Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

In a Sarasota neighborhood with no doctor’s offices and little access to health care, a new clinic in Newtown is bringing medical care and so much more. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Parts of the stalled Senate health care bill could hurt those addicted to opioids, according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. The Tampa Democrat says if the bill passes, it will limit access to substance abuse treatment.


Floridians in need can now use a mobile app to locate food banks and support services across the state. 

Over the last two decades, more workers have died at Tampa Electric’s power plants than at those run by any other Florida utility.

Last year, the pesticide Naled was one of several tools officials used to control mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Dr. Michael Hall was one of many Miami Beach residents who protested, saying Naled exposure leads to symptoms like headaches and nausea. He and other protesters also expressed fears the pesticide could have longer-term health effects.

Sarasota County could be on the hook for $300 million in medical bills for care that private hospitals gave to poor patients after a state Supreme Court ruling Thursday.


Morgan Challenges Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

Jul 7, 2017

Saying Floridians knew what they were voting on in November, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan on Thursday followed through on threats to sue the state over a smoking ban included in a new law carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

VA.gov / Department of Veterans Affairs

This week the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded emergency mental health care to vets with other-than-honorable discharges. It's part of an effort to curb the recent increase in veteran suicide.


The trial lawyer who led the effort to allow marijuana for medical uses in Florida filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state’s decision to ban smokable forms of the plant.

Smoking marijuana is the best way to administer it to some patients with debilitating conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, lawyer John Morgan said at a news conference outside the Leon County courthouse where he filed the suit.

Drug For Nerve Pain Boosts High For Opioid Abusers

Jul 6, 2017

On April 5, Ciera Smith sat in a car parked on the gravel driveway of the Rural Women’s Recovery Program here with a choice to make: go to jail or enter treatment for her addiction.

Federal funding that provides insurance for nearly 340,000 Florida kids will expire in September unless Congress acts. It’s called the  Children’s Health Insurance Program and it supports kids who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Thousands of Floridians living with AIDS could be losing financial assistance they say is essential to living a normal life, and some AIDS groups are worried the state won't carry through on its promises.

A new study finds injured workers in Florida are using fewer opioids. 

Scott Schedules First Execution In 18 Months

Jul 5, 2017

Signaling a potential end to an 18-month hiatus for the state's embattled death penalty, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday rescheduled the execution date of convicted killer Mark James Asay for Aug. 27.

Judge Strikes Down 'Stand Your Ground' Changes

Jul 5, 2017

A Miami judge on Monday ruled that a change to the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law signed nearly a month ago by Gov. Rick Scott, intended to better protect the rights of defendants, is unconstitutional.

Courtesy of Florida Museum of Natural History

A new disease has been found in five Florida counties, including Hillsborough. It goes by the name of rat lungworm, and it comes courtesy of snails.

Researchers at the University of Florida have found the parasites can cause meningitis in people. And it's been found in Hillsborough, along with Alachua, Leon, St. Johns and Orange counties.

President Donald Trump is pressuring wavering senators to back a Republican bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law but is holding open a repeal-only option if Republicans can't reach agreement over the July 4 recess, Trump's top legislative aide says.

Senate Parliamentarian Can Stop Bills Cold

Jul 3, 2017

As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tries to negotiate his way to a health bill that can win at least 50 Republican votes, there is one woman in the Senate who could stop the bill cold.



Weeks after a study linked a pesticide used for mosquito control to slight motor delays in babies, officials in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties say they plan to use that pesticide in aerial spraying scheduled in the coming week.

Sober Homes To Receive Stricter Guidelines

Jun 30, 2017

A new law to better control sober living homes in the Sunshine State goes into effect Saturday.

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