Mother Grateful For Son’s Expert NICU Care

Mother Grateful For Son’s Expert NICU Care Young Connor Is Now Thriving After Six Months At Wellington Regional Medical Center

Story by Allen Poston  |  Photos by Ryan Merrill

When Brianne Sater thinks about her son’s premature birth and subsequent stay at Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Kevin DiLallo Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she can’t help getting emotional with gratitude. Born at 27 weeks in September 2019, her son Connor spent six months in the hospital’s NICU.

Her pregnancy had proceeded normally until about a week before Connor’s birth, when Sater said she felt as if her water broke. Contractions began, but she thought they were Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as false labor. Sater became concerned when the contractions began to arrive closer together.

“I called my mom, and she told me that I was in labor and to get to the hospital. My boyfriend picked me up, and we went to Wellington Regional Medical Center,” Sater recalled.

When she arrived, Sater was immediately taken to labor and delivery.

“I was hooked up to monitors, and the doctor came in and told me they could see my baby’s bottom. In minutes, Connor was born breech, weighing just 2 pounds, 1 ounce, and he was 13.5 inches long,” Sater said. “The doctor let me quickly see him, but then they took him to the NICU, telling me they were going to take the best care of him there.”

Wellington Regional’s 25-bed NICU provides care for a full range of newborn conditions, from the most critically ill babies to those born with the lowest birth weights, or newborns in need of just a few days of support. As the only Level III NICU in the region, the hospital’s unit specializes in the tiniest and sickest newborns — babies like Connor.

It took doctors a while to stabilize Connor because his lungs were not fully developed, and he had swallowed meconium, a substance that lines a baby’s intestines during pregnancy. He was given antibiotics for possible infection and put on a ventilator to help him breathe.

“The doctor told my boyfriend there were a lot of uncertainties,” Sater said. “We did not know what to expect when they told us we could finally see him. It was heartbreaking. He had wires, tubes and IVs connected to him, and he was not yet stable enough for skin-to-skin contact. I did not get to hold him for three weeks.”

Sater started pumping breast milk, but things remained stressful for months.

“Connor would get better, then get worse, then better. It was like a roller coaster,” she said. “But the NICU nurses were there for us every step of the way. They did not let us down, and they did not let Connor down.”

At one point, they were preparing for discharge, but Connor continued to have issues with his oxygen and blood pressure levels. When the pandemic hit, COVID-19 meant visitation was more difficult. But Sater said they worked through all of it, and with the support of his nurses, they were able to manage. “The nurses felt strongly they could stabilize him. And they were right — his oxygen was finally regulated,” she said.

When it was finally time to take Connor home, Sater and her boyfriend stayed in the NICU for two weeks so nurses could show them how to properly care for him in a home environment.

“They let us take care of Connor while they supervised. We were very nervous when it came time to actually go home. We were so concerned we would mess something up. But we had all of the doctors’ and nurses’ numbers in case there was an issue,” Sater said. “They were all amazing and such a huge help. It was definitely emotional having to say goodbye to the NICU team.”

Today, Connor is catching up to other children his age developmentally and is very active. He started walking a little late, but once he learned, there was no slowing him down. He goes to therapy twice a week to work on speech and feeding. He is also monitored by a pediatric pulmonologist and was recently cleared by a pediatric cardiologist for hypertension.

Despite being hospitalized twice over the winter for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Sater said physicians have told her that Conner should be through with surgeries, and she could not be happier. “Overall, we are very lucky,” she added.

Sater said if a family is going through something like this, never give up hope.

“These babies are fighters, and they work hard to not give up — they become resilient,” she said. “It has made us stronger and better parents. The NICU staff at Wellington Regional does an incredible job in supporting parents in their journey with caring for their child. We really can’t say enough good things about the great patient experience we had with Wellington Regional and its NICU. If I ever have another baby, I am going to have it at Wellington Regional, because I know they are going to take the best care of us.”

Wellington Regional Medical Center is a 235-bed acute care hospital celebrating more than 35 years of treating residents in Wellington and the surrounding community. WRMC offers a wide range of services, including comprehensive stroke care, a comprehensive lung program, minimally invasive services, cardiac services, a birthing center and Level III NICU, a comprehensive women’s center, hepatobiliary surgical procedures, intraoperative radiation therapy, interventional procedures, and a wellness and weight loss center.

To learn more about the hospital, visit www.wellingtonregional.com.

