Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hosp Authority

Saggy Boobs, Droopy Eyes, Mommy Makeovers:
What the legislature had in mind for the Lake Shore Hospital Authority?

Dr. Melinda Keener (left) explains the reason the face ages.

Dr. Keener told the crowd she injects herself.

COLUMBIA COUNTY/LAKE CITY, FL – Last night, at what the private Shands Lake Shore Hospital billed as a "Free Girls Night Out," Dr. Melinda Keener featured saggy boobs, droopy eyes, mommy makeovers and more. The event was co-sponsored by the Lake Shore Hospital Authority using public funds. Dr. Keener, in private practice, is affiliated with Shands Lake Shore.

Looking at a room filled to capacity Dr. Keener told the gathering, "I'm really excited. I'm new in Lake City. This is my kind of Girls Night."

The young and energetic Doctor began, "Basically, I'm going to talk a little bit about me, because I am new to Lake City. Not many people know me and my practice. I'm going to be talking about the services that I offer. I want to talk about things that you can use and incorporate, some of the advances in plastic surgery to help you feel like a better you."

Free Girls Night Out played to a full house.

"There are many new things that are happening in plastic surgery that are revolutionizing the field. I'll be talking about the services that I offer. There are tons more: injectables and fillers; skin care; breast enhancement, mommy make over; and body contouring... I do all of my major operations at Lake Shore Shands Regional Medical Center."

Dr. Keener explained she operates in three locations and will be opening an additional clinic in Starke, "I just wanted another facility – you know – especially if you’re an employee at Lake Shore maybe you don't want everyone to know you're having plastic surgery – we can move you to another facility."

Dr. Keener told the all woman audience, "As we're living longer we realize that time stops for no one."

Dr. Keener advised suntan lotion for the skin, and vegetables and protein for good nutritional health.

The wrinkles come first

Dr. Keener said the first thing that is apparent during aging "is the wrinkles – lines around your mouth, lines around your eyes, the forehead lines... and it's obvious that gravity is pushing everything down."

The audience chuckled. Dr. Keener told people not to smoke. "It will age you," she warned.

Dr. Keener also has products to sell. She told the group, "I started using Revision skin care (products) while still a resident." Later on she announced she sells them in her office.

By the end of the evening everyone knew.

The most gratifying procedures

Dr. Keener said, "The tummy tuck I have to say after breast augmentation is probably the most gratifying procedure because you see those results right then and there."

After the presentation there was drawing after drawing and almost everyone got a prize.


Ask someone in Columbia County what the purpose of the Lake Shore Hospital Authority is. If they heard of it, they will tell you it is to provide indigent care. That has generally been the thought of the handpicked trustees of the Authority.

The lease of the hospital to a private, for-profit corporation, in which the Authority gave up all direct involvement in the maintenance and administration of the hospital, speaks for itself.

Columbia County tax payers contribute a guaranteed monetary equivalent of 1.5 mils a year, which translates into approximately $3.5 million a year for indigent care and associated low income services.

The Authority put out trinkets and an application for indigent care. Elective plastic surgery is not on the approved list of procedures.

None of the Authority's low income clients, who only can receive benefits after being approved by Authority Czar, Jack Berry, are eligible for the elective surgery and skin care products that Shands Lake Shore Hospital, Dr. Keener, and Hospital Czar Jack Berry were promoting during the Free Girls Night Out.

During the April Authority Board meeting there was no mention that Free Girls Night Out would be almost entirely about saggy boobs, droopy eyes, and mommy makeovers. There was mention by Mr. Berry that the Authority was partnering with the Hospital for the event and other remarks that were unintelligible.

There were no questions from the handpicked Authority Board.

The use of County public funds to promote a private hospital; promote a private doctor; and hawk skin care products is not what the legislature had in mind when it set up the Lake Shore Hospital Authority.


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