University of Florida Health Cancer Center


Visionary Cancer Research at UF
Helps Fuel Region’s Economy

Turning today’s “what ifs” into tomorrow’s cancer breakthroughs is a specialty at University of Florida Health Cancer Center.

“We’re working with brilliant researchers who are passionate about improving the way we prevent, detect and treat cancer,” says Paul Okunieff, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center. “But the reality is that until you have a product to market, you can’t help mankind. The path scientists must take to transform their promising concept into a product leads them far from their field of expertise.” …Read More

Freedom Health/Optimum HealthCare, Inc.


Making the World a Better Place
Through Managed Health Care

Kiran C. Patel, M.D. is a healer. His medical specialty of cardiology is just one of the ways.
Dr. Patel is a business owner, a job creator, and, in Florida, he has put managed care on the side of the patient and the physician. He is the driving force behind Freedom Health/Optimum HealthCare, Inc., leaders in the HMO industry, serving Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Born in Zambia, educated in medicine in India, Dr. Patel arrived in the United States on Thanksgiving Day in 1976 and started an American success story. After a cardiology fellowship in a Columbia University-affiliated program, he went into practice in Tampa, Florida.

At that time, physicians didn’t like taking care of managed care patients. “The bean counters were trying to tell doctors what to do,” he says.

Building the Business
In 1987 he got involved with a troubled insurance company owned by physicians. Its annualized revenues were about $1 million. Dr. Patel took over and ran the company for several years. “Philosophically, I found that a physician-owned, physician-run company has the core values of patient care as its basis,” he says. “Rupesh Shah and I were able to build that company to more than 1,200 employees, 400,000 members and a billion dollars in revenue annualized.”

Now, at the helm of Freedom Health/Optimum HealthCare, Dr. Patel, Chairman, and Rupesh Shah, CEO, have this company touching a billion dollars in revenue and serving almost 100,000 members. The company employs more than a thousand people. “I have a good team, and some of them have worked with me for 15 or 20 years now,” says Dr. Patel.

“In 2009, we were the seventh-fastest-growing privately held company in America, with a 10,000 percent growth rate,” says Joseph L. Vessio, vice president of sales and marketing. “We made the Inc. 500 list.”

Accessibility and Affordability
Dr. Patel characterizes the company as member-centered, Florida-focused and with excellent physician-to-physician relationships. Open doors and business on a first-name basis are the way of things here, and there are four areas of emphasis: the patient, the provider, the payer and the plan.

Accessibility isn’t only for physicians, though. Vessio says one of the first things he did was to set up concierge centers around the state where people could speak face to face with a licensed representative.

“My number one priority is my patient,” says Dr. Patel. “In general, if you do the right thing for the right reason, the right result will follow.”



Corporate Headquarters
5403 North Church Avenue
Tampa, FL 33614

Robotic Surgery Center at Wuesthoff Health System


Brevard County Home
to Team of Robotic Surgery Innovators

In leading hospitals, the robotic era has begun.
“With robotics, surgeons have an invaluable, minimally invasive tool that provides patients with several advantages over traditional surgery such as less postoperative discomfort, quicker recovery and less scarring,” says Dwayne Badgett, MD, Chief of Surgery, Wuesthoff Medical Center – Rockledge. …Read More

The Florida Knee and Orthopedic Centers


Restoring Joints, Restoring Lives

How many of us do work that truly benefits others in profound, life-changing ways? Orthopedic surgeon Ronald Hayter, M.D., medical director of The Florida Knee and Orthopedic Centers (FKOC), is one of the fortunate few.

His patients, many of whom have debilitating end-stage arthritis of the knee, are lucky too. …Read More

Lauro Law Firm


Auburn081814FBSO_AUBURSS00001Solid, Steady Legal Advice When Crisis Strikes

This is serious. Authorities are asking questions. Reputation – and maybe more – is at stake. How bad will it get? What happens next?
When legal disaster storms into the executive suite, many turn to the Lauro Law Firm, a nationwide practice.

This is a small, boutique, white-collar criminal defense practice founded in 1994. “We represent individuals in their most difficult circumstances imaginable,” says founder John F. Lauro. “Our clients are usually businesspeople who find themselves confronted with either a government indictment or a government investigation that potentially could change their lives forever.” …Read More

Diaz & Harris, P.A.


Auburn081814FBSO_AUBURSS00001“When Products Fail Let Justice Prevail”

Where there’s cigarette smoke, there’s fire, and it’s in the bellies of J.B. Harris and Rick Diaz, attorneys who have joined forces to fight the tobacco industry.

The two are accomplished, seasoned trial lawyers, each with his own legal practice, Diaz in criminal defense and Harris in complex products liability litigation. Together, they are Diaz & Harris, P.A., a force for individuals suing cigarette manufacturers for smoking-related injuries, including lung cancer, COPD and heart disease. …Read More

Ice Appellate


Auburn081814FBSO_AUBURSS00001The First Choice for Second Chances

When a bank foreclosed on
a Florida couple, there were questions about how the lender had arrived at the amount owed. The Florida law firm of Ice Appellate challenged the foreclosure, proving the bank representative who signed the foreclosure document was not personally familiar with the details. As a result, a state appeals court ruled in the homeowners’ favor. The case, Glarum v. LaSalle, was instrumental in having the controversial practice of “robo-signing” by banks declared illegal.
“This case was a game-changer,” says Tom Ice, principal at Ice Appellate. “For the first time, banks were held to the same standard of evidence as anyone else.” …Read More

Florida Southern College


Everglades081814FBFL_EVERGTY00002Florida Southern MBA

• 16-month hybrid format
• Saturday or weekday schedule
• Concentrations in Supply Chain Management and Health Care Management
• Executive mentoring program
• Real-world experience with living case studies
• International travel-study included


Florida Southern College


Everglades081814FBFL_EVERGTY00002Florida Southern MBA

• 16-month hybrid format
• Saturday or weekday schedule
• Concentrations in Supply Chain Management and Health Care Management
• Executive mentoring program
• Real-world experience with living case studies
• International travel-study included


Everglades University


Everglades081814FBFL_EVERGTY00002Exciting Degree Programs for the Changing World

Nothing stands still – not the world, not the workplace, not your career.  What do you need to know to advance?

Everglades University offers innovation in graduate and undergraduate education. “We bring traditional academic values to programs of study in new and up-and-coming fields,” says Dr. Jayne Moschella, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

David Smith, Department Chair of business programs, says Everglades offers master’s degrees in business administration, aviation science and entrepreneurship. Recent changes have given the MBA program tremendous flexibility, providing opportunities to build on the basic degree. An MBA student interested in aviation or construction management can shape the program to include coursework in these areas. Conversely, an aviation sciences graduate student can incorporate MBA studies. …Read More