Episode 366: 04-28-16
On this week’s show, we discuss the evolution of the Coconut Grove real estate market, our UHealth special guest Dr. Alana Grajewski talks childhood glaucoma, George Fernandez of Ride2MD shares how his company solves the need for timely medical transportation, and Jim gives us an update on his wife Vivian’s kidney transplant.
Coconut Grove Real Estate Market
Cathy Strafaci of Terra Group is the Director of Sales for Park Grove Bayfront Residences, a $700MM luxury condominium development in Coconut Grove.
In her role, she works directly with Miami’s most notable developers, Terra Group and The Related Group, while managing the sales team. She has spearheaded the sales effort in the past at projects such as Murano Portofino, Murano Grande, Icon South Beach and the W South Beach Hotel & Residences.
We discuss the evolution of the Coconut Grove residential market.
Our special UHealth guest is Dr. Alana Grajewski, director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center. The Center’s aim is to provide the best and most innovative treatments as well as train doctors around the world to properly diagnose and treat pediatric glaucoma.
Dr. Grajewski – a pediatric glaucoma expert at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of UHealth the University of Miami Health System – recently restored sight for a two-year-old Brazilian girl who came to Bascom after seven failed surgeries.
We will discuss the girl’s compelling story and the high rates of child glaucoma locally and around the world.
Ride2MD – the Lyft for Healthcare
George Fernandez is the founder of Ride2MD – a Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge finalist. Drawing on more than 15 years of experience with entrepreneurial healthcare concerns, George Fernandez has now launched Ride2MD, a non-emergent medical transportation company that aims at eliminating transportation as a barrier to patients accessing their healthcare needs.
Ride2MD is the Lyft for Healthcare. The service offers pre-scheduled and on-demand transportation to health plans, provider offices and health systems needing a reliable transportation solution.
We discuss the problem Ride2MD solves for its customers – the need for timely medical transportation.
Vivian Fried Kidney Transplant Update
Jim takes a moment to update the audience on his wife Vivian Fried’s quest to get a kidney transplant.
It is national organ donation month – help by giving the gift of life!
Episode 366: 04-28-16
Feature photo courtesy of Ebyabe on Wikimedia Commons.
Jim Fried: We got a super show today. We’re going to talk about the Coconut Grove residential real estate market, childhood glaucoma treatments, Ride2MD, the new way for health care and I’ll give you an update on Vivian’s transplant status. So let’s get started. We’ve got a special guest holding. AC, why don’t you bring on the special guest? Hi, this is Jim Fried. Lisa, are you out there?
Emily Allen: Actually it’s Emily Allen with AARP Foundation. How are you tonight, Jim?
Jim Fried: I’m great Emily. Welcome to the show. I really do appreciate you calling in. This is a great thing that you guys are doing. Why don’t you tell me what you and the Dolphins have lined up for Sunday?
Emily Allen: Sure. Absolutely. We are so excited to partner again with the Dolphins for the third year this Sunday to pack one million meals. Right now one in five seniors in Florida don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And these meals will stay right here in South Florida and it’s a such an exciting event to partner with the Dolphins, such as team efforts, the players, the coaches, staff and actually I’ve got the latest numbers more than 5,000 volunteers will be out to pack one million meals.
Jim Fried: It’s absolutely awesome. I want to say one thing. It’s that the first date that I ever took my wife on. We went on to delivered meals to shut in senior citizens and I must tell you the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me was when we were leaving, one of the seniors, she turned around and asked us to unpack the box and when we were doing it she asked us what was in it because she was blind. And when we were done, when we were done, she put her hand on both of our foreheads and gave us a blessing that to this day still follows us. And I want to encourage everybody to get involved with this. How do they find out more or join your 5,000 volunteers?
Emily Allen: Absolutely. Volunteers can find us at www.dolphins.com/AARPfoundation. And you know what? Just one hour of their time will provide 220 meals for hungry seniors just like the lady that you met.
Jim Fried: That’s a radio show, I’m supposed to talk all the time but you leave me speechless.
Emily Allen: I hope it inspires people to come on out.
Jim Fried: It sure does. Again, if you could please give people the contact information about how they can change somebody’s life, touch somebody’s heart and soul and make the world a better place.
Emily Allen: Absolutely. That’s www.dolphins.com/AARPfoundation. It’s the great event with AARP Foundation and the Miami Dolphins.
