Mary Shedden


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, 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

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Mary Shedden

It's impossible to miss all the reminders that flu season is here, from ads at your local pharmacy to gentle reminders to cover up when you cough or sneeze.

But it’s not the only viral game in town. Young children and people who live with respiratory illness such as asthma face an equally potent bug every winter.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is serious and highly contagious. And there’s no vaccination around to keep your little one from catching it.

The U.S. Department of Justice has signed on to eight false claims lawsuits against Health Management Associates, claiming the Naples-based hospital chain billed for unnecessary patient admissions and paid kickbacks to doctors who referred patients.

The government specifically alleges that former HMA executive Gary Newsome personally led the push to pressure emergency department physicians and hospital administrators to increase the number of inpatient admissions, “regardless of medical necessity,” the Department said in a statement.

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Nurse practitioners, who want more "autonomy," will tell a legislative committee Friday morning that granting it would benefit Floridians.

Primary-care physicians are in short supply, they'll say, so it's only sensible to make full use of nurses who have postgraduate training.

Physicians will tell the committee they agree on the need for new approaches to expand primary care. But the Florida Medical Association says "the best solution is physicians and nurses working collaboratively in a way that does not jeopardize patient safety."

A Kissimmee man who performed liposuction from a massage establishment was arrested Thursday on two counts of practicing medicine without a license.  Mariano Ugarriza Fuentes, a surgical assistant, was arrested by the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation for allegedly providing the services at Sculptural Orlando, a massage center with no medical license, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The deadline to buy health insurance for the New Year is approaching fast. 

If you’ve waited until now to start shopping on the federal health insurance exchange, know you may not have coverage starting Jan. 1, the official start date of the Affordable Care Act mandate. The deadline to buy policies for coverage effective Jan. 1 is Dec. 23.

But know all is not lost. You still can shop up through March before any penalties will be imposed for not meeting the new requirement that most Americans buy health insurance policies.

Shrinking public health budgets in Florida and other states are making it harder to protect and control potential infectious outbreaks, according to a new report.

Florida scored five of 10 possible points on the Trust for America’s Health report released this morning. Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey received the lowest score: two out of 10. New Hampshire was the top scoring state, earning points for eight of the 10 criteria.

The Florida Medical Association is backing a Connecticut lawsuit challenging UnitedHealthcare's decision to cancel Medicare Advantage contracts.

The Association filed a brief late Wednesday supporting the Connecticut State Medical Society's attempt to block the insurance carrier from tearing up thousands of physician contracts. A judge had imposed a stay on United's cancellations, and United wants him to lift the stay so it can proceed.

Florida’s unprecedented transition to managed care for its most fragile Medicaid patients is working, but questions remain about its benefit down the road, according to a report from Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute released today.

About 40 different individuals involved in the early phases of shifting elderly and disabled Medicaid patients into managed care plans told researchers they are most concerned that more than a third of participants failed to select a plan. Those patients were automatically enrolled in a plan.