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Stephanie Colombini

Reporter

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.

Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department’s first podcast series, Issues Tank.

Prior to joining the WUSF family, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio’s flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, NJ and political campaigns. As part of her job there, she was forced to – and survived – a night of reporting on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

While off-the-clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.

Contact Stephanie by emailing her at scolombini@wusf.org or follow her on Twitter @steph_colombini.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, the 18th Air Force commander, salutes Col. Benjamin Jonsson, assuming 6th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) commander, during an assumption of command ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 4, 2020.
Senior Airman Ryan C. Grossklag / U.S. Air Force

MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa has a new leader. Col. Benjamin R. Jonsson assumed command of the 6th Air Refueling Wing Tuesday during a socially-distanced ceremony.  


Elderly people holding hands - close-up on hands.
Pixabay

Health News Florida has learned that Florida has a new Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a position that has been vacant for almost a year.


A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
iStock

Florida nursing homes will receive rapid coronavirus testing machines from the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this month it will send machines to every skilled nursing facility in the country.


Sgt. Nick Harrison
Courtesy of Lambda Legal

Service members living with HIV will be in court in early August. They’re suing the military for discrimination over a longstanding policy that prohibits them from deploying or commissioning as officers.


Health worker in scrubs and mask sitting alone in a hospital hallway looking exhausted.
VLADIMIR FEDOTOV / Unsplash

As Florida’s coronavirus cases break national records, health workers say they’re feeling the strain. While most hospitals still have room to take in more patients, some doctors and nurses say they're being pushed to their limits.


Carlos Perez
Carlos Perez

From job loss, to balancing work from home, to the isolation of social distancing, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today we meet Carlos Perez, 42, of Tampa. He's a former health worker who has lupus, an autoimmune disease that makes him especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

BayCare Health System is cutting back on non-emergency surgeries in its hosptials in Pinellas and Pasco counties to ensure there is capacity for a growing number of severely-ill COVID-19 patients.

screenshot of Florida Department of Health dashboard for July 3.
Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health announced another 9,488 COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 178,594.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

Florida set a new milestone in the number of positive coronavirus cases reported in a 24-hour period.

The Florida Department of Health reported Thursday that 10,109 people tested positive for the coronavirus in a 24-hour period, eclipsing the previous high of 9,585 reported on June 27.

construction workers wearing masks
istock

Requirements to wear face masks in Hillsborough County businesses and public spaces will continue for another week, but there are some adjustments.

Cars lined up at drive-thru testing site at Tropicana Field.
St. Petersburg Police Department

As coronavirus cases in Florida have surged, so has the demand for testing and Tampa Bay area health officials are struggling to keep up.


Ryan Karnoski, a transgender man who wants to serve in the Army.
Lambda Legal

Groups challenging the military’s ban on transgender service are encouraged by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that protects many LGBTQ employees from discrimination. The ruling doesn't directly affect the ban, but it could support lawsuits against it.


Service member walking out of a hospital to applause from doctors and nurses in scrubs.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Omar N Rubi / U.S. Navy

Some doctors and nurses with the U.S. Air Force Reserves are warning the public not to underestimate the continued threat posed by the coronavirus. They were among thousands of military personnel who deployed to New York City during the height of its COVID-19 pandemic.


Veteran Harry Stapleton (right) does a video chat with his sister Maria Mishkind and her husband John.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Like many long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March. The separation has been hard on veterans and their families.

coronavirus testing
istock

The number of new COVID-19 cases has gone up in Florida in the past week, with the state and Tampa Bay area reporting some of their highest figures since the pandemic began. This comes a month after the state began reopening for business and recreation.

But data on new cases alone doesn't paint a complete picture about coronavirus in Florida.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The rainy weather didn’t stop a large crowd of protestors from peacefully marching through downtown Tampa on Saturday afternoon, beginning and ending with demonstrations in Curtis Hixon Park.

Ginger Grant, owner of Grant's Crabs and Seafood in Largo.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change. 

Spread out crowds of people wearing masks standing in front of Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando Resort.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Universal Orlando Resort theme parks are reopening today after being closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

man at courtroom podium takes oath
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

A group of Hillsborough County residents who served time for felony convictions but can’t afford to pay outstanding fines and court fees had their voting rights restored on Tuesday.


burned out building in a strip plaza with police tape in front of it.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Sunday afternoon issued a citywide curfew after peaceful protests this weekend ended with violence.

The curfew will last from 7:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice, Castor said during a press conference Sunday evening.

Map of PSTA's proposed bus rapid transit route.
PSTA

A planned bus corridor linking downtown St. Petersburg with St. Pete Beach is getting $21.8 million dollars in federal funding. 


Small flags beside graves at Bay Pines National Cemetery
Jim Robinson / Flickr

The coronavirus pandemic is putting a damper on the parades and military gatherings that would typically take place on Memorial Day. But groups in the Tampa Bay area are adapting.


Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
Governor's Press Office

Researchers and elected officials are demanding answers from the state amid reports that it fired a scientist who was managing Florida's COVID-19 dashboard for "refusing to manipulate data."

gloved lab worker holds up test tube of blood
J.M. Eddins Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Floridians wondering if they had COVID-19 recently and just didn't know it have a new way to find out. OneBlood is now testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibodies.


KC-135 Stratotanker at MacDill Air Force Base
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Planes from MacDill Air Force Base will fly over a dozen Tampa Bay area hospitals on Friday to pay tribute to health care workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.


pile of money
flickr

Florida would get billions of dollars for coronavirus relief through the latest federal aid package proposed by the House, known as the "HEROES Act."


Stephanie Colombini and her boyfriend Shean wearing facemasks in their car as they approach the drive-thru testing site.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Public health experts say expanded coronavirus testing is critical to safely reopen the economy and prevent a second wave of infections. Parts of Florida like Hillsborough County are offering free testing to everyone.

Health News Florida's Stephanie Colombini recently got tested at one of the county's drive-thru sites, even though she had no symptoms. She shares her experience.

  

Diners enjoy outdoor seating at Parkshore Grill in St. Petersburg on Monday. Tables must be spaced six feet apart.
Tyson Grant / Parkshore Grill

Diners are returning to Tampa Bay area restaurants for sit-down service now that the state is letting them reopen with limited capacity.


Disruptions to everyday life caused by the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are seeking help virtually.


Coronavirus health worker in a protective suit.
New Jersey National Guard

State officials are blocking Florida medical examiners from releasing their own list of coronavirus deaths, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

An investigation by the Times previously reported the medical examiners' death count was at one point 10 percent higher than the official number released by the state.

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