Jim Fried: I want to thank Sidney, I want to thank Theresa, the Miami Dolphins for bringing you on to the show and being our partner on this. We can’t thank you enough for helping-
Emily Allen: I can’t thank you enough as well for getting the word out.
Jim Fried: I’m smiling. I’m just going to go one more time, how do people get in touch with you to register and be involved in this fabulous program?
Emily Allen: Absolutely. Come on out. We’re going to pack a million meals and we actually have a community fair, we’re going to help people learn a little more about seniors in their area. It’s www.dolphins.com/AARPfoundation.
Jim Fried: I can’t thank you enough. I want to thank you, I want to thank the Miami Dolphins for all the great things you’re doing in our community.
Emily Allen: Thank you so much.
Jim Fried: It’s my absolute pleasure. I want to remind everybody, stay tuned for more great information you can use to improve your life today. Right after this. We’re going to be talking about the Coconut Grove residential real estate market, how it’s moving and grooving in an area that you need to know about. We’ll be right back after this. AC, it’s yours.[commercial break]
Jim Fried: We’re on. We’re here talking Coconut Grove real estate with a person that’s the Director of Sales at Park Grove Bayfront Residences. It’s a development by Terra Group and the Related Group, Cathy – and I’m not even going to give it a shot – give it to me. Cathy, what’s your last name?
Cathy Strafaci: Strafaci.
Jim Fried: I can never get that stuff right. You got to talk into the microphone.
Cathy Strafaci: Strafaci, sorry.
Jim Fried: There you go. You got AC was all freaking out up there. Cathy, I work in the Grand Bay Plaza and I’ve watched the face of Coconut Grove change first with twisting towers that Terra did and now the amazing deal that’s going up on the site deal Coconut Grove bank, right where they just finished improving, 27th Avenue, Bayshore is just smoking. It’s completely different street and the activity and energy that Grove has changed dramatically with new restaurants and retailers like Harry’s Pizza. So tell me, what’s going on at Park Grove and what’s the impact of that on the rest of Coconut Grove?
Cathy Strafaci: I think, to talk about Park Grove is also to talk about the Bjarke Ingels project at Grove at Grand Bay because I think the whole renaissance of the Grove started with that. In the last real estate cycle there was no real grand real estate development because there weren’t available sites. And then when this cycle started there was an opportunity at the Grove at Grand Bay site and David was able to acquire that site.
Jim Fried: Hold on. High five to David Martin. Continue.
Cathy Strafaci: High five to David Martin.
Jim Fried: I think I blew out the whole signal on. AC, I think lost his mind when I yelled high five so loud. It was okay? Didn’t blow out.
Cathy Strafaci: So he saw that opportunity and I think he was able to capture an end user market, a local market, people were really looking for real luxury in Miami and not off the beach.
Jim Fried: Beyond that they were locked in Pinecrest and take some 45 minutes just to get to that location.
Cathy Strafaci: I think that’s why you’re saying Coconut Grove in general. The traffic patterns in Miami aren’t getting any better. East to the highways certainly improves your lifestyle if you’re living on Brickell and I think you’re seeing so much of Miami turning to a city of neighborhoods. There you have Wynwood, the Design District, you have Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, and these pockets are becoming so much more interesting with having accessibility and being centrally located and being able to access them when you’re living east to the highway off Bayshore.
Jim Fried: What I call them is vertically integrated activity centers.
Cathy Strafaci: You’re a real estate person to say that.
Jim Fried: Am I full of ”bubbly-bubbly-googly-gock” or what?
Cathy Strafaci: It’s what Miami and big cities are becoming. Each have their own distinct personality and what we like to say that Coconut Grove has what other neighborhoods are trying to develop.
Jim Fried: It has trees.
Cathy Strafaci: It has trees. A canopy of trees as we like to say. What’s happened is, I hate to say it because I work for real estate developers and that’s how I make my living but most of Florida and most of Miami particularly was developed by real estate developers, strip malls, vertical streets and-
Jim Fried: They carved it all up and didn’t make it interesting.
Cathy Strafaci: Didn’t make it interesting. Coconut Grove is developed in a very – and my team is going to laugh at me – very organic way.
Jim Fried: Eclectic. I love it. Fun and exciting.
Cathy Strafaci: Fun and exciting. And different. And it really speaks to what Florida and Miami is all about.
Jim Fried: It’s all about locals.
