Dr. Bell, who passed away recently at age 86, is recognized as one of the founders of Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. He enlisted area physicians and the Daughters of Charity to create a new children’s hospital at a time when there was no facility in the area that specialized in the care of children. Dr. Bell served as its medical director from 1969-1986. He also was a leader in starting our pediatric residency program, and recruiting specialists who developed services such as our NICU, pediatric intensive care unit, and pediatric surgery services.
We lost an American hero to cancer. Col. Bud Day, an Air Force fighter pilot, was a Medal of Honor recipient who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, where he was held prisoner for five years and seven months. His cellmate was Sen. John McCain, who ran for president in 2008. Day fought for and won medical care benefits for military retirees after the age 65. He will be missed.
The Ballet Pensacola artistic director has accepted an offer for membership to the International Dance Council CID UNESCO, the highest international body of dance. Steinart was nominated for his contributions to the international dance community, both choreographically and educationally, and the extraordinary outreach and collaborative programming Ballet Pensacola has developed under his direction.
The Florida Department of Education (DOE) commissioner resigned on August 1 because of allegations that while he was Indiana superintendent of schools he changed the “A-F” school grading system, so a particular charter school, Christel House Academy, would receive a top A rating. In his resignation letter, Bennett wrote that if he stayed on as commissioner it would “be a distraction to the children of Florida.” Bennett had been hired in December 2012. He is the third education commissioner to resign in the past three years.
Escambia County’s human resources director, Tommy Turner, met with jail medical services employees behind closed doors. What happened in that meeting is yet another point of debate between the county and sheriff’s office. Some of the employees have said that they felt threatened that if they received any pay off of their accumulated leave from Sheriff Morgan that the county wouldn’t hire them. The county gave the Independent News a statement but refused to allow the paper to interview Turner. Sigh, another Sunshine problem brewing.
Department of Defense budget cuts have forced the end of the STARBASE-Atlantis science program at Pensacola Naval Air Station and Whiting Field in Milton. Since 1994, nearly 1,000 students a year from Escambia and Santa Rosa schools have been attending the program that specializes in science, technology, engineering and math. Alas, no more.