Fort Myers, FL – January 20, 2012 --- The Lee County Medical Society has honored four Lee County Physicians for their outstanding contributions to medicine at the Annual Medical Service Awards. The ceremony was held on Friday, January 20, 2012 at Edison State College.
Stephen Machiz, M.D., was presented with The Award for Citizenship & Community Service for outstanding leadership and public service above and beyond the call of duty as a practicing physician. This includes service within the local community and abroad.
Alexander M. Eaton, M.D., was presented with The Scientific Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding work in the areas of scientific medical research. The Scientific Achievement Award includes both basic science and clinical research.
Thomas G. Presbrey, M.D., received the Leadership & Professionalism Award. This award underscores the Lee County Medical Society’s continuing dedication to the principles of medical ethics and the highest standards of medical practice. Dr. Presbrey has remained active in organized medicine, is dedicated to the principles of medical ethics and dedicated to the highest standards of medical practice; he has made an outstanding contribution through active service in medical ethics activities.
SPCU (Surgical Progressive Care Unit) received the Award of Appreciation. As a non-physician member of the medical profession, nominees should have provided exemplary and a lasting contribution to their profession.
Further Information About the Recipients
Dr. Stephen Machiz In 2002, Dr. Machiz suggested that the Fort Myers Downtown Rotary club start a fundraiser for themselves as well as the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Out of this idea grew a successful wine festival first called the Fort Myers Wine Fest and eventually the SWFL Wine & Food Fest. As a not-for-profit organization separate from the original Rotary called Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc., the net proceeds grew from 20K for the first year to an amazing 1.6 million in 2011. Numerous charities have been supported through his work. This small community fundraiser blossomed into one of our area’s most prestigious special events. It was this charity work that was so deserving of recognition. As with other award winners, he is a Physician’s Physician. His devotion and dedication beyond his clinical years is an inspiration to all of us.
Dr. Alexander M. Eaton in 1999 became an Associate Research Consultant for Duke University School of Medicine while maintaining his clinical practice. Apparently, in his spare time, he published a book titled “See Again! Reversing and Preventing Macular Degeneration. The following year, he was asked to serve on the Diabetes Advisory Council for the State of Florida by then Governor Jeb Bush. In 2002, he became the Director for Retina Health Center where he is working to the present day. In the past few years, he has continued to provide academic presentations both in the states and overseas. More recently, he has been working with medical students from Tulane University measuring oxygen saturation in retinal tissues. One of his most outstanding achievements was helping to develop a genetic test to determine which patients would be at risk for steroid-induced glaucoma
Dr. Eaton has done an exemplary job in pioneering medical research and educating his peers. For his past, ongoing and future research in the field of Ophthalmology, the second Ophthalmologist to win this award in as many years, the Committee decided to honor him. We are proud of his work; proud to have him in Southwest Florida and certainly wish him continued success.
Dr. Thomas Presbrey is the first and only chair of the Physician Leadership Council for the Lee Memorial Health System. While some of the work he has done involved unpopular decisions, they nevertheless needed to be solved and he was often there to assist. He has been leading for over five years playing a major role in the following:
- LMHS acquisition/consolidation of Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center and Gulf Coast Hospital
- Leading the efforts that eventually resulted in the rewriting of the medical staff by-laws.
- Providing regular, open and frank discussions with the LMHS Board.
- Providing improved communication between the LMHS Board and the Medical Executive Committee leaders.
- Helping to problem solve the most recalcitrant problems including emergency room call, subspecialty coverage and hospitalist issues. All the while, continuing to provide excellent quality care with his patients.
Surgical Progressive Care Unit of Gulf Coast Hospital, lead by the Nursing Director June Schneider, R. N., made an amazing transition.
The SPCU were originally trained to care for thoracic surgical patients. When the LMHS administration moved the Oncology Unit to the downtown hospital. With this move, most if not all the skilled nurses involved with the colorectal patients also moved to Lee downtown leaving a significant gap in care for an expanding number of colorectal surgical patients. LMHS Administration, in their infinite wisdom, offered the remaining cardiac nurses on the Surgical Progressive Care Unit as an alternative. The clinicians were concerned that nurses originally trained in cardiac medications and telemetry would not want to deal with, shall we say, “code brown” and feared a disaster in the making.
In fact, these nurses transitioned beautifully learning all the patient education materials and new care plans. In fact, some of the highest patient satisfaction scores have apparently come out of this unit.
These nurses exemplify the best in clinical care. They were asked to do something that was certainly out of their comfort zone. Rather than resist and complain, they decided to do the opposite and provide a new type of care to a new type of patient. The clinicians and patients alike are proud of your transition and the Annual Medical Service Awards Review Committee is proud of your accomplishments.
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