Cathy Strafaci: It is all about locals. Walking and hanging out in the park. We use an event at Glass & Vine, a new restaurant in Peacock Park on Tuesday. And we walked in, the whole team and got out of the office and we walked this gorgeous day, typical South Florida day. It was really like a February day. Goosebumps. Hundred people were doing yoga in the park. And there we were going to a cocktail party and the kids were playing soccer at Peacock Park-
Jim Fried: You don’t get this anywhere else.
Cathy Strafaci: You don’t get it anywhere else.
Jim Fried: Plus it wasn’t rainy or hot. Or cold.
Cathy Strafaci: More importantly, cold. And we had great food and great vine and hung out with a lot of friends and it was just really what living in Florida is about. It’s the concept of being able to walk. We walked from the office.
Jim Fried: You’re building a lifestyle.
Cathy Strafaci: We are building a lifestyle. And the neighborhoods are responding to it. And we have buyers, most of our buyers are coming from the local community or people that are actually relocating. One of my favorite clients, a couple that came down to Miami-
Jim Fried: Give a shout out.
Cathy Strafaci: I’m not going to say their names. I’m being respectful.
Jim Fried: You are respectful. You’re so prim and proper. You’re perfect for this.
Cathy Strafaci: Thank you.
Jim Fried: High five to whoever brought you on board. David Martin. High five to David Martin. Watch out, AC, here comes another ”high five to David Martin”.
Cathy Strafaci: She’s an artist, he’s in finance. They’ve kept their boat down at the Grove at Dinner Key Marina for the last 30 years. They wanted to relocate, they don’t want to live in the cold weather anymore, they don’t want to live in a boat anymore. So they don’t want to live on Miami Beach, they want to live where they feel it’s part of nature, they feel they’re in a neighborhood, they watch your walks to yoga, she walks to restaurants and they don’t want to get in their car, they either want to be on their boat or walking in the neighborhoods and that’s really Coconut Grove.
Jim Fried: I park my car at the office and I don’t have to move it. Once I get to the office I can walk across the street to that fabulous fresh market, now the new park?
Cathy Strafaci: Yes, the Regatta Park.
Jim Fried: What a beautiful thing that is.
Cathy Strafaci: How nice is it to live in a city that recognizes taking down and obsolete and ugly, sorry, conventions [crosstalk] It was Tin, I actually hosted some events there.
Jim Fried: I actually went there too but never did Burn Notice, they missed that on me.
Cathy Strafaci: And they’ve torn that down and they made this remarkable, beautiful Regatta Park. It is awesome.
Jim Fried: I go walk through there, I don’t really jog, but I do walk, it’s just beautiful, and try doing that counter steps on your Fit Pit there.
Cathy Strafaci: There you go.
Jim Fried: We only got another minute left here in this segment. Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we tell people how they can get more information on Park Grove and the other Terra Group projects and the other Related Group projects and we’ll come back and ask you some more smoking great questions?
Cathy Strafaci: To get information on the Park Grove, they can log onto our website at www.park-grove.com.
Jim Fried: Well said, you want to say that again?
Cathy Strafaci: Let me say it again-
Jim Fried: I love this lady. I told you you’d laugh.
Cathy Strafaci: We’re very technologically proficient.
Jim Fried: Hold on, I’ve got a phone, you need to look this up?
Cathy Strafaci: You didn’t tell me you’re going to mock me.
Jim Fried: I’m not mocking you, I’m making you laugh. I said I would make you laugh.
Cathy Strafaci: So park-grove.com. That’s our website and click on and you’ll be able to access all the FLIR plans, view, renderings, all the fun, bells and whistles and you can get shout out and you can get all the information you need.
Jim Fried: You’re awesome. Would you stay one more segment and make me laugh?
Cathy Strafaci: I’ll try.
Jim Fried: All right. We’re going to be back after this with more great information you can use today about Coconut Grove and then after this we’re going to talk about childhood glaucoma with UHealth folks and then after that Miami Herald Business Challenge Finalist, Ride2MD and their cutting-edge technology. We’ll be back after this. AC, it is all yours.[commercial break]
Jim Fried: We’re here. We’re getting our sponsors together with our guest. It’s a really cool thing. It’s what we do here on Fried On Business. We mix it up and we get it going and it’s just an awesome thing. We’re here talking about Coconut Grove and what’s going on in Coconut Grove. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart because I work in Coconut Grove. And we are here talking with the special person that Terra Group and the Related Group sent over here, Cathy, and I’m going to let you say it again-
Cathy Strafaci: Strafaci.