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Donor Involvement Fuels Community Support

Donor Involvement Fuels Community Support Philanthropy From Wellington Supports Exceptional Care At Bethesda Hospital West

Serving patients in Palm Beach County since 1959, Bethesda Hospital has been at the forefront of healthcare in an area that has expanded rapidly over the past six decades. In 2013, the hospital opened the doors of its second campus, Bethesda Hospital West, to meet the needs of a growing population in western Boynton Beach.

Bethesda Hospital West is an 80-bed, state-of-the-art, medical/surgical and ICU community hospital, with a 24-hour emergency department for adults and children. The facility provides general medical, surgical and intensive care services, as well as diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation. It offers all private rooms; a 10-bed intensive care unit; advanced cardiac CT imaging; and an advanced endovascular and interventional surgical suite for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures.

“We are very proud of the range of services we provide at Bethesda West,” said Nelson Lazo, CEO of Bethesda Hospital. “But it’s the personal, compassionate care we give our patients that makes this hospital such a valued part of the community.”

Bethesda Hospital West is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, 25,000 employees, more than 4,000 physicians, and more than 150 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

From its inception, Bethesda Hospital West has been designed for growth, and the hospital can eventually expand to become a 400-bed facility in the future. This expansion will help support the wide-ranging healthcare needs of the county’s growing western suburbs in Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and beyond.

Philanthropy has always played an essential role at Bethesda Hospital. Donors have supported the development of new facilities, state-of-the-art equipment for minimally invasive cardiac procedures, COVID-19 emergency response needs, education programs at the Bethesda College of Health Sciences and much more.

“Philanthropic support is absolutely vital for us,” said Barbara James, vice president of development and development support at the Baptist Health Foundation. “As more people move to the county, there is a growing need for premium healthcare. Fortunately, we’ve been able to expand our donor base over the past several years, for which we are very grateful.”

This dedicated community of donors includes Marie and Steve Bedner of Wellington, who are among South Florida’s leading vegetable growers. They are owners of an 80-acre farm that produces about 50 different types of vegetables, as well as three Palm Beach County farmer’s markets.

The couple, who have been supporting Bethesda Hospital West since 2011, were part of the hospital’s initial building campaign.

Marie is a former foundation board member and a current hospital trustee who is an enthusiastic advocate for her community.

“Few things matter more than the health of our loved ones and friends, along with the well-being of the community where we live,” she said. “That’s what prompted us to step forward and fully support Bethesda Hospital West. We need to keep nurturing this first-rate facility and continue to support its mission.”

As any business owner knows, a company’s success is largely based on the dedication of its employees. Marie has been impressed with how Bethesda Hospital West has been able to recruit and retain its exceptional staff.

“In my first year as a trustee, I was asked to give out the five-year pins at the employee appreciation party,” she recalled. “They didn’t warn me ahead of time not to wear heels — I stood there for so long! There were so many team members who had been there five years and longer. It says a lot about an organization that people want to stay, and that they’re well taken care of.”

The Bedners are also helping support the hospital’s caregivers with vegetable giveaway days, which began during the early days of the pandemic and are still greatly appreciated.

Marie believes that the involvement of donors like herself and Steve is having a positive impact on philanthropic support for Bethesda Hospital West, which will continue to build in the future. “It puts a face on the hospital, and people in the community respect that,” she said. “Therefore, they’re happy to lend their support — and that makes a big difference.”

For more information about the Baptist Health Foundation and supporting Bethesda Hospital West, visit www.baptisthealth.net/giving, e-mail giving@baptisthealth.net or call (561) 737-7733, ext. 84445.

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No Child Or Family Left Behind

No Child Or Family Left Behind Local Nonprofit Polo For Life Teams With Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital To Support Families Battling Cancer

Brandon Phillips and PJ Rizvi both know firsthand the trauma of childhood cancer, the hardships it causes, and the impact on families whose sole focus becomes how to save a life.

Phillips, founder and president of the Wellington-based nonprofit Polo for Life, was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14 and underwent months of grueling treatment. Rizvi, a member of Polo for Life’s board, helped her sister, Penny, battle leukemia before her sibling succumbed to the disease.

Both carry the scars of their childhood experiences to this day but use those memories to fuel a philanthropic spirit aimed to ensure that others don’t suffer as their families once did.

That’s what recently brought the two, along with Polo for Life Executive Director Barbara Bell Cook, to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center in Wellington. Armed with an oversized check for $100,000, representing some of the proceeds from the nonprofit’s “Polo for a Purpose” fundraiser, the group was all smiles making the contribution to the patient and family assistance fund at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. The money will go to families of oncology patients requiring financial help during their child’s treatment.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it’s a life-changing event for the family, and not just in the medical sense,” said Don Eachus, director of development at the foundation. “At least one parent becomes a full-time caregiver, and that loss of income means that there may not be enough money to pay mortgages or rent, electric or phone bills. That’s where our assistance fund comes in to, at least temporarily, cover those costs.”

