PUB­LISHER’S LET­TER

Times of the Islands - - Contents - Daniela J. Jaeger Daniela J. Jaeger Group Pub­lisher, TOTI Me­dia

As any­one who lives near—or of­ten fre­quents—the beach knows, it’s easy to claim your spot on the sands, mark it as your fa­vorite, and like a rit­ual, visit of­ten to soak up the sights, sounds and smells. Each trip to the shore, I marvel at how our beaches are so clean and cared-for; they never give me pause about go­ing into the wa­ter. And it doesn’t mat­ter if it’s the is­land beaches on Sanibel and Cap­tiva or the more pop­u­lated shores along Fort My­ers Beach or even the sands flank­ing the Naples Pier, they are all well-kept and wel­com­ing.

Be­sides the Gulf, there’s the Caloosa­hatchee River and var­i­ous other wa­ter­ways that de­fine South­west Florida, and those bod­ies of wa­ter are also pre­cious to the re­gion. But in the world we live in, clean wa­ter is not guar­an­teed. Red tide out­breaks and pol­lu­tion threaten our wa­ter­ways, and man of­ten in­ter­feres with na­ture un­der the dis­guise of progress. We are for­tu­nate to have elected city and county com­mis­sion­ers who have worked hard to keep our wa­ters clean—and with the sup­port of the g over­nor’s of­fice have been suc­cess­ful. I want to thank them all for their ef­forts.

We see more and more peo­ple mov­ing to South­west Florida, drawn here by our wa­ters and stun­ning coast­line—and the temp­ta­tion of the beach­comber life­style. As the pop­u­la­tion grows, so does the area’s need for health care, which is why we are vig­or­ously ad­dress­ing the sub­ject in this is­sue with a spe­cial sec­tion on Health and Well­ness (pages 38-48). Top­ics such as concierge medicine, new car­diac pro­ce­dures, Cross­Fit work­outs and healthy foods com­ple­ment our Times of the Is­lands fea­ture story, “Why Telemedicine Matters.”

In her ar­ti­cle, writer Sandy Teger ex­plores how the med­i­cal com­mu­nity is uti­liz­ing tech­nol­ogy in ways we never imag­ined. Telemedicine—the re­mote de­liv­ery of health care ser­vices over the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture— al­lows health care providers to eval­u­ate, di­ag­nose and treat pa­tients with­out the need for an in-per­son visit.

But along with the grow­ing use of tech­nol­ogy, come new con­cerns— some­times in the forms of iso­la­tion and men­tal health. We need to find ways to lis­ten and in­ter­act more with fam­ily mem­bers and friends so real con­ver­sa­tion doesn’t get lost. Real life goes be­yond that smart­phone in our hands, the num­ber of “likes” on our Face­book page, and the last photo we up­loaded with a text mes­sage. As for me, I of­ten pre­fer a warm com­fort­ing em­brace, a big hug from a lit­tle child, and face-to-face smiles and laugh­ter over the “ding” on my smart­phone sig­nal­ing the ar­rival of a text mes­sage. The op­por­tu­nity to have some real hu­man in­ter­ac­tion, prefer­ably over din­ner with all cell­phones si­lenced, is more stim­u­lat­ing and some­thing we all should try do­ing more of­ten.

Let me know if you agree. I wel­come your thoughts on our evolv­ing com­mu­nity, our grow­ing health care scene, and any­thing else you want to sound off on. Email me. I’d love to hear from you!

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