Jim Fried: There you go. I’m never going to get that so I’m just giving up right now. So Cathy’s here. She specializes in giggling and making sure her clients, her customers have a fabulous lifestyle experience and we’re talking about the intersection at 27th Avenue and Bayshore drive. Tell me, what’s going on? That’s like the crucible center of the Universe for me.
Cathy Strafaci: It’s for all of us actually.
Jim Fried: Tell me about when you get out of your car because I know that you don’t do it often except when you’re in Coconut Grove.
Cathy Strafaci: What’s interesting and spectacular about that, besides me and you, because you taught me some social media things.
Jim Fried: Who loves you, baby, Johnny, look for a call by the way.
Cathy Strafaci: So, is the Rem Koolhaas design building we engrave, a lot of projects do famous architects, great architects but I always like to say if great architect doesn’t really transform how you live, it doesn’t make a difference. You have this amazing architect that has designed a project that really only belongs in Coconut Grove. That is, we replicate the tree canopy in the parks on site. It is cool.
Jim Fried: I’m serious. I cry when they cut trees down.
Cathy Strafaci: Actually, in Coconut Grove we relocated all the trees on site. We relocated every tree that’s on site.
Jim Fried: I’m watching you what they’re doing at Terra, at The Ingels building, they’re putting them all in there.
Cathy Strafaci: What we did actually at Park Grove, which is the only a project that I can speak to is-
Jim Fried: Thank you Rick, we love you too bro.
Cathy Strafaci: Thank you Rick. This is making you laugh. We took all the trees that are on the site and we relocated them either off site into a nursery or they’re actually moved off the site into the corners and Enzo Enea, a remarkable Swiss architect, landscape architect is we located them on site into the five acres.
Jim Fried: And he’s creating a design where they become a thing, like a jungle.
Cathy Strafaci: Actually what happens is that Rem Koolhaas and the design team from LMA lay an architectural plinth. I taught you a word today. Plinth.
Jim Fried: What the heck is a plinth?
Cathy Strafaci: It’s basically a big slab of garden laid on top, like a blanket. Plinth sounds much more intellectual. I sound smarter saying ”plinth” and I taught you a word today. So laying architectural plinth on top of the all the amenity deck so that you have this 5-acre park is part of the project. So we replicate the trees –
Jim Fried: No wonder you got billionaires moving in there.
Cathy Strafaci: Lots of billionaires.
Jim Fried: Can somebody normal move in there too?
Cathy Strafaci: Yes.
Jim Fried: What’s your price points?
Cathy Strafaci: We’re almost sold out of two towers but I still have some residences under $1 million in one of the towers but the primary residences range from about $2.5 million to about $12 million.
Jim Fried: Something for everybody. Now I see why you’re changing what’s going in Coconut Grove. It’s going from the hippies to the people that want to be hippies and live the lifestyle.
Cathy Strafaci: Exactly. Coconut Grove has always been a place because of its water front, the proximity to the water and the great sailing and Biscayne Bay, it’s always been a place of great affluence but kind of quiet elegance and not really in your face.
Jim Fried: I love that, quiet elegance. I was going to say, is this all on a card? You don’t even have notes for this?
Cathy Strafaci: You can imagine if I had a teleprompter.
Jim Fried: Forget about it. Who are you, Donald Trump?
Cathy Strafaci: Yes. I already have my foreign policy speech.
Jim Fried: We talked a little bit about the amenity deck, the, what was the word you just taught me?
Cathy Strafaci: The plinth.
Jim Fried: What are some of the other amenities?
Cathy Strafaci: Michael Schwartz at Michael’s Genuine is putting in a restaurant in Coconut Grove.
Jim Fried: Let me ask you this, are they going to have nightlife and it’s going to be bouncy and all loud and everything?
Cathy Strafaci: No. That’s not Coconut Grove.
Jim Fried: Thank you. I just want to make sure it’s going to be stylish and upscale and posh.
Cathy Strafaci: Think Miami cross, same parts in Miami and Coconut Grove all together and the gardens.
Jim Fried: Will I be able to go there?
Cathy Strafaci: I hope you’ll be able to go there.
Jim Fried: I’m going to go there if you let me in.
Cathy Strafaci: We’ll let you in.
