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Medical Insider Blog

Regular Health Screenings Can Help Keep Men Well

  • Posted Jun 12, 2018
  • hchadmin

Man working at desk

Balancing a busy career, family and personal life can leave men with little time to even think about their health, let alone schedule (and keep) an appointment for their annual health screenings.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services has found that men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular exams and screenings can help save lives. They can help find problems early, when the chances for treatment, and perhaps even a cure, are better.

That’s why, during Men’s Health Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself, or the men in your life, by reminding you of the importance of regular health screenings.

The National Institutes of Health list, on their website, the tests and screenings that experts recommend for men at various stages of their lives:

•    Health screenings for men ages 18-39
•    Health screenings for men ages 40-64
•    Health screenings for men ages 65 and older

Federal law requires that all health insurance plans cover specific preventive care services, including vaccinations, some disease screenings and certain types of counseling. In addition to participating in annual screenings, having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health.

A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. If you don’t have a PCP, it’s easy to find one. Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). http://www.nlm.nih.gov and the links it provides are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask your discretion when using information from this site.]

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Men's Health: Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care Help Prevent Disease

  • Posted Jun 05, 2018
  • hchadmin



June is Men’s Health Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you, or the men in your life, of the importance of taking the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes that will improve all aspects of well-being – body, mind and spirit.

Trying to "do it all" and "have it all" and the hyper competitive means some use to achieve those goals can leave many of us burned out physically, mentally and spiritually. So consider self-care and well-being habits as investments in yourself – investments with a high rate of return in the form of a happier, healthier more productive you.

Lifestyle modification can consist of a variety of strategies such as healthier eating, exercise and physical activity, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress and spiritual fulfillment. However, it's important to remember that no two men are the same and you should tailor whatever strategies you use to your own life and goals.

Ensuring that you get enough physical activity will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life. Although the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes, you should still start gradually and perform the types of physical activity that are appropriate for your current fitness level. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the following activities for adults:

•    Do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
•    Perform muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.
•    Do activities that you enjoy, be it weightlifting, walking, yoga, swimming or biking...because almost any exercise is helpful. 

Men's busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. However, proper nutrition is a key component of any strategy to live healthier. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning your meals:

•    Eat three meals a day. Meals should consist primarily of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
•    Control portion sizes. Take time to enjoy smaller amounts of food.
•    Limit foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and added sugar.
•    If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation.
•    Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

While it's important to know the physical aspects of disease prevention, knowing how to maintain a healthier spirit is important as well. Keep these things in mind:

•    Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. Focus on your thoughts — stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.
•    Control stress. Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.
•    Do everything in moderation. Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.
•    Create a network. Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with support when you need it.

Lastly, getting annual screening tests from your primary care physician (PCP) is vital to sustaining your health and helping prevent or control health conditions. Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

 

Photo: Jenny Hill


Physical Activity Offers Great Benefits to Those Living with a Health Condition

  • Posted May 01, 2018
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the American Heart Association (AHA), active people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or other chronic health conditions are more likely to live healthier for a longer period of time than inactive people with the same conditions?

Actve children


The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that physical activity can help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also reduces your risk for stroke, relieves stress and anxiety and strengthens your heart, muscles and bones.

These benefits are important for everyone, but especially for those with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Because of the symptoms they experience, those who live with illness may find it challenging to get regular physical activity. The ADA and AHA offer the following tips:
•    Look for opportunities to be more active during the day. Walk the mall before shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator or take 10–15 minute breaks for walking or some other activity while watching TV or sitting.
•    Don't get discouraged if you stop for a while. Get started again gradually and work up to your old pace.
•    Don't participate in physical activities right after meals or when it's very hot or humid.
•    It is recommended that diabetics check blood glucose before and after activity (if it’s too low, eat a piece of fruit, a few crackers or drink a glass of milk) and carry a snack to eat if you’ll be active for a few hours or more. If you have one, wear your medical alert I.D.
•    You can do this even if you've been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health condition. See your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.

In addition to getting regular physical activity, developing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health.

A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a health condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being through body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


Maintaining Good Prenatal Care Key to Healthy Pregnancy

  • Posted Apr 25, 2018
  • hchadmin

Are you, or someone you know, expecting or planning to get pregnant? If so, it's important to remember that having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to have a healthy baby. Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

It is essential to maintain regular medical care during pregnancy (including regular check-ups and prenatal testing).

Most women visit their health care providers once a month for the first 28 weeks and then every two to three weeks until week 37. After that, you will most likely have weekly appointments until the baby is born. However, the schedule may vary depending on the preferences of your individual health care provider and medical needs.

Prenatal visits with your health care provider may include:
• Review of medical history
• Completion of various blood tests, urine analysis and lab work
• Taking your blood pressure and listening to the baby's heartbeat
• Suggestions for a nutritional plan, including prenatal vitamins
• Developing an exercise strategy

Good prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy, as well as alert your health care provider of any potential health concerns. Early detection and treatment can remedy many problems and prevent others. Contact your health plan to see if they have any special programs for expectant mothers.

