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

A proposal to build a fifth pediatric heart transplant center in Florida is drawing opposition from at least two of the existing programs.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis got another earful Saturday during the second of his “listening sessions,” hearing from advocates on both sides of the Obamacare issue.

When an individual goes up against a multibillion-dollar company, odds of prevailing are slim.

But every now and then, justice smiles on the little guy. It’s smiling on Tampa internist Jose Ignacio Lopez, who won $1.5 million in a slander suit against a global health-finance powerhouse.

Gun Bills Filed In Legislature

Feb 14, 2017

A measure that would reduce the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public and make it a non-criminal offense has been filed in the House.

Senator Seeks Stronger Penalties For Refusing DUI Tests

Feb 14, 2017

Ignition interlock devices would be required for individuals who repeatedly refuse tests for driving under the influence under a Senate proposal strengthening penalties for those who decline the tests.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. It comes after a high profile incident that occurred in South Florida last year involving a black man, an autistic man, and law enforcement.

Florida’s public university students want more psychological counseling, but many of the state’s schools can’t keep up with this demand, according to a recent investigation by The Tampa Bay Times that also showed that some students are waiting up to a month for appointments with a school counselor because counseling centers are understaffed.

State lawmakers are advancing a measure giving women the opportunity to sue over physical or emotional injuries from an abortion.

Obamacare Success In States Like Florida Not Due To Politics

Feb 13, 2017

Ask anyone about their health care and you are likely to hear about ailments, doctors, maybe costs and insurance hassles. Most people don’t go straight from “my health” to a political debate, and yet that is what our country has been embroiled in for almost a decade.

Florida Child Marching Across Country To Find Diabetes Cure

Feb 13, 2017

A 10-year old boy from Jupiter is trekking through Orlando on Friday as part of a march across the country. Noah Barnes is walking coast to coast to raise money for diabetes research.


Three months after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on medical marijuana, state health officials and prospective pot-seeking patients are at odds over proposed rules that would spell out who could get marijuana.

A bill making changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is now headed to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Thursday. One of its ardent supporters is Marissa Alexander—the Jacksonville woman who faced 60 years in prison for firing a warning shot in an alleged domestic dispute.

Humana, Florida’s largest Medicare managed-care company, says it will lay off hundreds of employees in April, including 328 in Florida.

Of those, 260 are in the Tampa Bay area, according to Humana spokeswoman Nancy Hanewinckel.

The Florida Department of Health held workshops across the state this week to get input from the public about how best to implement Amendment 2, which expands the use of medical marijuana.

Florida voters passed it last November, but state officials are still trying to work out regulations.

“I'm tired of operating on 14-year-olds,” says trauma surgeon Dr. Tanya Zakrison of the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

She’s one of the surgeons who’s operated on the more than 850 children and teenagers with gunshot wounds who came through the trauma center in the past decade.

What got them there and what happened to them afterwards—those are questions Zakrison would like answered. But she was initially advised by mentors and research advisors that she should avoid focusing on gun-related trauma.

Last Cuban Doctor Defectors Arrive In U.S.

Feb 9, 2017

Yoandri Pavot applied just in time for a visa under a recently scrapped U.S. policy that had long welcomed doctors from Cuba who defected while on assignment in third countries.

Plan Would Scrap Limits On Trauma Centers

Feb 8, 2017

A Senate Republican on Tuesday filed a proposal that would eliminate caps on the numbers of trauma centers in the state.

Negron’s Water Plan Clears First Hurdle

Feb 8, 2017

Senate President Joe Negron's plan to buy farmland south of Lake Okeechobee to try to prevent the return of toxic algae blooms in Treasure Coast waterways drew unanimous support Tuesday at its first Senate committee.

Wikimedia Commons

A bill allowing patients and doctors to enter into primary care agreements has moved forward. These "direct primary care" agreements generally involve monthly payments between patients -- or patients' employers -- and their doctors. They cover routine medical care without involving insurance companies.

First responders who get post-traumatic stress disorder on the job soon may be eligible for more workers compensation benefits.

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