Jim Fried: I’ll get a little pass a key fob even maybe. I love that word. I’ve been waiting to use ”key fob” for a long time.
Cathy Strafaci: You need to buy a condominium at Park Grove, or residence.
Jim Fried: We’ll talk about that. You need to make me rich so I can do that. I think we’re going to do that though. I’ve got a feeling that this little match up here is going to make everybody a whole lot of money.
Cathy Strafaci: That’s what real estate is all about.
Jim Fried: Yes, but you also create lifestyles. And let’s go back to talking about that we’ve had a great time but let’s really talk about the project for a second.
Cathy Strafaci: It’s interesting because so many of my buyers are coming, a first time condominium buyers. So it’s interesting. They’re buyers that have bought homes, built homes, most of them work with architects, built five, ten, twelve million dollar homes and now we don’t say they’re downsizing, they’re probably making a lateral move financially or some of them are actually spending more money on their primary residence but they’re downsizing in size but they’re kind of gating in lifestyles. So it’s transformative to their lifestyle because they don’t have the maintenance of the primary residence.
Jim Fried: I’ll tell you what it does because I live the lifestyle now. You should look up my hashtag #skypalace. That’s what they’re getting. You’re creating for them their own sky palace, their own home, it’s not a condo, it’s sky palace, it’s a place where they can go, they open a door and it’s just an amazing living experience. And what are some of the other amenities besides the plinth? Did I get it right? And Michael’s Genuine’s is going to have a thing.
Cathy Strafaci: We have a beautiful wellness center with a full service spa, we have screening rooms, vine rooms, we have an art gallery with a full-time curator, we have butler service, we have Valley Concierge, we have vine storage and a vine room, we have art storage. It’s what it is. When you live in a large home and you have all those problems you don’t have those home ownership problems, you enjoy, it really opens up your lifestyle. We have beautiful children’s rooms, we have teen rooms.
Jim Fried: That’s why they’re buying home. That’s why you’re staying in a multi-family and a high rise multi-family. You got the water view, you got no maintenance, you got a problem, you pick up the phone. We only got three more minutes left according to AC so we’re going to get serious, we’re going to talk about.. we talked about you got great floor plants, great amenities, the pricing is from $2.5 -$12 ?
Cathy Strafaci: Not including the penthouses.
Jim Fried: Save one of them for me. I’m serious. We’ll talk about that later. And then, lots of room for cars. What’s the parking ratio?
Cathy Strafaci: That I don’t know.
Jim Fried: How about that? I asked you a question.
Cathy Strafaci: I don’t know that.
Jim Fried: If I got my two fancy cars I got to park my third one maybe off site but then there’s going to be garages that my friends are building, that’ll be another show. I’ll introduce you to them and we’ll all make money then. And that’s what real estate is all about. Creating a lifestyle for the people that we care about that are coming to Miami or live in Miami in this case.
Cathy Strafaci: We sad buyers that are living, but we’re having buyers relocate to Miami and they’re attracted to Coconut Grove because they want to live in a place that’s a full-time residence, that’s not Trendsends.
Jim Fried: No, Coconut Grove is one of the vertically integrated activity centers and I’ll tell you what I mean.. or neighborhood. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, it’s got great ingress and egress, it’s got fabulous places to live, multi-family, single-family, it’s got offices, it’s got hotels, it’s got retail, it’s got restaurants, it’s got recreation, you do not have to leave.
Cathy Strafaci: Great schools.
Jim Fried: That too. I forgot about that. Probably the best in town.
Cathy Strafaci: Some say the best in south-east.
Jim Fried: I didn’t go there so I won’t say that. But anyway, we’ve got a minute left, why don’t you give our friends that want to get more information, tell them how they find you and this time go slow because you never know that maybe somebody from New York that’s a Jets fan and they want to know and you got to go slow for them.
Cathy Strafaci: Okay, I’ll go very slow, www.park-grove.com. How was that?
Jim Fried: That was good but, here, look while I take a funny picture. You are just an awesome guest. I hope that Related and Terra serve you up every month. This is awesome. We’ll bring David on, we would have a great time with David. They wouldn’t say a word though.
Cathy Strafaci: David wouldn’t say a word.