The financial struggles her family endured while her sister was in treatment are ones Rizvi would not wish on anyone. “We would drive four and a half hours a day to visit my sister, and after a while it was just too long to drive home, so we slept in the car because we couldn’t afford a hotel room,” she recalled. “My mom wanted to spend every waking moment and every sleeping moment with my sister.”

While most people are empathetic to the plight of a family coping with cancer, and the time and energy it takes to help a child survive, Rizvi said it’s the behind-the-scenes devastation many aren’t aware of. “My mom quit working, and even though my dad worked two jobs, we fell behind on the day to day-to-day bills,” she said. “I don’t want to see that happen anymore.”

When she was older, Rizvi would donate anonymously to cancer research. That all changed nine years ago after conversations with Phillips, when it was decided a more public philanthropic approach would yield better results.

Phillips founded Polo for Life about that time, and the organization has donated more than $2 million to charitable causes since then. Given his history with cancer, it was important for him to find programs that would help kids and families in the same situation he once was.

“We did our research a few years ago, started to find beneficiaries, and made some determinations about who we wanted to help,” said Phillips, a professional polo player. “Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital really popped out as one of the top pediatric facilities in the country, and it’s right here in our backyard, so we wanted to be a part of what they were doing. They have some great programs, and we really like what is happening here, so it was a no-brainer for us to get involved and keep this relationship going.”

While the oncology and hematology teams at “Joe D.” handle the clinical aspects of a child’s cancer treatment, it’s the role of the hospital’s nonprofit foundation to identify and assist those in need, as Rizvi’s family once was. Now, thanks to Polo for Life and its generous donation, there will be at least one less thing that already overwhelmed families will have to worry about. This leaves more time and energy for what’s most important: making sure the patient can get back to being a kid again.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals, offering a comprehensive scope of healthcare services and programs in a caring, compassionate setting designed specifically for children. A level one trauma center, it combines advanced technology, the expertise of board-certified specialists, and a patient and family-centered approach to heal the body, mind and spirit of those it touches.

The hospital’s nonprofit foundation focuses on philanthropy to positively impact patients, families, and underwrite programs, facilities and equipment that support the facility’s mission.

To learn more, or make a donation, visit www.jdch.com/give.

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Working Out Has Never Been Easier

Working Out Has Never Been Easier Crunch Fitness Arrives In Wellington With A 30,000-Square-Foot State-Of-The-Art Facility

By Mike May

When you walk through the front doors of Wellington’s newest fitness club, you will be “inspired to perspire.” The club is called Crunch Wellington, and it officially opened its doors on June 3 with a grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 11.

Crunch Wellington is located at the site of the former Ultima Fitness in the Wellington Plaza, but the facility has been completely renovated from top to bottom.

The ambiance and atmosphere inside Crunch Wellington — which features 30,000 square feet filled with state-of-the-art fitness equipment — is refreshing and invigorating. The big messages on the walls will get your attention: “Perspire to Greatness” … “Raise the Barbell” … “Join the Fun” … “We Got This” … and “Do More Today.”

At Crunch Wellington, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding where you should begin your workout. Is it one of the 25 treadmills by Star Trac, one of the 20 Roc Abs machines by Hoist Fitness, one of the 10 steppers by StairMaster, or one of the five multi-tool towers by Nautilus? Perhaps you’re more interested in lifting free weights, enjoying a hot yoga studio session or being a participant in a spin class in the Ride Studio? There’s much, much more, including two hydration stations, where you can get a drink of water when you are thirsty.

Members looking for diversity in their workouts can utilize the HIITZone, a proprietary high-intensity interval group training program that has seven different stations, such as tires, sleds, medicine balls and more.

According to Crunch Wellington General Manager Jake Noble, he and his associates want to help every member take the “work” out of the workout. Everybody should feel welcome, and every member should enjoy the overall experience.

“We want our members to feel that Crunch Wellington is their home away from home,” Noble said. “Anybody, literally anybody, can work out here — and have fun doing it.”

The fitness club’s inaugural members are enjoying the benefits of belonging to Crunch Wellington.

“I’m here to tone-up my muscles and burn calories,” member Kaila Taylor of Wellington said. “I lost four pounds in the first week.”

