researchers at the National Eye Institute tested whether taking nutritional supplements could protect against AMD in the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2). They found that daily intake of certain high-dose vitamins and minerals can slow the progression of the disease. People with a diagnosis of AMD should take the following clinically-proven vitamin supplementation regimen which is offered over-thecounter by several companies (Bausch & Lomb, Alcon).

  • 500 mg of vitamin C
  • 400 IU of vitamin E
  • 80 mg zinc
  • 2 mg copper
  • 10 mg lutein
  • 2 mg zeaxanthin

This vitamin regimen is currently the only FDA approved treatment for non-neovascular AMD.

Almost 10 years ago, treatment of wet AMD (neovascular AMD) by medications injected into the eye became standard of care. With neovascular AMD, abnormally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are secreted in the eyes. VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of new abnormal blood vessels. Anti-VEGF injection therapy blocks this growth. Multiple monthly injections are usually required. Before each injection, the eye is numbed and cleaned with antiseptics. A few different anti-VEGF drugs are available, including bevacizumab (Avastin), ranibizumab (Lucentis), and aflibercept (Eylea). They vary in cost and in how often they need to be injected, so you may wish to discuss these issues with your retina specialist. It is important to remember that even though these therapies increase the chance of vision preservation, they are not a cure for wet AMD.

Age-related macular degeneration is a common and potentially devastating condition. The only way to decrease the risk of developing AMD is to lead a healthy lifestyle. The best way to maximize visual potential with the condition is to get regular eye exams and treatment, as needed, and to visit your retina specialist if you notice any sudden changes in your vision or on your Amsler grid.

Is it heartburn or is it something more sinister?

The Story of Barrett’s Esophagus


Susan Liberski MD

by Susan Liberski, MD

Heartburn symptoms are very common. Just walk down the aisle of your local grocery or discount store and you’ll see shelves of over the counter (OTC) medications for heartburn and acid indigestion. You probably know the feeling, burning in the chest, discomfort in the upper abdomen, acid taste in the throat. These symptoms can happen after eating late at night or having one too many glasses of holiday cheer at the last cocktail party. Intermittent heartburn, easily relived by OTC agents usually isn’t a health risk or long term problem. However if these symptoms happen frequently, perhaps the problem isn’t heartburn but Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

GERD is also a common condition. It is estimated that about one third of the adult population in the USA suffers from GERD. The disease is characterized by frequent heartburn (one or more times a week) that happens because of inappropriate relaxation of the muscle that  separates the esophagus from the stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Our stomachs are designed to produce acid in response to eating to help our food digest. If the LES stays open while the stomach is producing acid, we get the symptoms of GERD.

Lifestyle choices which can make GERD worse include obesity, eating late at night, the use of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, overly spicy or acidic foods and smoking. Structural changes in the body such as a hiatal hernia (where part of the stomach sits above the diaphragm) or pregnancy can also make GERD symptoms worse. There are also atypical GERD symptoms which include chronic laryngitis, chronic cough and asthma; all a part of the disease called LPR (laryngeal pharyngeal reflux) and these patients may not even have typical heartburn at all.

Common treatments for GERD include lifestyle changes and use of agents such as antacids, histamine receptor antagonists (the H2 Blockerscimetidine, ranitidine and famotidine) or more potent medications like the proton pump inhibitors (PPI- omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole and dexlansoprazole). People who suffer from frequent heartburn and GERD may seek the advice of a gastroenterologist to know which treatment, length of treatment and what further testing is needed to make the patient more comfortable as well as be sure there are no other serious consequences.

Barrett’s esophagus is one of the most serious complications of GERD and can develop in 5-10% of patients with GERD. Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition where the cells lining the esophagus (squamous epithelium) are replaced with cells that look similar to cells in the lining of the small intestine (columnar epithelium).

Although we know that Barrett’s is seen in patients who have GERD, not all Barrett’s patients have frequent GERD symptoms and the development of Barrett’s is not necessarily based on the frequency or severity of symptoms. Barrett’s esophagus increases the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Most patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus have underlying Barrett’s tissue, however less than one percent of Barrett’s patients develop cancer. It has never been determined what triggers the cells in the esophagus to change into the Barrett’s mucosa and treating GERD with lifestyle changes may not prevent the development of Barrett’s. Obesity, especially belly fat,
alcohol consumption and smoking increase the risk of developing Barrett’s although some authorities also feel our genetics play a major role.


