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Rick Mayer

Digital Producer

I’m the online producer for Health News Florida, a collaboration of public radio stations and NPR that delivers news about health care issues.

This is an important position at WUSF. In 2019, the typical U.S. family spent about 11 percent of its annual income on health care, so it stands to reason issues of cost, quality, access and innovation are consequential to all Floridians. Then COVID-19 came along, and the weight of these matters gained exponentially. I take our reporting on these topics quite seriously, as I’m sure you do, too.

Literally growing up in newsrooms and a little serendipity along the way prepared me well for the post. Here’s the abridged version: I’m a Tampa guy, graduating from H.B. Plant High and thrust into the world with my USF degree rolled tightly in hand. From there, it was three mostly sleepless decades as an editor at The Tampa Tribune, then developing and managing an online journal serving physician executives. There’s also my side job editing a statewide health magazine.

And being married to a longtime hospital nurse/case manager helps; dinner conversation often gives me a feel of what’s happening on the front lines. The good and not-so-good.

Of course, my time isn’t always spent flailing in the health news vortex. You’re actually more likely to find me breaking down the Bucs, Bulls or Bolts after a game, taking Oodle the poodle to the dog park or tinkering the backroom piano while vicariously reliving my former life as a musician. (Remember, kids: Parents of percussionists have plenty of patience. Plenty!)

Contact Rick on Twitter @rmayer2361 or by email at Mayer1@wusf.org.