“We have fun here,” member Jerry Fogel of Lake Worth said. “The people and the employees are great. This place is kept very clean. I come here six to seven days a week.”

While people are lifting, pulling, pushing, walking, running, jumping, cycling, climbing and enjoying fierce, fun workouts, they can also watch any of the 21 television sets that are hanging from the ceiling. Most of the TVs are tuned to some type of competitive game or athletic event, which complements what’s happening at any given time at Crunch Wellington.

One of those TVs plays commercial messages featuring local businesses that provide services which might be of interest to those getting a workout. It’s called the Perks Partner Program and features message therapists, chiropractors, meal preps and other outlets that are often professional services needed by fitness enthusiasts.

Crunch Wellington opens early every day at 5 a.m. from Monday to Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sundays. The place stays open late, too, closing at 11 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 10 p.m. on Fridays, and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The only days when Crunch Wellington will not be open is Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

“We often have a group of members ready to walk in the door at 5 a.m.,” Noble said. “We have a good mix of members — young and old, male and female.”

If you need assistance in what machines to use and how to use them, Crunch Wellington’s staff will be happy to provide help and instruction. One of those instructors is Rachel Braverman, who is a functional fitness instructor. In addition to providing helpful hints on exercise, she also offers guidance on nutrition.

According to Noble, a big goal for Crunch Wellington is to fuse fitness with entertainment, in order to make serious exercise fun and affordable. “We encourage, empower and entertain,” he explained.

Working out to the upbeat music that is always in the air also doesn’t cost an arm and leg. In fact, Crunch Wellington is providing discounts on memberships to people who work with some of Palm Beach County’s biggest employers, such as the School District of Palm Beach County, Costco, Publix and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Crunch Wellington serves an engaged fitness community that features all kinds of people, with all types of goals, who exercise in different ways, yet enjoy working out at the same place together.

“We are extremely excited about sharing the unique experience of the Crunch brand with the residents surrounding our newest location in Wellington,” Crunch Wellington owner Tony Scrimale said. “We hope our ‘no judgments’ mentality and memberships starting as low as $9.99 a month will bring a new energy to the community.”

The new Crunch Wellington fitness center is located in the Wellington Plaza at the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more information about membership opportunities, visit www.crunchwellington.com.

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Advancements In Breast Cancer Care

Advancements In Breast Cancer Care Understanding All The Options Can Be Empowering For Patients

GenesisCare’s Dr. Alicia Gittleman completed her internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, her residency at NYU Medical Center and her fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College. Practicing in Wellington and Palm Beach County for the past 27 years, Dr. Kishore Dass was chief resident at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and furthered his training at the University of Pennsylvania, NIH.

If you are one of the nearly 287,850 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, or one of the additional 51,400 diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer, understanding your options can be empowering. Here, local experts Dr. Kishore Dass and Dr. Alicia Gittleman, board-certified radiation oncologists with GenesisCare, answer common questions about this important topic.

What is the general outlook on breast cancer today?
Being diagnosed with breast cancer today is not what it once was. Thanks to advancements in treatment, patients are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer death rates have decreased between 2013 to 2018, likely due to treatment advancements and diseases caught earlier.

What are today’s treatment options?
In general, today’s breast cancer treatment typically includes a combination of therapies, such as breast surgery, medical oncology (chemotherapy or hormonal therapy) and radiation oncology. If the tumor is related to one of the known gene mutations that cause breast cancer, such as BRCA, doctors may recommend full removal of the breast (mastectomy) and possibly other surgeries to decrease the risk of developing future cancers.

Why does technology matter?
Innovation in treatment techniques and technology advancements may not only provide better care outcomes with improvements in accuracy and efficiency, but also enhance the way patients experience that treatment, for example with reduced side effects, a shorter recovery period or increased comfort.
Are clinical trials only for advanced breast cancer?
Clinical trials help to develop new treatments, interventions and tests at any point in the treatment journey. Patients who participate in clinical trials play an important role in advancing care for future patients and may be among the first to benefit from some of the latest treatments. GenesisCare offers 150-plus clinical trials worldwide. Ask your physician what clinical trials are available for your specific cancer type.

What about genomic testing and precision medicine?
Advancements in precision medicine allow clinicians to understand what makes a person’s individual cancer behave the way it does at a genomic level. This allows patients to feel fully informed in treatment options that may work best for their unique diagnosis. Understanding a patient’s genomic makeup utilizing technologies, such as DCISionRT (or DCIS) for patients with early-stage breast cancer, helps physicians deliver precise treatment plans that balance benefits with risk of side effects.