The most reliable way of diagnosing Barrett’s is by performinganEGD(esophagogastroduodenoscopy). This procedure is a lighted tube that is passed down through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The gastroenterologist who performs this examination can take biopsies of the esophagus to look for the precancerous cells. The cells, once examined by a pathologist, can determine if Barrett’s esophagus is present and if there is the presence of dysplasia. Dysplasia is the appearance of the cells that look even more abnormal and  more cancer like and can be classified as low and high grade. If no dysplasia is present on the biopsies, the treatment includes treatment of the GERD with PPI medications and surveillance EGD every 2-3 years. If the GERD symptoms are severe and don’t respond to PPI  medications, sometimes referral for antireflux surgery is indicated. Research has failed to show that surgical treatment of GERD in a Barrett’s patient prevents the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Once dysplasia is present, the game changes as this patient is at high risk to develop esophageal cancer. These patients are followed more aggressively with more frequent EGD, multiple biopsies to determine if the dysplasia is low grade, high grade or signs of carcinoma in situ.
Treatments of dysplasia have changed in the last few years. The use of radiofrequency ablation, the “HALO” procedure, has been FDA approved for the treatment of Barrett’s with dysplasia. An EGD is performed and an electrode is passed through the scope to ablate the  Barrett’s tissue. Frequent endoscopy, retreatment with the device and aggressive treatment of GERD is recommended to attempt to prevent adenocarcinoma. If it is determined on biopsy that a small cancer, carcinoma in situ, is present, an endoscopic ultrasound may be  recommended to determine the depth of the cancerous cells into the wall of the esophagus which determines further treatments.


Treatment of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is difficult. Combinations of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery for removal of some or the entire esophagus are may be indicated. This aggressive treatment has been shown to improve quality and length of life in  patients with esophageal cancer.

In summary, Heartburn and GERD are common. If you have frequent heartburn, talk to your doctor to see if referral to a gastroenterologist is warranted to determine if Barrett’s esophagus is present. It may save your life.

For more information, please contact Dr Liberski at sliberski@comcast.net.

Creating Community

 Jim Henderson President of William C. Huff Companies and national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions

Jim Henderson
President of William C. Huff Companies and national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions

by Jim Henderson
President of William C. Huff Companies and national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions

It’s important to feel at home and a part of the community whether you’re a seasonal or permanent resident. To help promote this concept, we recently held our fifth annual William C. Huff Companies Cross-Networking event and were amazed at the number of guests that had never met one another. The event was established to bring business leaders, community organizations and motivated individuals together so that their combined efforts may create a more balanced community.

When I attend a professional networking event, (i.e., Women’s Council of Realtors), it’s primarily realtors and associated businesses getting together and swapping referrals. And, when I attend a nonprofit function I find primarily people affected by a specific disease with their close friends and families. In both cases, the meetings are very limited to the specific cause or profession. I believe there are ‘cross connections’ between non-profits and professional network organizations that could be made.

By putting several non-profits together with different businesses at the same event, the human experience seems to be more beneficial for the networking time invested. Ultimately, local businesses get the recognition they deserve which places them in a better position to become a sponsor and in turn, the non-profits prosper with more resources.

Unlike a lot of corporate America, who publicize that doing good for the community is good for business, we don’t advertise our good deeds. Instead, we have a core value within our company that comes from being a part of various organizations on a personal level. I believe that one of things we are able to accomplish with our crossnetworking events is creating a stronger community. At William C. Huff Companies, ‘helping others’ is part of our corporate thinking; our staff feels like part of a family with groups such as Friends of Foster Children and Gulf Shore Playhouse.

To get acquainted with the various businesses, community organizations and local non-profits in Collier County, there are many resources such as the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce website and Visitor’s Center, and the Community Foundation which has a listing for every non-profit registered in Collier County. Creating a loving home, a thriving business and a healthy community take time, talent and  dedication. I urge you to learn more and get involved.


