FL Surgeon General Says He Has Colon Cancer

Sep 18, 2015

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.

“I know she is capable of keeping this department running smoothly and is surrounded by a competent and committed staff who will continue doing good work to positively impact the lives of all Floridians and visitors.”

Armstrong was first appointed as Florida Surgeon General in 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott. Earlier this year, the state Senate refused to confirm the appointment, however, when Armstrong declined to tell a Senate health committee his stance on a proposed Medicaid expansion alternative.

Before being named Surgeon General, Armstrong served as Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Mary Shedden reports for WUSF in Tampa. WUSF is part of Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.