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With spring comes changes in weather. While most would agree that spring weather is more favorable than winter, the change can play havoc on our health.

The human body is continually defending itself from the outside world. The immune system is responsible for shielding us from things in the environment which cause harm. To do this, different cells, organs and tissues have to work together. Some of these systems have many functions while others are more specific. For example the digestive system not only removes and absorbs nutrients from foods we eat but it also destroys organisms in foods that would make us sick.


Merriam-Webster.com’s online dictionary defines “diversity” as “the condition of having or being composed or differing elements, especially the inclusion of different types of people, of different races or cultures, in a group or organization”.

Jamaican American Ricardo M. Forbes, 65, the corporate vice president and chief diversity officer for Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF), seems culturally-made – or born – for his top-level administrative position with South Florida’s largest private employer, and for the monumental changes taking place in American health care today.

Miami, April 12, 2013 --- The Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, an initiative of the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, in partnership with the Florida Heart Research Institute, proudly announced today winners of the “2013 Florida Worksite Wellness Forum and Awards” at a ceremony presented by Seitlin, A Marsh & McClennan Agency LLC Company, at the Miami Beach Resort in Miami Beach.

The program honored Florida companies that demonstrated a commitment to employee wellness and whose programs produced positive health outcomes.  The winner of the small employer group category – businesses with less than 500 employees, was Mayors Jewelers, a leading retailer with 53 luxury jewelry stores in the US and Canada with 230 employees. The mid-sized category winner, businesses with 500 to 1,000 employees, was Ocean Reef Club, a member owned community located on the northern tip of Key Largo with 880 employees. The winner of the large employer group category, businesses with more than 1,000 employees, was Miami Children’s Hospital, South Florida’s only licensed free-standing specialty hospital exclusively for children, with 3,100 employees.

fernandez-health-limboTeresa Ramirez learned to live with the pain of ovarian cysts after she was diagnosed a year ago. As an undocumented immigrant, she doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, which would cover an operation, and she can’t afford private insurance. “I’m waiting for immigration reform so I can go to Mexico to have an operation,” said Ramirez, who is 45.

Undocumented immigrants like Ramirez make up one in seven medically uninsured people in the United States. And they are excluded from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will take effect in 2014, expanding Medicaid and offering tax credits to help people buy insurance.