Ryan Benk

Ryan Benk is originally from Miami, Florida and came to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. He worked on Miami Dade College’s Arts and Literature Magazine- Miamibiance Magazine and has published poetry and a short film called “The Writer.” He’s currently working as the Newsroom’s Researcher while finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree at Florida State University. When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida.

St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver addressed the U.S. Green Building Council Thursday in Jacksonville.


A George Washington University and Commonwealth Fund report suggests Florida’s economy stands to lose big if Congress passes the current version of a measure repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Researchers estimate the Sunshine State could lose more than 80,000, two-thirds in the healthcare sector.


Orange Park Medical Center held its first doctor graduation ceremony Thursday evening.


 

Florida lawmakers last week approved rules for the expanded use of medical-marijuana and patients could start treatment in “the next several weeks,” according to one state senator.


Arguing that a Florida Supreme Court ruling “undermines” a federal patient-safety law, a Jacksonville hospital system is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a legal battle about the disclosure of medical records.


Jacksonville’s Wolfson Children’s Hospital is challenging the state’s rejection of its application to operate a trauma center.


At a health care conference in Jacksonville Tuesday, Florida’s surgeon general said help is on the way for Duval and other counties dealing with the opioid crisis.

More than $27 million federal dollars will be used in the regions most affected by addiction and overdoses. Counties are expected to get the extra federal funds as soon as June.


The University of North Florida is gearing up to host more than 200 medical professionals for the inaugural Future of Health Care conference.

The incoming president of the nation’s largest doctors’ group will kick off the event with a keynote address Monday.


Some nursing home representatives are cheering the delay of a state legislative proposal that would have changed how Medicaid funds flow to assisted living facilities in Florida.

Right now, facilities bill the state for care and are reimbursed. The plan would allott the homes a flat rate.

A bill adding more drugs to Florida’s prescription-medicine price database is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.

The measure was sponsored by two Jacksonville lawmakers: Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.


Jacksonville city attorneys have been granted a deadline extension as they grapple with the details of a settlement allowing for a Springfield apartment complex for the disabled and chronically homeless.

The U.S. Justice Department found the city violated disability and fair housing laws when it rejected the permit for the complex sought by nonprofit Ability Housing.

A new national survey finds disability prejudice is the most common form of housing discrimination.


With two weeks left in the legislative session, some Jacksonville elder care providers are rallying supporters against a Senate-proposed change to how nursing homes are funded.


Florida’s smoking rate is at an all-time low, and state officials attribute the precipitous drop to aggressive anti-smoking campaigns. But some North Florida counties are struggling to keep pace with statewide success.


Florida Senate budget chiefs Wednesday greenlit a spending plan that includes a new formula for reimbursing nursing homes.

Opponents say the proposal would cut Medicaid dollars for top performing homes, while proponents argue it’ll result in a more equitable distribution of state funds.


The health of Duval County’s residents has continued to decline over the past three years, while St. Johns County residents remain the healthiest in Florida — that’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

Premature deaths resulting from opioid overdoses were one factor in Duval’s slide, researchers said. But changes to the survey’s methodology could also be to blame for the county’s poor showing.

Researchers combine data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the census to create the annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps survey.


The Florida Legislature’s health budget chiefs are proposing deep cuts to the state’s largest spending priority: health care, including large decreases to hospital funding.

Jacksonville’s University of Florida Health could be one of the hardest hit because it treats a large number of low-income patients.

But the Senate’s budget leader is confident the cuts will be offset with the renewal of a federal program covering the costs of indigent health care.


At least six competing plans ranging from the most restrictive to the most permissive expansions of medical marijuana in Florida are working their way through the state Legislature. And the division is wearing down the patience of state residents, who overwhelmingly supported the measure.


After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

Updated 2/28 3:06 p.m.

Jacksonville City Council members heard concerns Monday from Springfield residents about a proposed legal settlement between the city and two disability-rights nonprofits.

The settlement, in part, mandates the city approve a permit for an apartment complex for the disabled and chronically homeless,  at 139 Cottage Ave., or face a battle in court.


Florida patients could soon have access to more information about the average costs of their prescription drugs.


Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is asking the city council to approve emergency funding for new gun identification technology.

The Integrated Ballistic Identification System uses a shell casing’s “fingerprint” to track down a shooter faster than ever. The new tech is expected to cost the city $250,000.


Eight female activists from Jacksonville are calling on state and federal officials to keep the Affordable Care Act intact. That’s as Republicans in Washington are talking about repealing and replacing the health care law.


The Jacksonville City Council is asking for conservation dollars to clean up First Coast waterways.


Health professionals from several Jacksonville hospitals are launching a project to train thousands of people to recognize the signs of mental illness, which can help reduce harmful stigma and get people connected to treatment faster.

But Florida’s lack of mental healthcare resources is still a hurdle.


Florida is making a database of medical procedures and the average price patients should expect to pay for them.

Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee got a preview of what it may look like Tuesday.


Jacksonville has long been a magnet for health-care companies, and Tuesday another large one announced it’s opening for business in Duval County.

New York’s largest health provider — Northwell — is bringing 500 new jobs to Jacksonville’s Southside.


A Northeast Florida state senator is trying to get more environmental dollars flowing toward the St. Johns River.

He’s proposing $35 million more for projects along the river that flows from Central Florida to Jacksonville.


A Central Florida marijuana dispensary made its first delivery to a Jacksonville patient Tuesday — the same day a constitutional amendment goes into effect that will make more types of medical cannabis available to Floridians.

Knox Medical is one of a handful of Florida dispensaries that have been allowed to open under a 2014 law.

A recent Harvard study concluded Jacksonville residents could save close to $40 million in health care costs annually if the city were to tax sugary drinks.

Researcher Steve Gortmaker said the tax would help cut down on obesity.


A Duval County mental health care program is set to begin treating patients in March, five months ahead of schedule.

The nonprofit in charge of creating the “central receiving system” is raising money to qualify for a $15 million state grant. But it’s not waiting to reach that goal before opening doors to patients.


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