Julio Ochoa

Health News Florida Editor

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.

He comes to WUSF from The Tampa Tribune, where he began as a website producer for TBO.com and served in several editing roles, eventually becoming the newspaper’s deputy metro editor. 

Julio was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and worked at a paper in Greeley, Colo., before returning to Florida as a reporter and as breaking news editor for the Naples Daily News.

Contact Julio at 813-974-8633, on Twitter at @julioochoa or email julioochoa@wusf.org.

State officials are investigating Pinellas County’s first non-travel-related case of Zika virus, according to a release from Gov. Rick Scott’s office.


  Mindfulness meditation is designed to settle and ground you in the present moment.

That's something that Carole Kinder had a difficult time with after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

There is only one confirmed case of travel-related Zika in Sarasota County, but that didn’t stop a large crowd of people from bringing their concerns to a forum about the virus.

Next year Aetna will stop offering health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's public exchanges in Florida and 10 other states.

The move leaves Floridians with fewer choices and ever increasing rates.

Eight people face charges after authorities say they received $157 million in fraudulent insurance claims as part of a scheme involving prescription compounding pharmacies in Pasco County and the Miami area.

Between Oct. 2012 and Dec. 2015 the suspects are accused of submitting $633 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims for prescription compounded medication to Medicare, Tricare and private insurance companies, authorities said.

When students head back to school in South Florida, they’ll get supplies they don't typically see.

The state will deliver mosquito repellent to school districts, colleges and universities in hopes of stopping the spread of Zika.

  Researchers say a vaccine for the Zika virus will not be available until at least 2018.

And that's with various trials being fast-tracked as the number of people believed to be infected by mosquitoes in Florida climbs.

  Now that Zika is being transmitted in Florida, epidemiologists expect to see pockets of Zika outbreaks to crop up around the state.

Pregnant women are being asked to stay away from the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Zika-related travel warning for pregnant women to an area just north of Downtown Miami after 10 more people were suspected of getting the virus locally.

Florida health officials have identified 10 more people who likely contracted the Zika virus through a mosquito bite in the Miami-Dade County area, bringing the total to 14.

Two more possible non-travel-related cases of Zika virus are being investigated in South Florida, the Florida Department of Health confirmed Wednesday.

  Florida environmental regulators passed new rules Tuesday that will increase the levels of some toxic chemicals allowed in Florida's water.

Advocates for expanding Medicaid are saying the stakes have never been higher, especially in Hillsborough County.

Florida cities are losing ground on key health care indicators, according to a report released today.

The researchers say one reason for the decline is the state's decision to not expand Medicaid.

  Though congress is still battling over Zika funding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is handing out $25 million to states to fight the mosquito-borne illness.

Opioid abuse was among the most pressing issues that state legislatures around the country dealt with during 2016, according to a report by Pew.

As many states struggle to deal with the epidemic, Florida is ahead of the curve.

Since 2014, Florida’s Medicaid program has been run not by the state but through private insurance companies. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has written about problems with the managed care system and a recent report from Georgetown University surveyed pediatricians to determine how they feel about the system.

In the hours and days following the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, thousands of people around the state lined up to donate blood for the victims.

But gay men who had sex in the past year were prohibited from giving blood because of a federal policy.

The first case of Zika-related microcephaly was confirmed today in a child born in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The child’s mother is from Haiti and had a travel-related case of Zika. She came to Florida to deliver the baby, authorities said.

The department of health is connecting the mother and child with services through its Early Steps program.

“It is heartbreaking to learn that a baby has been born with Zika-related microcephaly in our state and my thoughts and prayers are with the mother and child,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a release.

When it comes to health care in Florida, it pays to shop around.

The cost of a common MRI can vary by thousands of dollars depending on where you go to get it.

Pages