TIF Graduate Inspired to Succeed

by Steven Kissinger



Johnnie Gonzales became involved with The Immokalee Foundation when he was junior at Immokalee High School. As a participant in Future Builders of America – a workforce development and student leadership program now known as TIF’s Career Development and Readiness program – Gonzales took part in numerous educational, construction and community activities. The program not only enhanced his leadership and teamwork skills, but also taught him the value of giving back. His senior year, Gonzales was voted president of FBA.

“It was a really amazing experience,” Gonzales said. “As a group, we had over 1,600 volunteer hours. We built ramps for the disabled, helped build the foundation for a veteran’s memorial, and teamed with Habitat for Humanity to construct homes in Immokalee.”

Through TIF’s scholarship program, Gonzales was offered a four year, tuition free scholarship to any school in Florida after he graduated from IHS. Although he was uncertain of what he wanted to do, he decided to take advantage of his scholarship and began taking classes at Florida SouthWestern State College, while also working as a pizza delivery driver. In need of a higher income, he also worked at a farm in Immokalee owned by his aunt. By his second year of college – since he was not making school a priority and his grades suffered – he decided to drop out of school and focus on work.

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Gonzales began his days at 6:30 a.m., sometimes working until as late as 9 or 10 p.m. Although his aunt owned the farm, he wasn’t given special privileges; he started out picking and worked his way up. He gained experience and was able to put his leadership skills to work. He could see himself becoming content to stay at the farm. Fortunately though, he had continued his relationship with The Immokalee Foundation.

“I still spoke with Miss Elda [TIF Career Development Program Manager Elda Hernandez] regularly and volunteered for years at the Charity Classic Celebration,” said Gonzales. “She would call and find out how I was doing and encourage me.”

During one of those calls, Hernandez told him about a new partner, Arthrex. She wanted him to apply for their apprenticeship program. “It offered great benefits and a great pay scale, and I had the ability to move up,” Gonzales said. “I thought, ‘What do I have to lose?’ ”

TIF staff helped with his application and resume and prepared him for the interview process. Though Gonzales didn’t get the job, he wasn’t deterred. “It became something I really wanted,” he said. “I started thinking about the rest of my life, and I knew working on the farm wasn’t going to provide me with what I needed. After that, I applied for any job I could: janitor, machine operator and others. I never received any calls, but after a year, the apprenticeship application came up again. I had decided that if I didn’t get it, I was going to join the Army. I ended up getting the job, and I’ve been working at Arthrex ever since.”

Now two years into a four-year machinist program at Arthrex, Gonzales is grateful for every moment. “I have come to love and enjoy the field I’m in. The possibilities are endless,” he said. Gonzales credits his success to TIF. “If it weren’t for TIF, I’d probably still be working in the fields,” he said. “I look back on the random spur of events that led me to FBA and TIF and I feel completely blessed. They want you to succeed. The program managers stick with you and don’t let you go. I’m so thankful for that.”

He also praises his unofficial mentor, TIF board member Dick Stonesifer, for inspiring him to never give up. Stonesifer was an early advocate of the FBA program, and it was there the two met. “Mr. Stonesifer shared his story of early struggles with our FBA leadership,” Gonzales said. “He started on the production line cleaning parts at General Electric and eventually rose to the position of president and CEO of GE  Appliances. He had nothing, but through his hard work and desire to succeed, he made it. We were inspired.”

Stonesifer has continued inspiring him. The two stay in touch and Gonzales speaks fondly of his mentor: “His advice drives me. He once told me that I always need to be the one who says, ‘I can do that,’ if someone needs something done. This stuck with me. He is genuinely  concerned about my well-being, as well as other kids. When I first met him, I didn’t know at the time people could be like that.”

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about TIF, volunteering as a mentor or for additional information, call 239.430.9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.

Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, can be reached at steven.kissinger@imokaleefoundation.com.

