It’s graduation day at the St. Petersburg YMCA, and Ruth Neal and her classmates are taking a victory lap.
The past 16 weeks, they've talked nonstop about counting fat grams, portion control and the value of being active 150 minutes a week.
“I’m going to stick with it, because I want to be as blessed as my mother was. One hundred and six years old when she passed. I want to be just as blessed,” the 71-year-old from St. Petersburg said of her newfound weight loss and exercise routine.
Americans like to talk about food, and they certainly like to eat. But they don't normally think about food policy when they vote.
A group of food advocates is trying to figure out how to change that. They're putting money and organizational effort into elections for the first time, including an effort this fall to defeat Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., over his drive to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients.
The push against Southerland is a test of how to make food policy stick in the political arena ahead of the 2016 presidential and congressional races.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:33 am
The new Secretary of Veteran Affairs is in Florida today to hear from veterans and talk to VA employees about his initiative to restore trust in the VA and eliminate the backlog of claims and long waits for health care.
Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage coverage can do so starting Oct. 15 during the Medicare's program’s annual open enrollment period. There will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from this year, but in general people will have plenty of options, experts say.
An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States.
While the disease, called chikungunya, usually is not fatal, the epidemic has overwhelmed hospitals, cut economic productivity and caused its sufferers days of pain and misery. And the count of victims is soaring.
Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 5:52 pm
Governor Rick Scott is weighing in on the troubles surrounding the state’s prison system. The Florida Department of Corrections has been in the news lately for prison firings, allegations of inmate abuse, and the latest: threatening to cancel their contract with private inmate health care provider.
During a recent stop in Jacksonville, Scott told reporters he’s aware of the problems in the system and he says Corrections’ Secretary Mike Crews is taking care of it.
Stricter regulations in the state’s compounding pharmacy industry take effect Wednesday -- two years after a national outbreak of fungal meningitis killed 64 people, including seven in Florida.
In 2012, when the New England Compounding Center outbreak happened, the state had hundreds of unregulated, non-resident facilities providing these specialized medications to Floridians. Now, the state will require permits for any pharmacies outside state boundaries that want to ship medications in state.
A widening scandal focusing on the treatment of Florida prison inmates includes new allegations that Gov. Rick Scott's own top watchdog was warned about the possible cover-up of two suspicious prison deaths but did not do anything.
The Miami Herald reported Friday that the governor's chief inspector general received an anonymous letter in Oct. 2012 that included details about prisoners who had died while in state custody.
A 21-year-old southwest Florida pedestrian was seriously injured when she was struck by an ambulance.
Sheriff's officials say Kimberley Nicole Tate was crossing a Tampa street Sunday morning when she was hit by a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue ambulance. There is no signal or crosswalk at the location.
Authorities said the ambulance was on its way to a call and was flashing its lights and sirens. The ambulance had just slowed down as they approached the intersection and was braking before the crash. The two paramedics stopped and started rescue efforts on Tate.
The winner of a $1.2 billion contract to provide health care to Florida’s prison inmates is being accused of failing to treat patients properly, the News Service of Florida reports. The Department of Corrections says the Missouri-based company Corizon must fix 80 percent of the problems identified in recent audits, or payment will be withheld, according to the News Service.
Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews is threatening to stop payments to a Missouri-based company that won a five-year, $1.2 billion contract to provide health care to the majority of the state's prisoners, accusing Corizon of failing to provide adequate treatment.
Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 6:55 pm
State child welfare officials are looking into what went wrong in their handling of an investigation of a Florida man who shot himself and his family in North Florida. The Florida Department of Children and Families say they were actually investigating the man weeks before the mass shooting in Bell. So, in the wake of the deadly rampage, could lawmakers be considering another DCF legislative fix?
About a week ago, Don Spirit shot his 28-year-old daughter Sarah and her six kids ranging in age from about three months old baby to 11-years-old.
A Lakeland eye clinic and Michigan funeral home on Thursday became the subject of the first federal lawsuits to protect transgender people in the workplace, accused of illegally firing employees who were making a transition to female.
Lakeland Eye Clinic and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes of Garden City, Michigan, violated federal law by discriminating based on gender stereotypes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said. It's the first time the agency has sued claiming discrimination against people who are transgender.
Monica Howell and her baby, Celeste, in their Miramar home, Sept. 19, 2014. Howell and other teachers are campaigning for Miami-Dade schools to establish policies to allow lactating teachers time and space to pump breast milk.
Last year, about half of Hillsborough County's Medicare recipients were vaccinated for the flu. But during most flu seasons, adults 65 years of age and older account for 90 percent of all flu-related deaths.
That's why the Hillsborough County Department of Aging is teaming with the National Council on Aging’s “Flu + You” campaign to encourage seniors to get flu shots at the Senior Fun Fest Friday) in Brandon.
Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 10:31 am
University of South Florida researchers will announce Thursday afternoon that they've determined the identities of two more sets of remains buried on the grounds of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.
The Ledger and a release from Senator Bill Nelson's office say that one is Thomas Varnadoe, 13, who died in 1934, a month after arriving at Dozier.
The number of health insurance companies offering plans in the marketplaces this fall will increase by 25 percent, giving consumers more choices for coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Tuesday.
When the marketplace enrollment reopens in November, 77 new insurers will be offering coverage in the 44 states for which HHS had data, which includes the 36 states that use the federal marketplace and eight states that run their own, the department reported.
Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 12:36 pm
Army Ranger Cory Remsburg returns each year to James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa to show the staff his progress. He was severely injured in 2009 and spent two years recovering at Haley’s Polytrauma Center.
Remsburg was on his tenth deployment when he was injured by an IED in Afghanistan. His teammates found him face down in a water-filled canal with shrapnel in his brain.
Two weeks before a Florida man fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren, someone called the state child abuse hotline, worried that adults were doing drugs in front of the kids, according to documents released Monday.
Authorities said 51-year-old Donald Spirit called 911 from his mobile home Thursday warning he might hurt himself or others. By the time a deputy arrived, Spirit had committed suicide. And he had killed 28-year-old Sarah Spirit and her six children, including an infant girl born in June.
The number of Floridians who completed enrollment for 2014 in an insurance plan through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace was about 220,000 fewer than the federal government reported in May, according to an August report by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.
There are a lot of stereotypes out there about the millennial generation: they’re disengaged and hyper-focused on technology.
But someday, these 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1999, will be needing health care. And a lot of it.
That's why the second MediFuture conference this week in Tampa asked a panel of college students for some insight. While the five men and one woman say they may not be using the health care system much now, it's important medicine doesn't assume that technology is all they care about.
We’ve been hearing a lot about how health care prices are kept secret in this state.
As WLRN and the Miami Herald have been documenting all this week, the tangle of employers, insurance companies and providers makes shopping for health care and health insurance difficult enough — but underneath that web is a layer of secrecy that prevents consumers from seeing what actually gets paid for care.