Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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Winners & Losers 10/20/11

WINNERS

LAURA KAISER The president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System has been named to “56 Women Hospital and Healthcare Leaders to Know,” a list of influential U.S. female healthcare leaders compiled annually by Becker’s Hospital Review.
Kaiser was chosen based on her critical management and leadership skills, including oversight of hospital or health system operations, financial turnarounds and quality improvement initiatives. She headed Sacred Heart Health System since 2009 and also serves as the Ascension Health ministry market leader for the Gulf/Florida region, with oversight of facilities in seven states.

FORREST GIBBS The former asphalt salesman landed the marketing gig for the Escambia County Equestrian Center, beating out 63 other applicants and negotiating a salary that made him one of the highest paid marketing coordinators in the area. And he’s never held a marketing job before. It was the American Dream … until the daily newspaper found out about it.

UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA The university opened recently the UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center to assist its more than 2,500 military and veteran students in the transition from military to civilian life. As IN has reported (Independent News, “When Yellow Ribbons Aren’t Enough,” Sept. 22), the suicide rate among veterans returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan is alarming. This center should make a difference.

LOSERS

FLORIDA LEGISLATURE The state economists are projecting a huge drop in public education funding for the 2012-13 budget, about $1.2 billion if Florida lawmakers keep the same funding level. The Republican governor and the lawmakers love to rail at the White House for its spending, but the state’s public education system has been propped up with federal stimulus dollars to the tune of $554 million. That goes away next year. You should always be careful what you ask for.

RICK SCOTT Florida’s governor is pro-business and anti-welfare. He cut corporate taxes and mandated drug testing of welfare recipients, which hits the right Tea Party notes. The corporate tax cuts are fueling the state budget shortfall and the drug testing has been a money loser. Only 32 temporary assistance applicants in Florida failed their required drug tests while 7,030 passed, a net loss of $200,000 to the state.

NELSON’S GOP OPPONENTS For those who think that U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is vulnerable, they need to check out the latest campaign finance reports. The Democrat incumbent raised $1.9 million in the last quarter and has $7.5 million in the bank. The frontrunner in the GOP primary, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner raised $535,000 and only has $786,000 in the bank.