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

A southwest Florida produce growing and packing operation has been ordered to pay more than $17 million to five former female employees in a sexual harassment suit.

In an office decorated with signs proclaiming “Safe Space,” Peggy Saddler meets with students overwhelmed by classes, fighting with friends and family or struggling with deeper problems.

The Wauchula High School guidance counselor has worked with students in rural counties for more than 30 years and said sometimes students are “shutting the door every night (with) a little bit more than teenage angst.”

Scott Signs Order Tracking Mental Health Services

Sep 10, 2015

As the state Department of Children and Families convened its annual child-protection summit Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order aimed at better coordinating mental health services --- something DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said will help his agency provide improved care for children.

  Jesse Dixon is walking the streets of Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood, armed with backpacks stuffed with Ziploc bags of condoms.

About 9.9 million people have signed up and paid for health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration said Tuesday, a slight dip from a previous count but on track toward the administration's year-end goal of 9.1 million.

A revamped health care agenda is starting to take shape ahead of next year’s lawmaking session. Last regular session The Florida House and Senate clashed over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Proposal Seeks To Help Dentists In Underserved Areas

Sep 8, 2015

A House Republican on Friday proposed creation of a program that would offer financial help to dentists who practice in underserved areas.

Three cases of salmonella in Louisiana may be part of the outbreak that sickened 285 people in 27 states, killing a 99-year-old California woman, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new transgender sensitivity training program.

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman's murder — and law enforcement's handling of it — captured national attention.

There's an age-old question that plagues our nation’s changing health care system: Are higher health care costs  for patients always associated with higher quality goods and services?

University of South Florida College of Public Health researcher Troy Quast 's work, took on that question, as it pertained to one of the most significant diseases affecting Americans: diabetes. 

His article, "Quality of Care and Relative Resource Use for Patients with Diabetes,” was published in the June issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

DCF Regional Leader Steps Down

Sep 4, 2015

The Florida Department of Children and Families lost one of its six regional managing directors Wednesday night, when David Abramowitz resigned from his post overseeing child-welfare services in 20 counties in Northeast and North Central Florida.

In July 2015, emergency responders in Manatee County handled more than 200 heroin overdose calls. And the repeat overdose calls alone are nearly three times what the overall total was for July 2014.

House Leader Files Bill To Allow Rescue Break-Ins

Sep 3, 2015

Similar to two bills filed in recent days, House Majority Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, on Wednesday proposed allowing people to break into locked vehicles to help senior citizens, disabled adults, children and pets.

Supreme Court Ponders Medical Malpractice In Patient Suicide

Sep 3, 2015

In a medical-malpractice lawsuit stemming from the death of a woman who hanged herself, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday weighed whether her doctor could be found negligent in the suicide.

The case, brought by the husband of Sarasota County woman Jacqueline Granicz after her 2008 death, raises issues about physician Joseph Chirillo's "duty" of care. The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled last year that the lawsuit against Chirillo could move forward, overturning a circuit judge's ruling in the doctor's favor.

State Seeks To Clear Way For Doctor-Patient Gun Law

Sep 3, 2015

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office argued this week that a potential challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court should not prevent the state from carrying out a law aimed at restricting doctors from asking questions about patients' gun ownership.

The governor's office has responded to a Politico story that shows a news release involving Planned Parenthood failed to include findings from state health regulators.

Seven Floridians organizations were awarded $9.95 million to help with the third year of enrollment on the federal marketplace.

Floridians depend on cars to get just about anywhere. And getting to the doctor without one can be tough.

Orlando resident David Williams knows this reality well, especially since  the brand new Orlando VA Medical Center moved from the downtown core to the suburbs.

Trustees at Florida A&M University turned to an outsider - and the school's first female president - to lead them out of the turmoil that followed the hazing death of a Marching 100 drum major. But 18 months later the historic school is facing a new crisis marked by allegations of harassment and insubordination - and complaints from politicians.

Authorities say an overloaded power strip likely caused a fire that killed a 61-year-old Tampa woman and two of her grandchildren.

The fire broke out before dawn on Tuesday and Tampa Fire Marshal Milt Jenkins says burglar bars that required a key from the inside trapped the family inside the burning home. There were no smoke detectors in the home.

Officials say 8-year-old Romello Jackson remains in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. His grandmother Sheryl James and 8-year-old Reshard Ashley and Emjay Jackson all died in the fire.