Visit  to learn more about the Doreen Koenig Blessed Beginnings Maternity Unit at Holy Cross Hospital, which recently earned prestigious international designation as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you Live Your Whole Life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

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Awareness is Key to Addressing Chemical Dependency

  • Posted Apr 17, 2018
  • hchadmin

 pile of coloful pills

The numbers are sobering. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2016, approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year, including 15.1 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.4 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, more than 64,000 Americans died from overdosing on illicit drugs and prescription opioids. This number has nearly doubled in a decade.

SUDs occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home. Addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to.

Awareness about the scope of chemical abuse and dependency and the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual toll it takes is one component, along with prevention and treatment to improving the lives of affected individuals.

There is good news regarding prevention. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded research has shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction.

Treatment for chemical dependency generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. According to NIDA, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency, don’t hesitate to reach out. Help is available. Contact your PCP who can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

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Keys to Well-being: Eating Healthier, Getting Regular Screenings, Knowing Your Numbers

  • Posted Mar 13, 2018
  • hchadmin

food

 

 

 

 

 

Mom was right when she told us to eat all of our veggies and listen to what our doctors tell us to do to maintain our good health. But, according to recent studies from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it seems that many of us are not taking mom’s advice to heart.

According to the CDC, at least 88 percent of Americans failed to meet daily intake recommendations for total vegetables (this includes dark green and orange veggies) and three-quarters of Americans don't eat the two to four recommended daily servings of fruit.

That’s why, during National Nutrition Month, Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself and your loved ones by eating healthier and getting regular health screenings.

The federal government has published recommended dietary guidelines designed to promote general health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases and obesity.

You can start following the guidelines by:
• Following a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan
• Focusing on variety, nutrient density and amount
• Limiting calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reducing sodium intake
• Shifting to healthier food and beverage choices
• Supporting healthier eating patterns for all

Making these changes can help you keep your biometric numbers (like blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, etc.) in a healthy range.

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have your annual screenings with your primary care physician (PCP). Annual health screenings are 100 percent covered by your health insurance as preventive care.

Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote your well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


Lowering Your Risk for Disease with Good Nutrition

  • Posted Feb 28, 2018
  • hchadmin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics eating a healthier diet is one of the first lines of defense in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and heart disease?

March is National Nutrition Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, through healthier eating, spiritual well-being and preventive care. 

The American Diabetes Association says that eating healthy is one of the most important things we can do to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that following a healthier diet can help prevent high blood pressure and may lower blood pressure that is already over the normal range.   

Below are some tips from the NIH to help you make healthier food choices every day:

• Keep healthier snacks, such as fruit and vegetables, at home and at work
• Pack healthier lunches for you and your family
• Choose low-fat diary products
• Eat whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, brown rice, pasta or oatmeal
• Select lean meats and poultry
• Choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds as protein sources

Another great way to reduce your risk of developing disease is by maintaining spiritual wellness. According to Mental Health America, there is a connection between spirituality and health. Spirituality can reduce the stress that often drives disease.  Holy Cross offers the following suggestions to keep your good health:

• Discover and rediscover what makes your life meaningful. Find what brings your life purpose and align your choices with it. Wherever your passion is, there you’ll find your purpose.
• Nurture your connection with God/your Higher Power through regular spiritual practices.  Some people choose prayer, others meditate, some read Scripture, and others walk through nature. Whatever helps you in your relationship with the Divine, make time to foster your awareness of the Sacred. 
• The Center for Engaged Spirituality provides lots of information on various spiritual practices.
• Connect with others who share your values. Having meaningful relationships with others, with focus on what is important to us, reminds us that we are not alone and can often bring joy to our lives.
• Find opportunities to serve. Helping others in need, either through volunteer work or some other means, nurtures our spirit when we feel our actions make a positive difference for other people. 
Last, but not least, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice.


If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote your well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


For Those Living with Heart Disease

  • Posted Feb 20, 2018
  • hchadmin

White Hearts in a circle image

Learning that you or a loved one has heart disease changes your life. However, educating yourself about this disease is the first step toward feeling better and making choices that can help you live a longer and healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11.5 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease. February is American Heart Month and the National Institues of Health offer the following suggestions to help navigate treatment if you or a loved one has been diagnosed:

•Making lifestyle changes. Not smoking, following a heart healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthier weight and becoming more physically active can go a long way in helping to keep your heart disease from worsening. 

•Taking medication. Medications are often used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart disease itself. Be sure to take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes. If you have uncomfortable side effects, let your doctor know. 

