Mary Shedden

News Director

Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF.

Since arriving at WUSF in 2013, she has worked as a reporter and as editor of the Health News Florida journalism collaborative.

In the past 20 years, Shedden has told the stories of retired pro athletes in chronic pain, children poisoned by toxic toys, and seniors who nearly overdosed on prescription drugs. 

Her work at The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com, Florida Today and the Gainesville Sun have been honored by professional organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press Sports Editors, and the Florida Society of News Editors.

A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Shedden has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1999.

Contact her at 813-974-8636, on Twitter @MaryShedden or by email

Ways to Connect

Yet again, news organizations around the globe are reporting on computer hackers illegally obtaining – and releasing - private information.

This summer – the Democratic Party and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were targets. Now the hackers have taken aim at American Olympic athletes and their medical records.

Health News Florida has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website” for audio for its statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration project.

WUSF Public Media in Tampa shares the honor with WLRN in Miami and WMFE in Orlando, which joined Health News Florida in 2013.

Pia Christensen/Association of Health Care Journalists

Dr. Vivek Murthy is not only one of the youngest people ever named the U.S. Surgeon General, the 38-year-old also is the first person of Indian descent to hold the post.

But there’s one more thing: he's a Floridian.

The Radio and Television Digital News Association and Florida Associated Press Broadcasters have recognized Health News Florida with five journalism awards.

Florida Department of Health

 Florida lawmakers wrapped up their 2016 annual session last week, and as is always the case, a number of issues didn’t survive the process.

Most notably, the Senate failed to confirm Surgeon General John Armstrong, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top appointees. Armstrong, who also served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Health, is the first agency director not confirmed by the Senate since the mid-1990s.

Consumers skeptical about the real cost of health care will soon have a resource where they can ask and share with their neighbors the price of common medical procedures.

Thirty years ago, a HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence, and gay men and IV-drug users were most likely to get infected.

Today, the demographics of infection have changed a lot, and advancements in drug treatment that make HIV a "chronic disease" have created a new set of problems.

WUSF’s Florida Matters is sharing stories from the Health New Florida series HIV in Florida: The Rising Tide of Infection. 

Health care companies struggling to do business in Florida led the most talked-about news of 2015 here at Health News Florida.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

The federal government has acknowledged that it wrongly declared more than 100 veterans dead and suspended their benefit payments, and says it is changing its policy of confirming deaths.

Mary Shedden / WUSF

Some Tampa-area lawmakers are giving Medicaid expansion little chance of being considered during the upcoming  state legislative session.

HealthCare.gov

The deadline to get health insurance under Obamacare for the start of 2016 is less than two weeks away, and Floridians are by far the largest group of consumers signing up for plans.

The third year of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is now under way, and this week on Florida Matters (Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m.),  WUSF's Carson Cooper takes a look at some of the changes coming for health insurance in 2016 with Florida Covering Kids & Families Project Director Jodi Ray, Tampa health insurance agent Eric Brown and WUSF News Director and Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden.

Enrollment is under way for plans on HealthCare.gov for the third year, and consumers are seeing many changes in the plans companies are offering. It’s not unlike what’s happening to employer-based insurance, which is how about half of all Americans get health care coverage.

  President Barack Obama says he’s worried about rising prescription drug prices, but consumers need to take into account the United States’ role in the development of new medications, he told WUSF in a one-on-one interview.

President Barack Obama this week announced Tampa is part of a White House Healthy Communities Challenge, a 20-city contest where local leaders will try to enroll the most uninsured people within the 3-month enrollment period ending Jan. 31, 2016.

  With the third year of open enrollment under way on Healthcare.gov, President Barack Obama is focusing his efforts on people eligible to buy policies on the insurance marketplace.

Political battles over expanding Medicaid in states including Florida are important, but not as easy to win, he told WUSF in an Oval Office interview Thursday.

President Barack Obama’s administration is battling its own success with health insurance enrollment.

It’s been nearly three years since Americans started signing up on insurance exchanges like HealthCare.gov; 17.6 million more people across the nation are covered.

bartowregional.com

One of the largest hospital systems in the Tampa Bay area is expanding its reach with the purchase of a Polk County hospital.

Wikimedia Commons

Health care has been a hot-button policy issue for years in the Florida Legislature, and it’s starting to look like the session scheduled to start on Jan. 12 will be no different.

It seems Florida lawmakers aren't the only ones who can't agree. Residents also are divided over key economic and social issues, according to the latest release of the Sunshine State Survey.

University of South Florida

Florida’s Surgeon General announced he has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be undergoing surgery today.

The news from Dr. John Armstrong came late Thursday afternoon, in a statement from the Florida Department of Health. His top deputy will be in charge during his absence.

“As I focus on my recovery, Dr. Celeste Philip will have delegated authority and has my full confidence,” the statement read.

In 2013, Florida had more new cases of HIV than anywhere else in the nation. When it comes to the presence of HIV in Florida, the state’s six largest metropolitan areas could be states unto themselves.

U.S. Army

Baby boomers dominate the nation’s population.

But analysts watching the health care economy say it’s the youngest health care consumers who are shaping the future health care economy.

PwC's Health Research Institute is in its 10th year of evaluating the nation’s health care economy. Lindsey Jarrell, a PwC partner based in Tampa, says health care companies need to pay close attention to trends involving millennials, those Americans born between 1981 and 1997.

ProPublica.org

An investigation into doctors performing common elective surgeries is placing the spotlight on a Citrus County physician and hospital.

The non-profit news organization ProPublica sorted 2.3 million low-risk procedures on Medicare patients - from hip and knee replacements to back surgery. It published its Surgeon Scorecard on eight different procedures on Tuesday.

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on health subsidies keeps intact the way more than 1 million Floridians buy and pay for insurance through HealthCare.gov.

People like Phil Ammann. After nearly a decade without insurance, the St. Petersburg resident on Thursday was thrilled by the news. A $300 subsidy means he pays just $93 a month for coverage.

USF Health

Thirty years ago, a HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence, and gay men and IV-drug users were most likely to get infected.

Today, the demographics of infection have changed a lot, and advancements in drug treatment that make HIV a "chronic disease" have created a new set of problems.

WUSF’s Florida Matters is sharing stories from the Health New Florida series HIV in Florida: The Rising Tide of Infection.  

Wikimedia Commons

Covenant Hospice Inc., a non-profit hospice care provider in Southern Alabama and Northwest Florida, will pay more than $10.1 million to the government for overbilling of Medicare, Tricare and Medicaid for hospice services, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

Everyone thinks HIV happens to someone else.

It only infects men who are having sex with men, they say. Or HIV drug users.

And while that still accounts for about half of all people infected, those who are being diagnosed with this serious sexually transmitted disease don’t fall into simple categories. They’re young and old, straight, gay and transgender, of every race.

All Children's Hospital

It was 1964. The New York World's Fair.

And a young Tony Napolitano saw his first video phone at the Bell Telephone pavilion. The boy marveled that people could connect visually from remote locations.

Fast forward to 2015. Napolitano, now a pediatric neonatologist, is about to make this connection an ordinary part of practicing medicine at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

U.S. Supreme Court

A U.S. Supreme Court decision expected this summer could quickly change how Floridians with insurance through HealthCare.gov pay for coverage.

Arguments being held in the case of King v. Burwell this week will decide whether low- and moderate-income Floridians and residents in 36 other states can get tax credits for plans they buy through the federal government.

The impact of the ruling could be seen within 30 to 60 days of a decision, said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

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