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.

Report: With population shifts on the way, Pinellas needs to change

The number of white residents in Pinellas County is expected to drop to 72 percent by 2020, and to 50 percent by 2050, according to a new report. “As people of color continue to grow as a share of the workforce and population,” it says, “their social and economic well-being will determine the county’s future success and prosperity.” [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times]
An “equity profile” of the county points to differences in the quality of life between racial groups, and says they must be bridged if Pinellas is to thrive.

If smoking is bad, how can smoking medical marijuana be good? We asked doctors.

While smoking medical marijuana is touted for its health benefits, smoking still comes with risks. Doctors say they look forward to seeing more research on the subject as more states allow marijuana in smokeable form. [Shutterstock]
A new Florida law brings up an interesting point. Patients can smoke medical marijuana to improve their health — but it’s still smoking.

For those in transition, a little makeup goes a long way

Heather Fontaine, left, applies makeup to Bree Alkire during a class at the LGBTQ Welcome Center in St. Petersburg, hosted by Metro Inclusive Health. Fontaine, a long-time drag performer, offers makeup tips in a class setting every other month for people in the transgender community and others whose gender expression is feminine. [Courtesy of Metro Inclusive Health]
Every other month, a class in St. Petersburg aims to give transgender women and others a safe place to experiment with an unfamiliar task: putting on makeup.

How does the human brain age? Scientists look for answers in Lakewood Ranch

Bike trails and parks are some of the amenities in the sprawling Lakewood Ranch area, which has attracted a variety of residents, from young families to retirees. Researchers say the wide mix of people is why they chose the community for their decades-long study on how the human brain develops and responds to various factors over a lifetime. [Courtesy of Eric Nalpas Photography]
Researchers say the 31,000-acre community is home to a wide mix of people. They plan to follow hundreds of them for a decades-long study on the mysteries of the human brain.

Florida considers a new option for moms who don’t want to give birth in a hospital

Legislation moving through the Florida House and Senate would create “advanced birthing centers” that would be able to perform caesarean sections and administer anesthesia, and would allow mothers to stay longer for recovery. Supporters say there’s a market for the service, as many parents are opting for births outside a hospital. [iStockphoto.com]
Lawmakers are debating “advanced birthing centers,” which would be more comfortable than hospitals but more advanced than birth centers already in place.