The GenesisCare Approach
Physicians and care teams at GenesisCare work together to offer personalized breast cancer treatment and improve patient outcomes through evidence-based care plans. Key features of the program include:
• Quick access: Immediate appointments, with a 24-hour turnaround goal from referral to plan of care.
• A personalized, team approach: GenesisCare providers, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, psychologists and nutritionists, collaborate on a personalized care plan that focuses on each patient’s personal needs and goals.
• Advanced treatment options: GenesisCare invests in modern techniques and clinical trials to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
• Exceptional care, close to home: Clinicians and centers with high patient satisfaction ratings and are conveniently located throughout Palm Beach County.
GenesisCare is located at 3343 State Road 7 in Wellington. To learn more about GenesisCare, call (833) FOR-MYGC or visit www.genesiscare.com/us.

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From Our Village To The World

From Our Village To The World Wellington Born Entrepreneur Jake Seltzer Aims To Revolutionize The Banking System

Story By Julie Khanna |  Photos By Abner Pedraza

Jake Seltzer might be the person who changes the way the entire world banks.

Born and raised in Wellington, the 26-year-old entrepreneur first realized how his extensive futuristic knowledge of blockchain, cryptocurrency and web3 could change the world during a visit to India in 2019.

While there attending his best friend’s wedding, Seltzer took notice of the disparity in banking services offered abroad. He ended up extending his trip by a month to further survey the banking process, to better understand systems in low and middle-income countries and assess financial literacy.

The day he returned, Seltzer got right to work on his blockchain financial technology startup company, Finance Blocks, and now the Wellington native finds himself at the forefront of worldwide impact.

Seltzer and his family have longevity in the Village of Wellington. His late father, Jerry Seltzer, served as president of the Palms West Chamber of Commerce and the American Heart Association, while his mother, Lisa Seltzer, spent her time working with the PTA and Temple Beth Torah. During his own time volunteering at soup kitchens and with the Special Olympics and watching his parents serve the community, Seltzer believes that’s where he learned the importance of helping others and realized that his purpose was bigger than himself, and Wellington.

Self-described as an empathetic and driven person who believes in karma, Seltzer enjoys finding ways to connect with people from all walks and places of life. He feels these traits and his experiences growing up play a key role in his business.

“My greatest memories in life happened here,” he said. “Like during my senior year as runner up in Mr. Wellington, or playing roller hockey at Village Park with the lifelong friends I made. Wellington shaped who I am and how I think. No matter how far I travel, it will forever be my home.”

The Wellington High School graduate always wanted to study politics or government. But perhaps it was his experience in DECA, a club that prepares emerging leaders in marketing, finance, hospitality and management, combined with his parents’ example for helping others, that best prepared him for his role today. Having won districts and representing Wellington in state competitions three times, Seltzer began to imagine his future as the CEO of a company that would make a global impact.

He co-founded Finance Blocks to digitize rural financial institutions, known as RFIs, in emerging markets and promote accessibility, transparent banking services and financial inclusion, especially for the 25 percent of the world’s total population that does not have access to basic financial services, known as the “unbanked.” The unbanked face exploitative repayment terms from informal moneylenders and lack credit scores, identity documents and awareness about financial products. Historically, the sophistication of blockchain-powered digital products has not reached RFIs and the unbanked.

In its simplest form, Seltzer’s company is a platform that helps RFIs, or banks, switch from paper-based legacy systems to a secure, easy-to-use and efficient digital system for all their processes. It creates unique digital identities, computes credit scores, manages financial data, loans, savings accounts and more on a single platform.

Users, or the formally unbanked or underserved, have an app that helps them stay instantaneously updated about their financial activity, like withdrawals, deposits, transactions, loans and interest. Based on the age of their account and financial activity, users are given smart credit scores computed by blockchain-powered smart contracts.

Blockchain technology is an integral component of the solution Finance Blocks presents. “Blockchain technology plays a crucial role in lifting people out of poverty and providing better services to the populations of low and middle-income countries,” Seltzer explained. “It is a system of recording information that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system. Think of blockchain as an incorruptible digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. This process can be transformative for low and middle-income countries, as corruption is the single largest issue affecting the unbanked.”

Seltzer believes this technology will directly impact the global economy by way of the youth. Referring to them as “innovators of tomorrow,” Seltzer thinks financial and investing literacy will encourage higher education and break generational debt while creating new generations of the middle class all over the world.