Jim Fried: I know. But I did interview him once, he’s the best and I want to give a high five truly to David for changing the face of Miami, making Miami a really super-duper place to live and creating just what is becoming to me, it’s already the center of my universe. And he’s just making it really super great and he’s a Gator. So high five to him for that. I love the Gators, I’m a Gator. So, we’ll be back after this with more great information that you can use today. We’re going to talk about the doctor about childhood glaucoma, we’re going to talk about Ride2MD, the new cutting-edge solution that’s in the Miami Business Plan Challenge. But one last time, I want to say thank you so much to Terra Group and the Related Group for bringing me Stacy-
Cathy Strafaci: Cathy.
Jim Fried: I love this. Can you come back?
Cathy Strafaci: No.
Jim Fried: I figure that. All right, we’ll be back with more great information around the horn, Stacy Cathy miss-
Cathy Strafaci: Strafaci.
Jim Fried: I love her. We’ll be back after this. AC, it’s yours. I’m going dancing.[commercial break]
Jim Fried: As you well know, because you listen all the time, when he says ”I feel like sugar and spice” it’s time to bring on our UHealth expert. And today we’ve got – and I’m going to butcher another name – Dr. Alana Grajewski. She’s the director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center. They provide great diagnosis, training, all kinds of technology and treatments for pediatric glaucoma. Welcome to the show, Doctor.
Alana Grajewski: Hello. Thank you for having me.
Jim Fried: It’s my pleasure. How bad did I break up your name on that?
Alana Grajewski: You did great.
Jim Fried: Awesome. I did great. I love it. I went online, I read all about the stuff that you’re doing, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the young lady that you helped?
Alana Grajewski: Certainly. First of all, I must say that I think most people do not think of glaucoma as anything that happens in children. So we’ll start there. So that’s usually kind of an eye catcher just to start with because glaucoma can occur in all ages and while we think of it as something in the 18 and adults, it can occur in children and in infants also. And the young lady who I took care of from Brazil was two years old and she had this since birth. When it occurs it’s pretty uncommon, it’s about one in 25,000. But if you take all children whether it occurs at birth or whether it’s associated with let’s say a syndrome or something else or occurs later, from birth 18 years of age, the incidence is more like one in 5000. So she was one of the ones where it occurs at birth and it’s treated completely differently than adult glaucoma.
Jim Fried: So then, it did seem unusual to me because you don’t think that kids get glaucoma. What are some of the things that are going on in the treatment of glaucoma because I can’t think of too many things that are scarier than that?
Alana Grajewski: Pediatric glaucoma is not like adult glaucoma that small. It has different technology and different ways of diagnosing it. In fact, I think most people are amazed that how do you make a diagnosis of glaucoma in a child and really when it’s someone who is born with glaucoma, an infant with glaucoma, it’s always the caregiver, the mom, the dad, whoever is interacting with the child who notices at first. One eye looks bigger than the other, or the eyes look peery, the child doesn’t want to be in sunlight. There’s usually something. And if it’s right from birth as opposed in the first couple of months of life, the eyes can look very cloudy and hazy. And in fact, the young lady who I took care of that you’re referring to, both of her eyes had very a hazy cornea which unfortunately will remain scarred like that because her treatment was delayed. She was born with glaucoma and they tried to treat her locally without success and the cornea wound up remaining hazy and will stay that way.
Jim Fried: So then, again, you told a little bit about what somebody can look for as a warning sign. If you can go over that again, I’d really appreciate that.
Alana Grajewski: So infants, they do not want to have their eyes on light, bright light, they close their eyes, a lot of teary, but usually the eyes will have an appearance where it looks hazy, a lot of times that parents will say their eyes look blue or whitish. And the eyes can be very large, one eye bigger than the other is another sign. After the age of about three years of age, it really isn’t a lot in the way of symptoms to help you so you have to have a suspicion that a child has a high pressure in their eye associated let’s say with a syndrome or there’s a family history of glaucoma occurring young.
Jim Fried: Is there any kind of new treatments or anything that’s coming up that people can look at and say there’s on the horizon some hope or some really good stuff coming?
Alana Grajewski: Pediatric glaucoma is really a very hopeful disease in the sense that if you make the diagnosis and you treat it and the treatment is different once again than adults, it’s not rough and laser and end surgery, it’s surgical from day one usually. If you do those things appropriately, the chances that a child will have normal or near normal vision is very good if they can be as high as 80-90% with one surgery. Of course, if you don’t make the diagnosis or the surgery can’t be done appropriately, the vision loss is permanent. And with that one particular child from Brazil that you were referring to, they had attempted treatments that may have been temporarily successful and then were not so she was at a point where it was an all-or-none event. We could either save her vision or she would lose it forever.
