Justine Griffin, Medical Reporter

Justine Griffin

Medical Reporter

I cover health and medicine for the Tampa Bay Times. That could be anything related to your health, from the evolution of health insurance to medical marijuana. I'm a native Floridian who grew up in Pasco County. Prior to covering health care, I was a business reporter writing about retail, tourism and other consumer topics. Before joining the Times in 2015, I worked for the St. Augustine Record, the Sun Sentinel and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where I gained national attention for my retail coverage and for a long-form article I wrote about my experience as an egg donor. I'm a graduate of the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), where I studied journalism. I'm also an equestrian. My horse's name is Mikey.

A stem cell transplant with a twist. ‘They are connected in so many ways’

Nicki Kremer, right, poses with her mother, Madelyn Balitz, at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa when Kremer was in her 20s. Kremer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 24. But today, at age 38, she’s in remission, thanks to a stem cell donation from a stranger who lived in Kentucky. [Photo courtesy of Nicki Kremer]
She was a Florida college student with cancer. He lived in Kentucky. Their blood and bone marrow matched, and he helped save her life. Soon he’ll preside at her wedding.

Two top leaders resign from Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

Two top leaders at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, including CEO John McLain, have resigned their posts, the hospital announced Wednesday. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
John McLain, the CEO, and Pamela Modisett, the chief financial officer, stepped down Wednesday morning from their posts at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. No reason was given.

Partners no more: USF med school and St. Petersburg’s largest hospital announce a breakup

In 2015, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, above, and USF Health announced a partnership they hoped would serve both their interests. But officials from both organizations said Friday their collaboration is ending. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
A partnership between USF Health and Bayfront Health ends after just three years. A USF official says Bayfront’s parent company “has their own objective of selling off hospitals.”

The flu is not that bad this year, experts say

It isn't too late to get a flu shot, doctors say. February is the most active month during the flu season, which continues through the spring. However, officials are reporting a mild to moderate flu season this year. [Associated Press]
February is typically the worst month for flu outbreaks. But the numbers so far show we’re in for a mild-to-moderate season in 2019.

Shriners Hospital in Tampa plans to end inpatient care, shed jobs

The entrance to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, located at 12502 USF Pine Dr. near the University of South Florida. The hospital, which opened in 1985, says it will change to an outpatient facility in August 2019. [Photo courtesy of Shriners Hospitals]
By changing to an outpatient facility, the hospital that made its mark treating children for free says it’s responding to changes in the need for complex pediatric care.