Song, Dance and making memories to the music of Cahlua & Cream

by Kelly Merritt

cahluha-and-creamMusic lovers flock to places like Erin’s Isle and Café Alfredo for Cahlua & Cream. The musical duo of Don and Lesly Hale has been dazzling audiences with familiar tunes for decades and they are still one of Naples’ biggest hit acts, performing everything from jazz standards to current hits. Even though many of these hits date back to the 50’s, the couple manages to keep them fresh and enjoyable. Their renditions of songs like “All of Me,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “At Last” still get people on their feet.

The Hales keep their repertoire updated to include the latest songs climbing the charts, from artists like Pharrell, The Black Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars. Some of the most popular songs they sing include dance hits like “Believe” by Cher, Lou Bega’s “Mambo #5” and “Together Again” by Janet Jackson.

They bring the house down with the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” and songs like “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner and Gloria Gaynor’s dance anthem “I Will Survive.” People who boogied down to artists like Alicia Bridges (“I Love the Nightlife”) and Donna Summer won’t leave disappointed. The nostalgia continues when they perform the love song touchstone “Could I Have This Dance” by Anne Murray and “Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers.

While the Hales understand that most of their fans want to hear songs they know, they have included original songs on their CDs. They’ve recorded four of them.

live performing cahlua“Performing music is the only job we have, and during the season here in Naples. It’s not uncommon to work seven nights of the week,” says Lesly Hale. “As a matter of fact, one year we performed 40 nights consecutively and including setting up, tearing down, performing, and traveling to the jobs, we spend anywhere from six-eight hours per job, and of course much more if we need to travel to the east coast for a performance.”

Despite the number of hours the couple spends on performance time, Mrs. Hale says that’s ‘just the proverbial tip of the iceberg’. They spend
considerable time working on new material and administering the business of their musical careers.

“Don and I started performing as “Cahlua & Cream” in 1985, based out of Syracuse, New York and spent 52 weeks of the year performing in hotel lounges and night clubs,” says Mrs. Hale. “We performed in venues in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Delaware before becoming married in 1990.”

They became parents in 1992 and quickly realized how challenging traveling with a child was, especially when their son aged into his school years.

cahlua“Fortunately for us, we began traveling to Florida to perform at a North Naples nightclub, Kakis, late in 1992 and we came down for a month at a time to perform there five nights a week from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m., the late shift so to speak,” she says. “In 1993 we were offered a job at that nightclub performing from 5–9 p.m. five nights a week so we jumped at the opportunity.”

That’s when the Hales packed up and relocated to Bonita Springs, and then Naples after the birth of their second child. When Kakis, then called ‘Calvins’, closed they began performing in country clubs. Now they perform regularly at Erin’s Isle, Café Alfredo in Naples and The Sandy Parrot and Groove Street in Ft. Myers.

“We spend the summers performing in the northern US and we’ve entertained in venues as far west as Minnesota and as far east as Maine,” says Mrs. Hale. “We have no favorite venue – just as long as people enjoy our performance and are having a good time we’re delighted to be at their club.”

Cahlua & Cream is a familiar act at numerous fundraisers around Naples as well, including the Neighborhood Health Clinics yearly fundraiser for the past decade, benefit concerts for the Gulf Coast High School Marching Band and Guadalupe Center, Avow Hospice, and The United Way of Southwest Florida.

“We are members of The Moorings Presbyterian Church in Naples where I am a member of the choir and called upon to do solo work at times during services and recently appeared as replacement headliners on The Pride of America, a cruise ship in the Hawaiian Islands,” says Mrs. Hale of the three weekly shows they performed including “A Little Rock & Soul”, “An R&B Revue” and the main show with backing from the ship’s band, “Dazzling Divas” in which they featured the music of Whitney Houston, Donna Summers, Mariah Carey, Natalie Cole, and Tina Turner. “We had a wonderful time and were very sad when our stint as guest entertainers came to an end.”

The Hales hope to reprise those performances on the ship sometime next year. Meanwhile, Life in Naples readers can catch Cahlua & Cream most Mondays at Erin’s Isle, some Tuesdays at The Sandy Parrot and most Wednesdays at Café Alfredo, along with some Fridays at Groove Street in Ft. Myers depending on their schedule and the many private functions they perform in country clubs throughout South Florida. For information on booking or locations where Cahlua & Cream are performing, visit their website at www.cahluaandcream.com.