Florida Surgeon General

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.


Celeste Philip has been Florida's interim surgeon general and secretary of the Department of Health since March, after the Legislature adjourned without confirming her predecessor, John Armstrong.

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.

Florida Department of Health

Former Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong has been given a job within the Department of Health, Politico Florida reports.

Florida Department of Health

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Dr. Celeste Philip as Florida’s acting Surgeon General.

Philip replaces Dr. John Armstrong, who was the Surgeon General since 2012.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s meeting, some questioned surrounded whether Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong would be confirmed. Armstrong’s been under fire for decreasing enrollment in the Children's Medical Services program, rising HIV infections and staff cuts in local health departments.  The Senate Health Policy Committee narrowly confirmed him on a 5-to-4 vote.

Florida Department of Health

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong faces another confirmation hearing today, in front of the same group that a year ago refused to back his nomination.

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.

Florida’s Surgeon General visited Bay County as part of a health tour of the state’s coastal areas.

The National Weather Service, as well as rain-weary residents, continue to keep a cautious eye on numerous rivers around West Central Florida.

With more thunderstorms possible the rest of the week, officials are closely monitoring the Alafia River and the Little Manatee River in Hillsborough County and Cypress Creek and the Withlacoochee River in Pasco County.

Armstrong Again Named DOH Secretary

Dec 16, 2014
University of South Florida

Governor Rick Scott on Monday tapped Dr. John Armstrong again as Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Armstrong has been in the post since 2012. His predecessor, Dr. Frank Farmer, stepped down after about a year on the job, citing taking care of his wife who has breast cancer.

Criticism of the Department of Health is growing over its release of private prescription information on  3,300 patients to federal and state agencies, and from there to defense attorneys involved in a Volusia County drug case.

Surgeon General John Armstrong, who also functions as Secretary of the Department of Health, will likely not win Senate confirmation this year, the Associated Press reports.

That news comes from Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who chairs a committee that decides whether appointees get confirmed or have to come back and try again the second year. He said some senators question Armstrong's ability to work with other officials, AP reports.