Jim Fried: It sounds to me like the number one leading way to deal with this is education.
Alana Grajewski: Yes. Education of doctors and other areas and in fact, that’s something that the Balkan Center here at Bascom Palmer is dedicated to do is education physicians, surgeons in other countries and then this country, in rural America. I’ll tell you, here in this country, this is a problem as well. There are not very many of us who do this because it’s not that common, quite honestly. But when presented with it, again, it has a very dramatic outcome. The child will either be sighted or they will lose vision from glaucoma. So we have an organization called CGRN – Childhood Glaucoma Research Network which has a group of physicians and scientists that are confirmed in treat children with glaucoma. And there’s about, we have over 200 now in 38 countries. So we’re getting together as a group so that we can enhance our knowledge and then continue to train other physicians on how to diagnose early and treat appropriately kids with glaucoma.
Jim Fried: Dr. Grajewski – did I get it right that time?
Alana Grajewski: That was very good.
Jim Fried: Awesome. I’m really practicing this while we’re talking. I’m going to have to go but you’ve gotten some great information to us. If somebody wants to get more education or information, how do they find you?
Alana Grajewski: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute here at the University of Miami and pretty much any information regarding pediatric glaucoma can be found through here but there are some other websites that offer information on childhood glaucoma on the internet which is how this child now does, quite honestly.
Jim Fried: Dr. Grajewski, thank you so much for bringing blessings to the life of that young lady and all of your patients and making our community a better place. I want to thank you so much for being on the show and helping us educate the community on this really big issue.
Alana Grajewski: Thank you so much. And if anybody has a question, they certainly can reach us here at Bascom Palmer.
Jim Fried: Bascom Palmer, always one of the best eye hospitals in the entire world. Thank you again, Dr Grajewskl. We’ll be right back with some great information. We’re going to talk to my good friend, George Fernandez about Ride2MD, the leader in the clubhouse in the Miami Business Challenge hopefully will get you over the finish line. We’ll be back with great information you can use today. Right after this.[commercial break]
Jim Fried: We are back and we’ve got one of the biggest entrepreneurs in our town, George Fernandez, serial entrepreneur.
George Fernandez: How are you?
Jim Fried: I’m doing good. That lady at the beginning was awesome.
George Fernandez: She killed it.
Jim Fried: You’re going to kill it too, don’t worry. We’re going to have the best time here and we’re going to get some great information out. So your latest business venture Ride2MD, what problem does that solve?
George Fernandez: Great question. It’s really lift for medical transportation, health care transportation. So traffic, weather, it’s always in issue here. When you’re talking about health care transportation simply taking patients to and from their homes or to the doctor’s office, it’s a problem that we all have to deal with.
Jim Fried: My wife is on dialysis and there’s a lady that she calls the ”Bus lady” and she’s always going ”Where’s the bus? Where’s the bus?”, and she says it for two hours. Seems to me like she’s got a problem to solve.
George Fernandez: Absolutely. So I’ve dealt with it with my family, with friends and in business before. I come from the insurance world and we have to deal with it where it was a pretty big issue for us and I had to know about a year ago, a year and a half ago where I tried to find a solution for us. We could not find it and I decided I’m going to do it myself. So that’s a genesis of Ride2MD.
Jim Fried: So my mom is 77 years old, she’s got a doctor’s appointment in 125th in Biscayne and she lives in Aventura, how can you help her?
George Fernandez: She would call us, she would schedule, let us know when she needs to be at the doctor’s, she would call us and we would coordinate that really from the beginning to the end.
Jim Fried: What does that cost me?
George Fernandez: We generally work with health insurance companies and hospital systems. Right now we’re not providing individual service but we look to do that in the near future. So we charge them and it’s a nominal rate. Ultimately, for the patients themselves, your family, your friends, your grandmother, it’s free for them because someone else is paying for it.
Jim Fried: So then my mom makes a doctor’s appointment, calls Ride2MD, she says she’s a Medicare, Medicaid, AvMed, whatever it is, and they say ”Yes, for sure. We’ll be there at 3:00”. And it’s important that they get there at three so she could be at the doctor at four because if she misses the appointment, what happens?
George Fernandez: Doctors are really busy people. They’re busy, they don’t spend a lot of time with their patients. So if you’re late half an hour or ten minutes, you’re really running a risk of not being see by that physician.