The future of Seltzer’s company is also soaring.

Finance Blocks recently got the attention of GEM Digital Limited, a Bahamas-based digital asset investment firm that actively sources, structures and invests in utility tokens globally. They committed a capital investment of $25 million to help propel Seltzer’s company into even the most rural corners of the globe, such as India, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya and Ghana.

“These funds will allow us to continue developing our technology, expand our development team, onboard over three million users, raise awareness about financial products and services, and allow charitable contributions of water and power to the areas in which we operate,” Seltzer said.

The path in getting Finance Blocks to the forefront of the global banking landscape wasn’t without its challenges. Seltzer faced institutional red tape, a lack of identity documents, insufficient resources, corruption, illiteracy and geographical barriers.

However, everything paled to the sudden death of his father, Jerry, who was his mentor and best friend. Still, in his father’s name, Seltzer found strength during his grief to build and innovate, and it is paying off.

Seltzer predicts that Finance Blocks will become the world’s largest rural financial banking platform and enable financial inclusion for up to five million users within the next 36 months.

“I see us becoming a top 200 crypto project. But, more importantly, I see us changing the landscape of rural finance and creating change around the world,” Seltzer said.

Learn more about Seltzer’s company Finance Blocks at www.financeblocks.io.

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Promoting Optimal Bone Health In Horses

Promoting Optimal Bone Health In Horses BoneKare Supplement Is Making Its Mark In Wellington’s Equestrian Community

BoneKare, first made popular by breeders and equestrians throughout Europe, is an edible bone health and soft tissue vitamin supplement suitable for horses of every age and discipline. The supplement is FEI competition safe, and daily use of BoneKare promotes optimal bone and soft tissue health for horses.

Jay Golding, who first encountered BoneKare on one of his annual trips to Europe, believes the supplement to be the “holy grail” of horse health products, which isn’t recognized as much as it should be.

Golding is the United States’ sole distributor of BoneKare, where he has developed a stellar roster of equestrian ambassadors across a variety of disciplines and continues to advocate for the value of BoneKare for every horse.

Jennifer Papiernik is a lifelong horsewoman whose business completely changed when she was introduced to BoneKare. Papiernik trains out of To-Kalon Farm in Wellington, where she has had her horses on BoneKare since the beginning of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival season, when she ran into Golding.

After incorporating the BoneKare supplement into her barn’s nutrition program, Papiernik strongly believes in the power of the product and has seen significant improvements to her horses’ health.

“I’m currently using it on my show horses who are having some down time right now, my racehorses, young and growing babies, and broodmares with foals at their sides,” Papiernik said. “This season, I have had two horses with soft tissue bruising. It’s not something I have had to deal with much, but when I put these horses on BoneKare, I saw a change in their soundness within 30 days.”

Papiernik has even received complimentary feedback on some of her younger horses after starting them on BoneKare.

“We have two young colts — a yearling and a two-year-old,” she explained. “I hadn’t seen them through the winter season, and after two months of being on BoneKare, they looked like mature horses. The first thing everybody says when they see them is, ‘Wow, great bones on these babies!’”

So, what’s in the secret sauce? The answer is BoneKare’s advanced formula that consists of a blend of nutritious supplements and vitamin K1, given to horses orally in their grain. K1 is an important vitamin that horses absorb when they are allowed 10 to 12 hours of pasture grazing, and hay is not necessarily the solution for a lack of pasture grazing.

When grass is cut and made into hay bales, they are left to cure in the sun. As a result of the UV rays, the K1 compound is almost completely degraded, leaving horses without natural access to the much-needed vitamin. That’s where BoneKare comes in, backed with the right science and studies to prove it really works.

Not only has Golding witnessed BoneKare’s efficacy through first-hand experience, but veterinarians in both the United States and Europe have submitted multiple case studies demonstrating the success of the product.

“When I see a significant difference in multiple horses for different reasons, I’m a true believer in the product. I don’t use a lot of supplements, but when I see something that works, I use it,” Papiernik said. “I knew I was missing something. I just couldn’t pinpoint it. With BoneKare, I think I’ve found the missing link.”

Visit www.bonekareusa.com to try out BoneKare on your horse or in your program.

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Rich Flavors Inside A Blanket Of Deliciousness

Rich Flavors Inside A Blanket Of Deliciousness Enjoy Fresh-Made Crepes, Smoothies And More At Keywa’s In The Mall At Wellington Green

Story And Photos By Melanie Kopacz

Sweeten your life with rich flavors wrapped inside a warm blanket of deliciousness at the newly opened creperie, Keywa’s in the Mall at Wellington Green.

