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How FL Nurse, Geek Became Millionaires

Steven Martine
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Two separate profiles put a spotlight on two people who work in health care.

Bloomberg Businessweek shares the story of T. Mark Jones, a registered nurse and co-owner of a pharmacy who went from near-bankrupt to super-rich by turning into a whistleblower. He started his Key West pharmacy business, Ven-A-Care, with a special focus on HIV patients near the end of their lives in the late 1980s. He helped patients stay in their homes when the conventional method was to keep them in the hospital for the last few weeks of life. But a national chain came in and took business away from him by overbilling Medicare. So he set out to prove it, and did.

In another profile, Florida Trend looks at software company Optima Healthcare Solutions, which provides a software system that enables nursing homes to keep track of patient assessments. Owner Steve Mackie wants the company’s 90 employees to really know who they’re serving, so part of their job means spending one day a month at the Martin County Council On Aging adult day care site.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.