Mary Shedden

News Director

Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF.

Since arriving at WUSF in 2013, she has worked as a reporter and as editor of the Health News Florida journalism collaborative.

At WUSF and Health News Florida, Mary has been part of winning numerous awards, including a 2016 national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio and Television Digital News Association. Her work also has been honored by the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, and state and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

During her nearly 20 years at The Tampa Tribune and, Florida Today and the Gainesville Sun, she covered everything from the investigation of a serial killer to retired pro athletes in chronic pain, winning honors from SPJ, the Associated Press Sports Editors, and the Florida Society of News Editors.

A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Mary has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1999.

Contact Mary at 813-974-8636, on twitter @MaryShedden or by email at

Ways to Connect

It's been two weeks since opened for a second year of business. And a leader in Florida's signup efforts says about half who have visited so far are return customers.

Those renewing their coverage seem most interested in the kind of medical coverage they can get and are not just selecting the same policies, Jodi Ray, director of Florida Covering Kids & Families at the University of South Florida, said Wednesday. 

She says cost of premiums seems to come second.

Brooke and Andrew Lee can't imagine being without health insurance.

So for the past seven years, that's meant digging deep into the earnings of their video production agency in St. Petersburg. It’s expensive, but Brooke Lee says the alternative is worse.

The nation's top health official says the ongoing legal dispute over the Affordable Care Act won't stop people who want insurance from signing up.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it will consider a challenge to the law, which could eliminate subsidies for individuals who purchased plans in Florida and dozens of other states via the online marketplace known as

Floridians who buy their own insurance can start shopping for 2015 plans on the federal marketplace on Saturday, but a sneak peek of prices is available now. -- the website for residents in Florida and 36 other states -- opened for window shoppers over the weekend. In Florida, 10 different companies offer plans.

Florida House of Representatives

Democrats are stinging from Tuesday’s mid-term election results – starting with Charlie Crist’s 1 percent loss to incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott.

Ex-state Senator Dan Gelber was at the Crist campaign party Tuesday. He says the state Democratic party was far outspent by Republicans in the governor’s race.

Eckerd College

One of the scientists who spoke with Governor Rick Scott about climate change watched election results from the party for losing candidate Charlie Crist.

Eckerd College marine science professor David Hastings said when he and four other scientists met with Scott in August, the governor didn’t react much to his concerns about rising sea levels. But Scott told him he was open to fixing some of the problems.

Hastings, a Crist supporter, said will watch the Republican governor in his second term. And federal agencies also may force Scott’s hand, he said.

There was a time when you got sick, you waited to see the family physician.

But then came the "Doc In A Box" clinics, where you went without an appointment, at night and on weekends. And it only got easier when mini-clinics began popping up in neighborhood pharmacies.

Well, these convenient medical visits are taking the next step. Clinic "kiosks" will soon be connecting Floridians and physicians via video screens and interactive tools.

 Democratic challenger Charlie Crist has conceded the Florida election to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

In St. Petersburg, Crist had little to say when he conceded the race just after 11 p.m. He thanked supporters and brought up just one specific issue debated during the caustic campaign: Medicaid expansion.

“I know that we had a lot of differences in this race. That was pretty clear. But the one thing we talked about that there was some common ground, was to expand Medicaid for about a million of our fellow Floridians,” Crist said.

Just a handful of Florida Medicare Advantage plans offered for 2015 received below average scores in a federal quality rating system, a breakdown of data by Avalere Health shows.


Not every friendship starts on the set of a movie.

But that’s how Tampa teen Shelby Ronea and fellow actor Noah Diggs of St. Petersburg met. The pair was among the actors tapped for the Haley Joel Osment film, “Sex Ed,” filmed during the summer of 2013 in Tampa.  The film will be released on November 7th.

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, the 15-year-olds talk with Shelby’s mom, Renea Elmore, about their love for performing and their hopes for the future.

Need an example of how incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, are trying to attract every possible vote?

Ask them about medical marijuana. Neither candidate avoids the issue. But they do play it safe.

  “I’m going to vote against it. But it’s going to be on the ballot. All the citizens of the state have the right to vote whichever way they think,” Scott told Tampa’s Fox 13 News this past June.

The majority owners of a now-defunct Medicare Advantage plan say they were duped by the plan’s accountants, the ones they claim are responsible for the company’s collapse, a new federal lawsuit filed in Orlando says.

It’s graduation day at the St. Petersburg YMCA, and Ruth Neal and her classmates are taking a victory lap.

The past 16 weeks, they've talked nonstop about counting fat grams, portion control and the value of being active 150 minutes a week.

“I’m going to stick with it, because I want to be as blessed as my mother was. One hundred and six years old when she passed. I want to be just as blessed,” the 71-year-old from St. Petersburg said of her newfound weight loss and exercise routine.

Stricter regulations in the state’s compounding pharmacy industry take effect Wednesday -- two years after a national outbreak of fungal meningitis killed 64 people, including seven in Florida.

In 2012, when the New England Compounding Center outbreak happened, the state had hundreds of unregulated, non-resident facilities providing these specialized medications to Floridians. Now, the state will require permits for any pharmacies outside state boundaries that want to ship medications in state.

Spend a lot of time investigating before make a big purchase? Most of us do.

But that's not always the case when it comes to medical treatments or drugs.

Dr. Steven Woloshin and Dr. Lisa Schwartz have been researching the misleading medical and pharmaceutical messages in advertisements and other media for years.

For the first time since 2012, a hospital in Florida is closing its doors.

HCA West Florida announced Tuesday the 38-year-old Edward White Hospital in St. Petersburg will close by the end of November and consolidate services to three nearby hospitals it also owns.

Officials said operating costs at the aging facility continued to grow. And it pointed to a glut of hospital beds in the area: more than 1,000 in southern Pinellas County alone.

There are a lot of stereotypes out there about the millennial generation: they’re disengaged and hyper-focused on technology.

But someday, these 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1999, will be needing health care. And a lot of it.

Any doubt that Florida’s largest health insurer wants to expand its reach was quashed by its chief executive Wednesday, when he heralded the success of its new umbrella company and outlined ambitious plans for growth.

The Florida Nurses Association is recognizing Health News Florida founder and Editor Carol Gentry for her significant and ongoing role in reporting on the state’s most important health issues.

The 2014 Communications/Media Award is being awarded to Gentry, who for four decades has been reporting on health policy and business, and has been holding industry and government officials accountable.

Two major health care groups have named new Chief Operating Officers for their Florida operations.