“We specialize in sweet crepes,” owner Julian Sierra said. “We’ve created our own recipes.”

An array of colorful pictures are displayed along the menu wall, featuring mouth-watering creations that are sure to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. The menu ranges from a number of sweet and savory crepes to a tasty variety of boba teas, smoothies, thick milkshakes and an assortment of frozen drinks.

“We try to give customers something they can’t forget.” Sierra said. “If they always remember, then they always want to come back for it.”

Sierra knows what customers love to come back for, as his recipes have turned into cravings for many who frequent the original Keywa’s location in the Boynton Beach Mall, which opened last fall. Less than one year later, co-owner Tania Eifert, Sierra’s wife, feels blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of the Wellington community.

“We appreciate the friendships we make with our customers. It’s not like you pick up your food and leave,” she said. “We really like to have a relationship with the clients.”

Situated near the mall’s food court entrance, the freestanding location sits alongside the sunroom of the main dining area. A portrait of their beloved border collie Keywa, the eatery’s namesake, greets customers at the register. The mascot’s name means “one of good spirit,” and it’s that spirit Sierra wants the creperie to exude onto others, with its friendly staff and delicious, comforting flavors made with fresh ingredients.

“The general idea is crepes. Not many places have them,” Eifert said. “Little by little, we’ll keep adding more when we see what our customers like. We’ll listen to their ideas and grow with them.”

Customers can grab a beeper for when their food is ready, but many prefer to watch the mesmerizing crepe-making process, as the batter is quickly spread and spun as it cooks. Then the layering of the fillings begins.

To start your crepe journey, you will choose one of three bases: Nutella, Arequipe (a caramel/dulce de leche spread) or cream cheese. An assortment of fresh-cut fruit comes next with a choice of chocolate or caramel syrup, then topped with vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream.

The Vienne crepe is a popular choice, filled with Arequipe, brownie, sliced strawberries and vanilla ice cream with caramel syrup drizzled on the folds topped by whipped cream.

The Alaska crepe uses cream cheese for its base, filled with peach chunks and graham crackers, and topped with vanilla ice cream melting into the warm crepe.

For a richer-tasting dessert, try the Chocó crepe. It’s made with M&Ms inside and out, along with some brownie, then drizzled with both chocolate and caramel syrup, topped with both vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

For a nutty flavor, there’s the Rome crepe. It’s made with walnuts and chocolate ice cream, drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup. The London crepe is layered with Nutella, banana slices, vanilla and chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, while the Paris crepe also uses Nutella and banana, but mixes it up with graham crackers and vanilla ice cream.

For a chocolatey fruit combo, check out the Monaco crepe, made with Nutella, strawberries and blueberries. Not looking for dessert? A savory option is the America crepe. It’s made with ham and cheese, either Swiss or cheddar, and butter.

Complement your crepe with one of several smoothie options.

The Dubai is a rich and filling choice made with sweet peach slices, passion fruit and pineapple. The Sidney has blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, making it nutrient-rich on top of really tasty.

The Colombia — where Sierra hails from — features a mix of blueberries, strawberries and a twist of pineapple, while the Peru — which is Eifert’s heritage — has fresh-cut chunks of watermelon, passion fruit and banana.

If crepes and smoothies aren’t enough choices, there’s even more.

Rich, thick, handmade milkshakes feature flavors from strawberry and cookies and cream, to chocolate with drizzled syrup or classic vanilla.

Boba tea is also on the menu. Create your own delicious mix with either bursting balls or tapioca balls. Frozen drinks round it all out with some spectacular flavors. Pineapple, passion fruit and mint make for a flavorful mix in the Hawaii drink. A different twist on a classic is the Coconut Lemonade with lemon, coconut cream, condensed milk and coconut milk. For that coffee craving, try the Frappé made with coffee, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Still looking for more choices? There are tasty waffles on the menu, too! The signature Banana Split waffle is made with Nutella, banana slices and strawberries, while the Tartufo features Arequipe and strawberries. Both come with vanilla ice cream.

It’s a personal indulgence of sorts for Sierra to turn his passion into a profession after leaving an accounting job and side work to help his parents who became ill. After only six years in the United States, he has learned English, got married and just welcomed a new baby boy. He’s living the American dream, working hard alongside his wife, while making his creations that represent a melting pot of flavors from around the world. Flavors they hope will sweeten your life.