•Following doctor’s orders. Your doctor may recommend procedures to open an artery and improve blood flow. These are usually done to ease severe chest pain or to clear blockages in blood vessels.

As you know, having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain, major injuries or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. 

For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you Live Your Whole Life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

 


Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

  • Posted Jan 31, 2018
  • hchadmin


Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? 

February is American Heart Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by focusing on preventive care.  

According to the National Health Information Center, in the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD). The great news is that you can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and preventive care, including embracing a healthy spirit. 

To keep your heart healthy, the American Heart Association recommends the following:

•Maintain a healthy weight

•Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke

•Control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure

•Drink alcohol only in moderation

•Get regular exercise and eat healthier 

•Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day (if you are a man over the age of 45, or a woman past menopause)

•Manage stress

While controlling physical risk factors is a great way to help prevent any condition, so is maintaining a healthy spirit. For example:

•Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. 

•Control stress. Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, as well as keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Do everything in moderation. Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Create a network. Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 

Lastly, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing heart disease. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

If you have any changes in your health and you’ve got questions, call the nurse line offered by your medical plan. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you live your whole life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

Consider joining us for the following heart health events this month:

Time Out for Women
Thursday, February 15, 530 pm | Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center
Women's Heart Health: Reducing Stress and Living Healthier
Join Richard Goldman, MD, PhD, FACC, FACP, Cardiology, as he discusses the benefits of reducing stress in our often busy and demanding lives. There's no time like the present to guard your heart and live healthier!  Register at 954-351-7804 or holy-cross.com.


The Cardiac Hour: Cardiac Testing 
Wednesday, February 21, 4 pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center 
Join Karan Munuswamy, MD, Cardiology, to learn about choosing the appropriate pathway for diagnosing and treating Coronary Artery Disease or blocked arteries. Register at 954-351-5886 or holy-cross.com.



The Cardiac Hour: Small Incisions, Big Results  
Wednesday, February 28, 4 pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center 
We all want to avoid surgery, but if you need one, you want to know your options.  Join Alexander Justicz, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, for a heart-to-heart about the various methods of minimally invasive cardiac surgery available today.  Register at 954-351-5886 or holy-cross.com.



Enjoy a Healthier You through Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care

  • Posted Jan 09, 2018
  • hchadmin

A healthier body, mind and spirit are goals many of us strive to reach. However, the pressures of daily life make can it difficult for many women to achieve these aims. Trying to do it all – maintain a successful career, sustain stable relationships, raise children, care for aging parents – can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. 

Therefore, it's important that women, or the women in your life, take the time and make the effort to focus on themselves without feelings of guilt. Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to take the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes by taking better care of all aspects of your well-being.


Join us on Thursday, January 18 at 530 pm at the Dorothy Manugurian Comprehensive Women's Center as Anele Manfredini, MD, Women's Health Specialist, discusses: A Women's Guide to a Healthy 2018. Call 954-351-7804 to register or click here


Lifestyle modification can consist of a variety of strategies such as healthier eating, exercise and physical activity, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress and spiritual fulfillment. However, it's important to remember that no two women are the same and you should tailor whatever strategies you use to your own life and goals. 

Ensuring that you get enough physical activity will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life. Although the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes, you should still start gradually and perform the types of physical activity that are appropriate for your current fitness level. However, because we are designed to use our bodies and inactivity can be a contributing factor to many health issues, you should strive to meet the following recommendations:

•Do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

•Perform muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.

•Do activities that you enjoy, be it weightlifting, walking, yoga, swimming and biking because almost any exercise is helpful.

Women's busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. Proper nutrition is a key component of any strategy to live healthier. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning your meals:

•Eat three meals a day. Meals should consist primarily of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

•Control portion sizes. Take time to enjoy smaller amounts of food.

•Limit foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and added sugar.

•If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation – up to one drink a day for women.

•Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

Poll results of all adults have shown women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep and to experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few nights/days a week. Additionally, new research shows that when women lose sleep they're at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and depression. Here are a few tips to help you get a better night's rest:

•Establish a regular sleep/wake cycle. Avoid taking naps, which can make falling asleep more difficult.

•Make your bedroom an inviting place. However avoid use of the bed for watching TV, eating or working.

•Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as these things can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. Also avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime and instead engage in calming, relaxing activities.

Making changes to improve the physical aspects of your well-being are great. But what can women do to enhance their mental and spiritual health? Physical, mental and spiritual health are deeply intertwined and have a profound effect on one another. Even though it may seem hard to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it's important to find those ways. The following suggestions can help:

•Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 

•Make time for meditation and/or prayer. Spend time in nature.

•Strive to practice compassion, love, forgiveness, altruism, joy, and fulfillment.

•Work to increase the positive moments in your work and your life, while reducing the negative.

Last but not least, your lifestyle improvement program should always include getting annual physicals and tests from your primary care physician (PCP). Finding a PCP is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.


Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash 


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About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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