Health News Florida

Health News Florida
8:31 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Hospital, Fire Department Work to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Lt. Steve Lawrence, deputy fire marshal with St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue, with a thermometer that shows how quickly cars can heat up.

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:34 am

Over the past year, authorities responded to 183 emergency calls for children who were locked in cars in Pinellas County. Now, St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue is partnering with the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition led by All Children's Hospital to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving kids unattended in cars.

Read more
Health News Florida
11:09 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring. The Supreme Court is ruling on the crafts store chain's resistance to portions of the Affordable Care Act. The store's owners cite their religious freedom.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 1:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

Read more
Health News Florida
10:27 am
Fri June 27, 2014

It's the Law: No E-Cigs for Kids

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 10:28 am

   A new state law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors goes into effect next week.

Under the bill, it also is illegal for minors to possess e-cigarettes.

Some e-cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes. But instead of tobacco, e-cigarettes vaporize a mixture of flavorings - and nicotine.

Read more
Health News Florida
9:19 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Study: Locking Up Juveniles Makes Them More Likely Adult Criminals

A new report by a youth advocacy group argues against the widespread U.S. practice of locking up teen offenders --- a practice that has been on the decline in Florida under the state's outgoing juvenile justice chief.

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters, whose last day on the job is Monday, said "Safely Home," a study by the non-profit Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., is consistent with developments at DJJ during her three-and-a-half-year tenure.

Read more
Health News Florida
11:22 am
Thu June 26, 2014

WellCare Names FL President

Gregg MacDonald

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 11:19 am

WellCare Health Plans Inc.'s acting president for Florida has been chosen as the official president of the company for the state. Gregg MacDonald, who has been acting president since April 4, has been WellCare's chief operating officer for Florida since May 2007, according to a news release.

Read more
Health News Florida
11:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

USF, All Children's Announce Project

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 10:35 am

The University of South Florida has donated 1.4 acres in downtown St. Petersburg to All Children’s Hospital for a “research, education and training facility” that would benefit pediatric care, the two organizations said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Read more
Health News Florida
9:15 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Groupons Move into Medicine

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:12 am

 A coupon for a low-priced massage? Sure. How about one for a facial? Okay.

Deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon, where subscribers can find limited-time discounts for all sorts of  services, offer more these days than simple pampering on the cheap. They’re adding health care to the list.

Read more
Health News Florida
12:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Mini-Shuffle in C-Suite at WellCare

Kenneth A. Burdick, President and COO at WellCare Health Plans
Credit WellCare Health Plans

Dave Gallitano, chairman of WellCare Health Plans Inc., seems to be settling into the role of CEO that he's been filling on an interim basis with the announcement that Kenneth A. Burdick has been named president and chief operating officer.

WellCare has not officially called off the national search for a CEO. But Stifel analyst Tom Carroll said it looks as though Gallitano is comfortable in the role.

Read more
Health News Florida
12:47 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Teaching Hospitals Top Rankings

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:50 pm

U.S. News and World Report has released its annual guide to the best adult and children’s hospitals around the United States.

As usual, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami topped the category of ophthalmology.  None of Florida’s children’s hospitals made the top three in any specialty category nationwide.

Read more
Health News Florida
8:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Amendment 2 Opponents: 'Don't Let Florida Go to Pot'

Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana launched the "Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot" campaign Tuesday, warning that passing the measure would lead to widespread abuse.

"It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, president of the Florida Sheriffs Association. "It’s wrought with loopholes. It’s very cleverly written so that there can be use and abuse."

Read more
Health News Florida
6:04 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

First Hot Car Death of 2014 Reported

Uriel Hernandez

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:48 am


A 2-year-old girl in Sarasota has died after her father left her in his vehicle Sunday morning. It's the first death from vehicular heatstroke in Florida this year. 

According to the Sarasota Police Department, the child's father, 23-year-old Uriel Hernandez, left her in the vehicle when he went inside to get his cell phone charger. Instead of coming right back out, he fell asleep.

Read more
Health News Florida
10:12 am
Mon June 9, 2014

State Asks to Liquidate Physicians United

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 10:10 am

Florida’s Department of Financial Services on Friday asked a judge to allow a takeover of the troubled Physicians United Medicare Advantage HMO.

The DFS filed a petition in Leon County Circuit Court to place the Orlando-based plan into receivership because it is insolvent. The company’s May financial statement reported assets of $92.4 million, while liabilities amounted to $105.3 million.

Read more
Health News Florida
11:57 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Rebel Urologist Called ‘Menace’

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:10 am

Calling him “a menace to society,” the Florida Board of Medicine rejected the Department of Health’s proposed settlement to allow Dr. Ronald Wheeler to continue in practice.

The Sarasota urologist, who specializes in prostate problems and uses unusual diagnostic and treatment methods, should have his medical license suspended for at least a year and be closely monitored for at least five years after that, board members said Friday at a board hearing in Tampa.

Read more
Health News Florida
4:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Q&A on Donating Eggs and "The Cost of Life"

Justine Griffin
Credit Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Reporter Justine Griffin recently wrote a series in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about her experience selling her eggs to an infertile couple living thousands of miles away. She became an egg donor after seeing a childhood friend die young, and witnessing that girl's mother trying to conceive again.

Griffin tells WUSF it wasn't just the nausea, migraines, and high levels of hormones coursing through her body that makes her say she'd never do it again.

Read more
Board of Medicine
10:40 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Doctor Faces Board in Fatal Overdose

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:21 am

Dr. Betty Jo Carter, who practices medicine out of her home in Ruskin, will come before the Florida Board of Medicine on Friday on charges of speeding the death of a dying man with big doses of morphine and other painkillers.

That’s what the autopsy said killed Gary Lazar, who was suffering major organ failure, but Carter – who was Lazar’s friend and slept at his house to take care of him in his final days -- denied overmedicating him on purpose. He died in February 2012.

Read more