Have a Safe 4th of July.
The Key West Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind the community to stay safe this 4th of July.
Public fireworks displays are not allowed within the boundaries of the City of Key West unless permitted by the Key West Fire Department.
The City Code of Ordinances stipulates that permitted fireworks shall be handled by a state-licensed pyrotechnician.
Key West has a large number of old wooden structures, and illegal fireworks pose a threat of fire as well as injury.
KWFD Fire Marshal Jason Barroso main concern “is that everyone remains safe while celebrating this year’s 4th of July holiday.”
The Rotary Club of Key West will have its annual approved and permitted fireworks display on the 4th of July at Edward B Knight Pier.
Lower Keys Medical Center is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing high-quality stroke care
Lower Keys Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke quality achievement award for its commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.
Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery times.
Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research- and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines - Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.
“Lower Keys Medical Center is committed to improving patient care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines,” said David Clay, CEO. “Get With The Guidelines makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, which studies show can help patients recover better. The end goal is to ensure more people in the Lower Keys can experience longer, healthier lives.”
Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.
“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Lower Keys Medical Center for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, M.D., chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families and communities.”
About: Lower Keys Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission in Hospital and Laboratory Programs, and as a Primary Stroke Center. The hospital is also accredited by the American College of Cardiology as a Chest Pain Center and by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in Echocardiography.
About Get With The Guidelines®
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.
Preparation is everything, and this week a team of emergency responders conducted a drill to ensure the best response if a hurricane threatens. Key West Fire and Rescue, Monroe County Fire and Rescue, the Lower Keys Medical Center, and the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard all participated.
If Monroe County calls for a mandatory evacuation, hospital patients must be flown out to other hospitals. During the drill, volunteers posing at patients were transported from the hospital to the tarmac at the Naval Air Station Key West where they were boarded on a transport plane.
“Teamwork and practice mean that we’re ready should a storm come our way,” said Key West Emergency Manager Capt. Gregory Barroso. “We need to be sure we coordinate ambulance and air service to keep the patients safe under a threat of a hurricane.”
The last mandatory evacuation order in the Keys was in 2017 for Hurricane Irma. But there are no guarantees, said Capt. Barroso. In 2004 there were four calls for a mandatory evacuation, and three the following year.
While emergency managers are practicing, the community is reminded to do the same. Be sure your hurricane plan is in place in case we have more than a drill this hurricane season.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) announced the reaffirmation of accreditation of The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) for the next 10 years. This action was approved with “no recommendations” by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on June 16.
Accreditation is completed through “a collective analysis and judgement.” The process, which spans several years, began with CFK’s internal constituencies assembling a Compliance Report, an extensive document that demonstrates accordance with each Core Requirement and Comprehensive Standard established by SACSCOC. Additionally, the College needed to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that aims to improve specific student learning outcomes. CFK’s QEP, dubbed Destination Graduation, was launched in April. It focuses on reducing students’ time to program completion. Both the Compliance Report and QEP were meticulously evaluated by peer evaluators representing the SACSCOC. The process included a site visit that occurred virtually last September. Subsequently, elected SACSCOC Board members made the final determination of CFK’s compliance with accreditation requirements.
“SACSCOC’s reaffirmation of CFK is the result of diligent and committed work by many at the College,” said Dr. Jonathan Gueverra, CFK President. “This extraordinary outcome denotes the College’s high standards and levels of compliance with SACSCOC requirements. Being accredited is a stamp of approval that tells our community that CFK’s quality and integrity of its programs are such that students will be eligible for federal financial aid. It applies to all programs and services, regardless of location, and indicates that CFK is successful in achieving its stated objectives.”
In February of 2020, Sarah Butler was seriously ill. In severe pain, nauseous and with a high fever, she was admitted to Lower Keys Medical Center where she spent two weeks and had two surgeries. Sarah recalls her art students sending her hundreds of handmade cards that lifted her spirits as she struggled to heal while away from her young children at home.
Again, in 2021, Sarah endured more health issues, first with a major surgery, then a serious case of COVID-19 and pneumonia that brought her back to Lower Keys Medical Center. She spent about 10 days in the hospital, again separated from her children. "I was so depressed. So sad. It was lonely," Sarah said. Once again, art provided some necessary healing. Sarah's friends brought her canvases and paint and she started painting the hibiscus that she would see outside of her house every day going to and returning from work. When she was released, she kept painting her hibiscus, bigger and brighter, helping her to visualize where she wanted to be.
