The Villages

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Joe Byrnes / WMFE

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he doesn’t think President Trump was trying to minimize the pandemic when he said 99 percent of cases are “totally harmless.”

The Florida governor addressed that issue during a press conference in The Villages on Monday.

Sumter County COVID-19 Deaths More Than Double In Two Days

Apr 8, 2020
People continue to play golf in The Villages.
Joe Byrnes / WMFE

The death toll from COVID-19 has more than doubled in Sumter County — from three people to seven — over the past two days.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the first week of an ongoing study by the University of Florida in The Villages found no cases of coronavirus among test subjects without symptoms.

President Donald Trump is pledging to protect Medicare.  The president visited The Villages in central Florida – a collection of communities for residents 55 and older.  He announced and signed an executive order aimed at protecting and improving Medicare coverage.

Trump also used the event as an opportunity to tout his administration’s health care goals and achievements. He criticized the proposals set forth by his Democratic rivals, which he called socialism.

President Donald Trump on Thursday accused Democrats of an all-out attempt to “totally obliterate Medicare” and portrayed himself as the program’s defender as he took steps to expand Medicare’s private insurance option.

WMFE

President Donald Trump will be in The Villages Thursday for an official White House event. 

Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center once had plans to expand services at The Villages Regional Hospital. But now, Moffitt is leaving the retirement community, and as the Orlando Sentinel reports, Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute will provide all cancer-treatment service for the Central Florida Health Alliance hospital.

USF Health

The new top doctor at the for-profit Villages Health System is raising some eyebrows at the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

It’s Dr. Jeff Lowenkron, who in December resigned as chief executive officer of the USF Physicians Group. That came after a multimillion dollar failure by USF’s medical school to create a clinic at the retirement community. 

Will Vragoic / Tampa Bay Times

The gigantic retirement community known as The Villages -- with almost 100,000 residents who like getting around in golf carts -- has teamed up with the University of South Florida to create medical homes with an old-time friendly style of primary care, the Tampa Bay Times reports

With a $3.6 million gift from a supremely successful alumnus, University of South Florida will launch a training program for medical residents who want to specialize in care of older patients, USF announced Friday in a press release.

The training program will be located in The Villages,  south of Ocala. USF Health is already conducting population-health studies in The Villages, the nation's largest retirement community.

A bill was passed in the Senate this morning by a vote of 32 to 6 to allow more trauma centers to be built in rural areas, and permits The Villages retirement community to build a nursing home despite a state moratorium. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, the bill was amended yesterday to remove a provision for an obstetrics unit at Miami Children’s Hospital. It now goes back to the House for approval. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee tacked on language to a bill to loosen regulations for approving new trauma centers, the the Miami Herald reports. That's similar to a move a committee in the Florida House made earlier this week.

The Senate unanimously approved a ban on texting-while-driving this morning, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The bill's next stop is the House. 

USF Health has broken ground on its new Specialty Care Center in the Villages, providing coordinated  health care to the country's largest community of people over the age of 55.

According to USF Health officials, the center will serve as a collaborative compliment to The Villages Health primary care network, which is going to soon have seven different medical offices in The Villages.

Speaking at the formal ground-breaking last week, Dr. Stephen Klasko, USF Health CEO, said such collaboration allows residents to receive health care without leaving their neighborhood.