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Baptist Health International, a division of Baptist Health South Florida, is proud to announce that Baptist Health South Florida hospitals have earned 30 Best National/Best Regional Hospital badges in the recently released U.S. News & World Report 2012-2013 Best Hospital Rankings article. Honors include two national awards and 28 regional awards in 11 medical specialties.

South Miami Hospital laid claim to the top spot as Best Regional Hospital in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area as well as the number four position in Florida. All four of Baptist Health's hospitals eligible for the rankings (South Miami Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Doctors Hospital, and Homestead Hospital) placed among the Top 10 in South Florida and among the Top 20 in the state.

The Miami-Dade County Health Department in collaboration with Dade County Community Health Centers will be providing free back-to-school immunizations to children between the ages of 2 months through 18 years of age on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Please bring your child's immunization record.

eye examAfrican Americans ages 40 or older, who have diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, are at higher risk of getting the eye disease, which, if not treated early and properly, can cause blindness. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve of the eye and result in vision loss.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form. In this condition, fluid builds up in the front chamber of the eye and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in eye pressure. Glaucoma affects more than two million people nationwide (in the United States) and is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in African Americans, said Dr. James Tsai, chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee for the National Eye Institute (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) in the U.S.

HIVAIDSHeterosexual transmission remains the main route of HIV infection in the Caribbean, according to the latest information released by UNAIDS. In a report titled Together we will end AIDS released ahead of the 19th Annual AIDS Conference in the United States last month, UNAIDS also noted that AIDS-related deaths in the Caribbean have declined by almost 50 percent in 10 years.

It stated that AIDS-related deaths have fallen to about 10,000 persons in 2011, nearly half what was seen in 2001, in almost 30 years since the start of the AIDS epidemic. This is in large part due to the relatively high antiretroviral treatment coverage of 67 percent for the Caribbean as a whole, the report noted. At present 230,000 people are living with HIV in the Caribbean. The estimated number of persons who were newly infected with the virus last year was 13,000.