Scenes from TBBW’s inaugural Women’s Wellness Invitational (PHOTOS)

Tampa Bay Business and Wealth held its inaugural Women’s Wellness Invitational, presented by Cigna, Fifth Third Bank and HCA Healthcare. The specially branded robes were provided by sponsorship from law firm, Older, Lundy, Koch & Martino.

This event was created by TBBW CEO and Publisher, Bridgette Bello, out of the concept that men often network, and build relationships, on the golf course and although many women play golf, most women also love a great spa day to relax and unwind.

The day started with a panel discussion with Dr. Kamla Angela Persaud – Reddy, a market medical executive for Cigna North and Central Florida, Kristina Marasia, a portfolio manager at Fifth Third Bank and Tami Fitzpatrick, founder of Accelerated Consciousness. The focus was on mind, body, spirit and financial wellness.

Attendees participated in yoga classes, spa services, salon services and networked with each other.

Meanwhile, Thyroid cancer surgeons at the Clayman Thyroid Center and Tampa’s new Hospital for Endocrine Surgery teamed up with TBBW magazine to offer screening for the women executives for thyroid cancer, using ultrasonography.

Thyroid cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, yet screening for thyroid cancer is not performed anywhere in the world. Breast cancer screening through mammography has been routine for decades, but screening for thyroid cancer, in the general population, is not completed because it is not reimbursed by insurance. Thyroid cancer is the most quickly increasing cancer diagnosis in the United States and it affects women nearly three times as often as men and most commonly people between the age of 30 and 50.

The Clayman Thyroid Center’s surgeons teamed with TBBW magazine to provide free screenings for 43 women which were performed by the hospital’s world-renowned thyroid ultrasound team. Senior thyroid surgeon Dr. Rashmi Roy was the lead for the program and reviewed all the scans, personally, communicating with those women who had significant findings.

“These women had no previous history of thyroid masses, nodules, goiters or cancer,” says Roy. “So, this was a true screening program. We identified 21 women who had abnormal growths or cysts in their thyroid gland, 13 whose scan suggested a more detailed workup and, possibly, a biopsy will be required, and another five who were very likely to need surgery—possibly having thyroid cancer.”

“The good news is that we can identify cancers very early with this type of screening program which makes them nearly 100% curable” stated Dr. Gary Clayman, director of thyroid surgery at the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery. “When we find thyroid cancer earlier, it allows the robotic scarless approach possible in certain patients. This approach, which leaves no neck scar whatsoever, is performed here at the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery more than any other hospital in the U.S.”

The screening program was a tremendous success, according to Dr. Jim Norman, the practice CEO and senior surgeon at the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery. They say they plan to perform more free thyroid cancer screenings in Tampa and will offer this program again at future TBBW events.

“I get goosebumps every time I read the statistics of the screenings,” said Bridgette Bello, CEO and Publisher for TBBW. “We set out to do so much more than just offer great networking and a relaxing day at the spa. We set out to change lives and, clearly, for at least five women we may have saved their life.”

For information on being a part of this potentially life-changing event next year, please reach out to Bello at for more details.

Photos by Tacy Briggs-Troncoso 


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