TAMPA — Last month a woman searched four days for a dentist who could help her 18-month-old daughter. The child had barely eaten after falling and breaking her front tooth in half.
But the Hillsborough County mom couldn't find a dentist who would accept Medicaid. At last, she found Suncoast Community Health Centers, where dentists administered anesthesia and pulled the tooth — in 15 minutes, said Dr. Richard Gyles, Suncoast's pediatric dental director....
TAMPA — Pregnant with her third child, Lizzy Lester knew she wanted a natural, unmedicated delivery. But she jumped at an option to take the edge off the labor pains: nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.
So the medical staff at Tampa General Hospital wheeled in a bedside device that let Lester breathe the gas through a face mask when she felt she needed it. And did she need it: Baby Sylas Spencer came into the world Tuesday tipping 11 pounds....
ST. PETERSBURG — Emergency room patients come in all ages, but St. Petersburg General Hospital decided to focus a makeover on one group: seniors.
The hospital, owned by national chain HCA, recently unveiled new senior-friendly details in its emergency department. They include:
• Four treatment rooms outfitted with softer lighting, thicker mattresses and nonskid floors....
TAMPA — A couple of months ago, Freud the sea turtle gave a reassuring sign to his caretakers at the Florida Aquarium: He swam to the bottom of his tank and chilled out.
This was huge progress — just last year, Freud couldn't swim or dive. Aquarium staffers had long suspected a tear in his lungs but couldn't pinpoint the problem for the endangered green sea turtle.
Freud was taken to the aquarium shortly after being discovered on a Panhandle beach in November 2012. He was lethargic, bloated and covered in algae....
TEMPLE TERRACE — Two well-known Tampa Bay hospice programs could soon be part of the same nonprofit corporation, yet another sign of the growing trend of consolidation in health care.
HPH Hospice, which serves Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Chapters Health System, the parent company of Hillsborough's LifePath Hospice.
The two nonprofits are finalizing the details of the transaction and expect the affiliation to be complete in December. HPH Hospice would keep its name and foundation. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Patients at Bayfront Health System's clinics still don't know if their personal information, including Social Security numbers, was stolen during a massive cyberattack on Community Health System, Bayfront's parent company. But local clinics are referring patients to a toll-free number set up by Community.
That number is 1-855-205-6951.
On Wednesday, the line consisted of several pre-recorded messages about the cyberattack, thought to have occurred in April and June, affecting 4.5 million patients nationwide. Patients are told they will be notified by letter if their information was compromised. They will also be offered free identity theft protection. Vulnerable patients include those who saw or were referred to a clinic doctor up to five years ago, the company has said....
The parent company of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg says criminal cyberattackers stole Social Security numbers and other information of about 4.5 million patients treated by its affiliated physician groups.
Tennessee-based Community Health Systems — which also owns Bayfront Health Spring Hill, Bayfront Health Brooksville and Bayfront Health Dade City — said Monday that no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But Community said the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birth dates, and telephone and Social Security numbers....
Having a heart attack in Pinellas County? HCA Healthcare, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, is making a pitch it hopes you'll remember in a time of emergency.
"Make the seconds count," the company's west Florida division says in a recent mailing to households. "Call 911 and ask EMS to take you to an HCA Pinellas County Hospital."
Marketing emergency departments can be a tricky strategy, but it's one that HCA has embraced perhaps more than any other Tampa Bay area hospital group....
TAMPA — University of South Florida's health programs are, as the new medical school dean puts it, "bursting at the seams."
So that leaves USF Health with a big decision: Will it expand on its current campus or move to downtown Tampa?
"We're looking at all the options," Dr. Charles Lockwood, USF's medical school dean, said in a recent meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board....
TAMPA — Parents soon may see back-to-school checklists that include not only backpacks and notebooks but also vaccinations to prevent the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.
The HPV Action and Awareness Coalition, led by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, and University of South Florida officials Tuesday unveiled a local public health campaign aimed at increasing the state's lagging immunization rate....
TAMPA — Hoping to emerge from bankruptcy, Without Walls International Church says it is close to selling its longtime home near Raymond James Stadium to a real estate developer.
Attorneys for Without Walls said in a document filed in federal court Friday that a sales contract with the Richman Group closes Monday. The developer plans to pay $12.6 million and build multifamily apartment units on the W Columbus Drive property, said Leah Stewart, a development associate with Richman's West Palm Beach office....
ST. PETERSBURG — Not long ago, Dr. Douglas Carlan prescribed several months of rest for a 13-year-old baseball pitcher with an overuse injury in his shoulder.
The patient's father didn't like that plan. Why? The family had invested $100,000 in his son's travel team and scouts would be watching.
Carlan, a St. Petersburg orthopedic surgeon, was dismayed but not entirely surprised at the reaction: It's part of the reason children and adolescents end up with overuse injuries in the first place....
TEMPLE TERRACE — The parent company of LifePath Hospice eliminated 89 jobs this week, citing declining government reimbursements, costly regulatory changes and uncertainty amid expected changes to the hospice payment system.
The eliminated positions, 64 of which were filled and the rest vacant, were distributed across Chapters Health System and its affiliated companies, including LifePath and Good Shepherd Hospice, spokeswoman Jenna Paladino said....
ST. PETERSBURG — Six years ago in his bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized what's known as the "10,000 hour rule" — the idea that it takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill.
Young athletes, their coaches and parents took that to heart — dangerously so, sports writer David Epstein argues.
Epstein, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and author of The Sports Gene, will be in St. Petersburg on Saturday to talk about why he calls 10,000 "the most dangerous number in sports."...
TAMPA — When St. Joseph's Hospital unveiled its new emergency room in July, officials touted its modern additions, from bedside ultrasound machines to cellphone charging stations.
But the new feature that says even more about American health care? A treatment room for obese patients, complete with a larger bed, floor-mounted commodes and scales and a lift that can hoist a person weighing nearly 1,000 pounds....