Jim Fried: Do you mean the guy that I made the appointment with two months ago?
George Fernandez: Correct.
Jim Fried: I can’t see him, I got to wait another two months? Now it’s four months and my foot is falling off. It’s not a good thing.
George Fernandez: It’s an issue.
Jim Fried: It is.
George Fernandez: Something as simple as transportation that a lot of us take for granted really for the people who truly need a transportation solution to get to the doctor’s office is critical. It is really, it can affect their care and it can make their healthcare significantly worse if they can’t get to and from the doctor’s office.
Jim Fried: I called it ”Aventorture”, just about the streets, driving up and down the streets is going to make the person crazy. And if they’re not feeling well, let’s just say they’re a little bit impaired from their medication, it’s not safe. Now let’s talk about the drivers. Tell me a little bit about the people that are going to be driving and being the primary observation person for my mom.
George Fernandez: We actually contract with license and credentials and fully vetted transportation companies so we provide everything from ambulatory vehicles that can be done in a sedan of minivan type of vehicle all the way to ambulances. So sedans wheelchair stretcher, non-emergent ambulance, you name it and we solve that problem.
Jim Fried: So then I don’t have to worry that my mom who’s got a bad hip has got to get in the car – my mom really doesn’t, I love you mom, I know you don’t have a bad hip, but I’m just making this up – let’s say my mom has a bad hip, she can’t drive, she needs a ride, she doesn’t need an ambulance. Instead of the white little car with the red lines on it, a sedan comes and picks her up.
George Fernandez: If that’s fitting for her. So part of our process is we go and we ask the patient or the care giver exactly the kind of things that they need if they’re in a wheelchair or a walker or can they walk around, we make sure that the right type of vehicle and right type of driver that helps support her or him shows up, and of course efficiently and on time.
Jim Fried: If somebody wants to get more information about this and pastor their insurance company to sign up, how do they do that?
George Fernandez: ride2md.com or on Facebook or Twitter or any of the social media-
Jim Fried: I’ve been doing it all the time, Ride2MD, it just pops up every time, it’s really easy and I guess it’s good for the kids because it’s really easy social and business wise. Just one little more segment left. Thank you. I don’t know what to say. This is a great solution. I know it helps me, it’s going to help me every day.
George Fernandez: And I also would do want to take advantage, one of the things that they can help support Ride2MD is we’ve entered the Miami Heralds Annual Business Plan Challenge which is amazing. This year they had a record turn out, I think it was over or close 200 or 300 submissions. We’re on the top six of those finalists.
Jim Fried: I’m voting early.
George Fernandez: Absolutely. Please you can vote every day per email so if you have two emails, three emails, you can vote two or three times per day up until Sunday. There’s plenty of other great companies. Of course we would prefer that you support Ride2MD but support us, support the Herald and this great initiative.
Jim Fried: This was great. George, I want to say thank you. I was going to give everybody an update on Vivian and I’m going to do that right now. Vivian, we have gotten an enormous response from the community. There’s number of people that are getting in line to get tested to see if they’re going to match up with Vivian. So far nobody has been a match. We continue to ask people to come and match and be part of the living donor solution for my beautiful wife who is tough as nails. I’m a whimp compared to her. Now I want to thank everybody. I want to thank Related Group for bringing us a guest, Terra Group for bringing our guest, I want to thank UHealth, I want to thank Ride2MD, South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine, the CCIMs, KIND Snacks, Warren Henry Automotive, the NFL Alumni, the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Marlins, Social Media 305, I need to take a breath, the Aztec Group, Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, but the people that are… I got more, I forgot, Spectrum, UHealth, Magnum Energy Solutions, Engineered Tax Services, EarlyShares, Xpresso Marketing and of course how could I forget: Lauren’s Kids. So Vivian is doing better. Remember, thank you to everybody, the most important people, you my listeners, thank you so much. Facebook page, like our show, tell your friends, Twitter @JimFried, @FriedonBusiness, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, the website has lots of hits. If you missed today’s show it’ll be up on the website www.friedonbusiness.com. This is Jim Fried for Fried on Business. Look for us on 880 AM next Thursday with the CCIMs and a whole lot of other great guests. Why? Because I just love doing this. Remember, this is not a rehearsal, this is your life. The person that wants to do something finds a way, the other finds an excuse. Now go out there and make it happen. AC, it is yours.