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Opinion

Still $14,000 short—HAVE YOU DONATED?

Dear readers, Health News Florida doesn't have a sugar daddy.

Many people who appreciate our fine reporting and professional editing have told me that they assume we're part of Kaiser Health News, a national service that covers health policy, and assume we get money from its sponsor, the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Well, guess what: We don't get a dime from Kaiser.

We get some much-appreciated funding from foundations in Florida -- see the list on the "About Us" page --but our grants are being reduced in 2012 because our underwriters say it's time that OUR READERS help pay. What a concept!

When we launched this news service in 2007, we decided not to charge a fee because the overriding mission is to get important information into the hands of those who need it. Many of our regular readers have limited incomes -- retirees, patient advocates, journalists and thousands of state and local government employees who carry out public policy on health issues. 

But that has also meant a free ride for thousands of regular readers who include doctors and other health professionals, insurance brokers, hospital executives, lawyers, consultants and even hedge-fund managers! 

Only a few of those have taken the time to make a donation to Health News Florida during our current fund-raising campaign, which started in September. We said at the time that we can win a $25,000 grant if our readers match it. 

Time is running out. Several of you have made tax-deductible donations so far totaling $11,000, and we thank you for that! But we still need to raise $14,000. This money pays reporters and free-lancers who are capable of handling the professional-level, well-researched articles our readers want.

So next week, instead of writing and editing stories, instead of aggregating the best stories from others to help save time for our readers, we will be calling and writing our readers, asking for donations. There won't be another e-Alert until January.

We don't like asking for money. But we can't afford professional fund-raisers. All our money goes toward journalism.

So if you have held off on making a donation, because it's a bit of a hassle, don't wait any longer. Please.

There are two ways to make a tax-deductible contribution to Health News Florida:

Online: Visit http://www.healthnewsflorida.org/support_our_work  and click "Donate" to contribute via PayPal using a credit card.

By mail: Make checks payable to Health Foundation of South Florida and write Health News Florida in the “for” line.

Send to:

Health Foundation of South Florida
Attention: Debra Johnson
One Biscayne Tower
2 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1710
Miami, FL 33131

--Health News Florida is an independent online publication dedicated to journalism in the public interest. Contact Editor Carol Gentry at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.