Keywa’s is inside the food court at the Mall at Wellington Green, located at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Check out the menu at www.keywas.co. If you’re not ready to eat immediately, you can order carry out, as well as delivery through Uber Eats and Grubhub.

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A Relaxing Dream Retreat

A Relaxing Dream Retreat Beautiful, Spacious Courtyard-Style Home Features A Warm, Modern Look In The Palm Beach Polo And Country Club

Photos Courtesy Douglas Elliman Real Estate

This perfectly re-imagined home on Winding Oak Lane in the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club offers a relaxing dream retreat. It is a popular courtyard-style home where the outdoor space connects to almost every room through a multitude of sliding and French doors. Tucked in a corner, a hedged alcove offers a fireside nook with a cozy atmosphere. Once inside, the style features a warm, modern palette, carefully curated not to be too clinical or fussy. Some features include beautiful oak wood floors, Thermador appliances, a private master suite with heated bathroom floors, a gas-heated pool and spa, a sound system, and complete hurricane impact doors and windows.

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A Good Education Is The Key To Success

A Good Education Is The Key To Success Principal Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman Of Emerald Cove Middle School Comes From A Family Of Educators

Story by Deborah Welky  |  Photos by Denise Fleischman

Emerald Cove Middle School opened in 2007 as Wellington’s third middle school. Located at the intersection of State Road 7 and Stribling Way, it serves Wellington’s eastern neighborhoods, such as the large Olympia community it borders.

Since 2014, Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman has served as principal at Emerald Cove, arriving there after three years in the top position at Wellington Elementary School.

Feaman is a self-described “product of Palm Beach County schools.” When she graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Suncoast High School, she already knew she was aiming for a career in education.

“Both my parents were educators in middle school, and I always had very influential teachers,” Feaman recalled.

One in particular, her John F. Kennedy Middle School math teacher Helen Brown, was particularly inspiring.

“She was firm but fair as a teacher,” Feaman said. “In fact, her teaching style is one I started adopting when I became a teacher. She was clear and caring. Her students always knew that she cared about their success.”

Yet it was Feaman’s parents, Virginia and Ulysses Smith, who first encouraged Feaman to follow their footsteps into the field of education. It was the same for her sisters, who are also educators.

“They wanted us to help others,” Feaman said. “They wanted for us to be people who gave back to our community and to be role models, as they were. They were staunch believers in the importance of education and doing well in school, and they instilled that in us. They always talked about education being that key to success. They were our biggest supporters.”

Feaman attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, majoring in elementary education and English. Upon graduation, she returned to Palm Beach County and began working as a teacher at Bear Lakes Middle School, where they were looking for someone for their new intensive reading program. But Feaman continued her studies, later earning specialist and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota.

As Feaman continued in her career, she was soon named an assistant principal at Bear Lakes, then promoted to principal at Cholee Lake Elementary School in Greenacres.

In 2011, Feaman became the principal at Wellington Elementary School, and in June 2014, when former Principal Dr. Nancy Lucas retired, Feaman took over as principal at Emerald Cove. “I had grown to love Wellington very much, and I have been here ever since,” she said.

Like many educators, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented her biggest challenge to date. “We had to go into a virtual setting, which was brand new, make sure students had what they needed in that time frame, and keep them safe,” Feaman said. “Now that we are back into the building, we have to make up for the gaps — academically, socially and emotionally.”

Emotional gaps are a real concern when it comes to middle schoolers, as they are typically highly social.

“Remote learning really has affected them socially and emotionally,” Feaman said. “Students had more screen time, which is both a positive and a negative thing, and not being able to interact with their peers affected their social skills. Also, in many cases, many were at home by themselves and able to do things without having structure. Kids are kids. They look for guidance from adults; they look for structure from adults. They do have other influences — phones and computers, as well as influences from within the community — and they are exposed to more things than in years past, but they are still children who are looking for love, nurturing and guidance from the adults in their lives.”

Since Feaman took the reins at Emerald Cove, the school has added its Pre-Information Technology academy, a technology-based choice program at the school, as well as becoming an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) school.

“Those are two high points, added to support our students academically,” Feaman said. “We also have very successful visual and performing arts classes. For the first time in the school’s history, our band has received a Superior rating, which was determined by a panel of judges comprised of other band directors.”

Moving forward, Feaman plans to continue her work helping her middle school students thrive.

“I hope to help as many children be academically successful as possible,” Feaman said. “I would like to grow some of our culturally aware programs to make sure we have a welcoming and inclusive environment, and I’d like to guide and support my teachers and staff members so they can do the best for their students.”

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