Ryan Benk - WJCT

Reporter

Ryan Benk is a reporter for WJCT in Jacksonville. He came from Tallahassee, where he worked as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU. Originally from Miami, Florida, he graduated with a bachelor of arts in English literature from Florida State University. During his time in Tallahassee, Ryan also worked as a policy and research analyst for legislative-research firm LobbyTools before returning to public radio at WJCT.

Ryan also edited fiction and poetry for Miami-Dade College's Miambiance magazine, and he produced a short film titled "The Writer." When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida's natural beauty.

Forty-nine children and their families, including one from Clay County, are hoping face-to-face meetings with members of Congress helps lawmakers understand the plight of kids with medically complex conditions.

The group is lobbying leaders to pass a law expanding coordination between medical specialists across state lines.


A pop music star helped motivate students at a Jacksonville elementary school Monday.

Black Eyed Peas rapper, Jaime “Taboo” Gomez, taught the kids at Tiger Academy elementary school some new dance moves, as well as the importance of physical fitness.


Because of a new law, Florida patients won’t have to pay for medical care by doctors outside their insurance network if the service was performed at an in-network hospital.

The law effectively bans a practice called “balance billing.” But emergency room doctors say the new law misses the mark.


Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a water policy bill Thursday despite calls from environmentalists to veto the measure.

The St. Johns Riverkeeper was part of a statewide coalition calling for the veto.


Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made health-care cost transparency a priority this year, and a Northeast Florida lawmaker is sponsoring a version of Scott’s vision.

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) has filed a bill would make average prices for common hospital procedures easily accessible to patients.


Florida could soon be the first state to require a mental-health expert to be present during police interviews of developmentally disabled suspects or victims.

That’s if lawmakers approve a bill called the Wes Kleinert Fair Interview Act.


Florida Governor Rick Scott is asking the Legislature to pass a $79.3 billion state budget next year.

At a news conference in Jacksonville Monday morning, Scott went over some of the highlights of his Florida First Budget.

One of those highlights is a substantial revision to how the state doles out money for indigent health care.

State health officials, doctors and technology experts converged on the University of North Florida campus Thursday to promote Florida’s Health Information Exchange.

The exchange allows doctors and hospitals to easily share patient records with each other.

The state network is lacking buy-in from some local communities.


Since Florida implemented its prescription drug monitoring program four years ago, prescription overdose deaths have dropped by 25 percent. That’s according to a new University of Florida study.

But the new state regulations have also had an unintended effect — people who have a legitimate need for pain medication are having a harder time finding it.

The federal government is standing firm in its decision not to increase funding for indigent health care in Florida next year.

State health officials hoped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would pony up more than $304 million in matching funds for a program called the Low Income Pool, down from a half billion this year.

One Jacksonville Senator isn't worried about the decrease in funds. At least for now.


About a fifth of Floridians are over the age of 65.

But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

Myths about coverage could be driving the low enrollment.


A Northeast Florida lawmaker is predicting Medicaid expansion won't be a factor during the next legislative session.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) said his focus will be on bringing down health care costs, rather than expanding coverage in 2016.

That’s because the federal government agreed to extend funding for uninsured patients through next year.