In 2022, Sarah donated her time and talent to create three murals in the Tropical Cafe at Lower Keys Medical Center. She also donated several of her hibiscus paintings that will be featured in the designs for the new patient room renovations starting this year. Bright and colorful, the works of art will lift the spirits of patients, visitors and staff.
"LKMC saved my life. I am so grateful. That's why I wanted to donate my artwork there. People need to visualize what they want to see in order to heal. Just like me," Sarah said.
Key West Community Services is pleased to have completed refurbishing the 8th Street Pocket Park.
With his crew of four, Foreman Oscar Ladino took a tired community park and made it lovely. They installed benches, created walkways, and lined them with salvaged bricks.
The result is a delightful retreat for neighbors in the midtown area. The City of Key West features these small retreats in neighbors throughout the island.
Mayor Teri Johnston represented Key West at the 90th annual United States Conference of Mayors from June 3rd to the 6th. The mayor joined 1,400 mayors from around the country to tackle common challenges such as housing, equity, mental health, economic growth, gun violence, climate change, women’s rights and LGBTQ issues.
Mayor Johnston was honored to participate on two panels during the conference to share her experience in Key West with other mayors.
“This is one of those unique, refreshing conferences where there is no political divide, just mayors rolling up their sleeves to share ideas for solutions to common community problems.”
Key West High School Baseball Team Commended
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission commended the Key West High School Baseball Team for their outstanding season.
The 2022 baseball program for Key West High School won the 4A District 16 Championship on May 5th, 2022. The Conchs baseball program earned their #1 seed in the regional playoffs by commanding a spectacular 23 and 7 record for the season.
“The baseball team and coaches have shown,” reads the commendation, “that through tenacity and perseverance, the spirit of ‘Conch Ball’ remains intact.
“Coach Ralph Henriquez and son Ralph Henriquez Jr. continue to add to the legacy of performance,” it continues, “Coach Henriquez collected over 350 wins in his Key West High coaching career.”
The team thanked the commission and the Key West community for their support.
Key West High School Lady Conchs Softball Team Commended
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission commended the Key West Lady Conchs Girls Softball Team for their outstanding season.
The team won the regional championship on May 20th and became the first ever Key West High School softball team to advance to the State Championship Series.
Coach Jason Garcia, Assistant Coach Erik Snow, and the team accepted the commendation.
“They say it takes a village to raise a kid,” said Coach Garcia, “Well, it takes a community to have a quality softball team. I said here last year that we’d go to the state championships, and we look forward to doing it again next year.”
City Attorney Shawn Smith, whose daughter is on the team, reiterated Coach Garcia’s statement. He noted that this same group of young women has appeared annually in front of the commission, earning kudos for their softball accomplishments as they grew from the eight and under league to where they are today.
The commendation also recognized the team’s leadership. “Coach Jason Garcia, assistant coach Erik Snow and pitching coach Jewls Castillo continue to do an outstanding job with the development of contenders and athletes,” reads the commendation.
The Key West City Commission has declared June 19th as Juneteenth Independence Day.
In 1865, nearly nine decades after our nation’s founding and more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received a proclamation declaring that they were free from bondage.
“On June 19th, 1866, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today,” reads the proclamation.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act creating a federal holiday.
Utility Board member Mona C. Clark accepted the proclamation.
“Juneteenth has been celebrated year after year after year,” she said. “Fortunately, this year it’s being celebrated as a national holiday. We’re very grateful.”
In recognition of the holiday, City offices will be closed on Monday, June 20th.
The Gardens Hotel owner Kate Miano presented the Key West Police Mounted Unit with a check for over $6,000 -- funds raised in the May Derby Day fundraiser at the hotel.
Miano has hosted this annual fundraiser since 2017. Each year she has generously donated to the Mounted Unit after hosting the event that coincides with the Kentucky Derby.
The Mounted Unit is one of the most popular units of the Key West Police Department. These equestrian officers provide a daily presence that is particularly beneficial downtown and with crowds.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.