Make us your home page

Kathleen McGrory, Times Staff Writer

Kathleen McGrory

Kathleen McGrory is a health and medicine reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, she spent seven years as a metro reporter for the Miami Herald and two years as a government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She speaks Spanish and holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Phone: (727) 893-8330


Twitter: @kmcgrory


  1. Whatever your situation, Medicare's open enrollment period is a chance to reassess

    Life Times

    It's that time again.

    No, we're not talking about the return of pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, though that's definitely happening, too. We're talking about Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors.

    Oct. 15 marks the start of the annual open enrollment period for Medicare plans. The window, one of the few times enrollees can change their coverage, runs through Dec. 7....

  2. Hurricane Matthew surges north



    A relentless Hurricane Matthew came at Florida's northeast coast like a bulldozer Friday, driving thick walls of water over the dunes that chewed up roads and flooded residential neighborhoods.

    The monster storm was blamed for at least six deaths in the state, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and disrupted electric service to nearly 1.2 million customers in 25 counties....

    Kaleigh Black, 14, left, and Amber Olsen, 12, run for cover as a squall with rain and wind pelt them while they explore the Cocoa Beach Pier on Friday after hurricane Matthew passed to the east on Florida's east coast.
  3. Hurricane Matthew begins its assault on Florida



    Millions of Floridians braced Friday morning as Hurricane Matthew lashed the state's east coast with dangerous winds and 9-foot storm surges.

    The storm, already blamed for nearly 300 deaths in the Caribbean, approached as a Category 4 hurricane Thursday night, capable of inflicting catastrophic damage. It packed sustained winds of 130 mph, strong enough to snap trees and power poles and obliterate homes in its direct path. Few storms that powerful have hit the Sunshine State....

    Jimmie Booth, 80, takes flashlights from her granddaughter, Kia Frederick, 35, moments before leaving her family home Thursday in Fort Pierce.
  4. As Hurricane Matthew strengthens, evacuations ordered for Florida's east coast


    FORT PIERCE — A monstrous Hurricane Matthew menaced Florida late Wednesday, maintaining a potentially disastrous trajectory that could rake the state's entire Atlantic coast and force the largest evacuation in state history.

    The Category 3 storm prompted mandatory evacuations in Brevard, Martin and Palm Beach counties, with more expected Thursday. Gov. Rick Scott urged Floridians to heed the orders, and activated 1,500 members of the Florida National Guard. ...

    Workers from Armstrong Construction put plywood over windows of a home in preparation for Hurricane Matthew Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. People boarded up beach homes, schools closed and officials ordered evacuations along the East Coast on Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew tore through the Bahamas and took aim at Florida, where the governor urged coastal residents to "leave now" if they were able. [Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP]
  5. Amid cancer research push, Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center earns top national designation


    TAMPA — Moffitt Cancer Center has once again been awarded the National Cancer Institute's top title, Moffitt officials announced Thursday.

    The NCI's prestigious "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation honors cancer research institutions for their scientific leadership and the depth and breadth of their work. Currently, only 47 cancer centers in the United States hold the title.

    Moffitt is the only one based Florida. The Mayo Clinic, which is based in Minnesota but has a location in Jacksonville, is also a Comprehensive Cancer Center....

    The National Cancer Institute has once again awarded Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center its top designation for cancer research and scientific leadership. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] 
  6. No Labor Day holiday for mosquito-control workers as storm improves conditions for Zika spread


    Hurricane Hermine toppled trees, deluged roads and knocked out power as it blew across Florida on Thursday night.

    And some experts say the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years could also complicate matters when it comes to Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause devastating birth defects.

    Florida is the only state where Zika is spreading by mosquitoes, namely the species known as Aedes aegypti. State health officials have confirmed 49 locally acquired cases, including one in Pinellas County....

    A Hillsborough County mosquito control truck drives through neighborhoods in the Summerfield subdivision in Riverview in late May 2016. Tampa Bay area mosquito control departments will be doing more of the same during Labor Day weekend in the wake of Hurricane Hermine. The storm improved conditions for the spread of Zika, experts say. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times]
  7. Shorts you can wear to work? They *do* exist


    I was secretly thrilled when Deal Diva Lisa asked me to write this post.

    She had noticed my work shorts.

    I bought said shorts three weeks earlier to take to a conference in California. I was looking for a unicorn: an outfit that was clearly business attire, but also kind of funky. Long pants were out of the question. I had been forewarned that some of the conference would take place outside, and temperatures would rise into the 90s....

    It's a summer miracle.
  8. U.S. News names Tampa General Hospital tops in region


    Tampa General Hospital is the best hospital in the region and the third best in Florida, according to rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.

    Other top performers in the area included Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater and St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. The two facilities tied for eleventh place in the state.

    Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, meanwhile, was named the sixth best hospital for cancer in the nation, up from its 18th-place finish last year. Hospital officials said the jump was partly because Moffitt took steps to earn a prestigious designation from the American Nurses Association....

    A new report named Tampa General Hospital the best hospital in the Tampa Bay region. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times] 
  9. Dean sees bright present and future for USF's medical school


    Much has changed at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine since Dr. Charles Lockwood took over as dean two years ago.

    School leaders are designing a new downtown Tampa campus, an 11-story tower that will feature state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories.

    Applications are up from about 3,900 to about 6,270, as are accepted students' scores on the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT....

    Charles Lockwood
  10. CDC grants state $1.3 million to fight Zika


    Federal health officials are giving Florida more than $1.3 million to help prevent the spread of Zika, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. 

    All told, the CDC is distributing $25 million  to 53 state, city, and territorial health department in areas at risk for outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika.‎ 

    The funds, which can go toward the purchase of repellent, screens, and supplies for Zika prevention kits, will be available next week. ...

  11. First baby delivered in Florida with Zika-related microcephaly


    Doctors have delivered the first baby in Florida with Zika-related microcephaly, state health officials said Tuesday.

    The child's mother is a Haitian citizen who contracted the mosquito-borne virus while in her home country, the Department of Health said. She came to Florida to give birth.

    It was not announced where in the state the baby was born.

    As of Monday, 223 people in Florida, including 40 pregnant women, have been diagnosed with Zika. All of the cases are travel-related, meaning the people contracted the virus while traveling overseas or had sexual intercourse with someone who had recently traveled abroad. ...

    At least 223 people in Florida have contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including 40 pregnant women. All of the cases are travel-related, meaning the people contracted the virus while traveling overseas or had sexual intercourse with someone who had recently traveled abroad. [Associated Press]
  12. On the front lines against Zika, Tampa Bay area mosquito experts are pressing hard



    Ron Kolsen takes the cylinder-shaped bag and dumps its contents on a plastic board.

    "Alright," he says, staring intently at the pile of dead mosquitoes in front of him. "Let's see what we've got."

    Kolsen pulls a magnifying lamp over the tiny corpses to take a closer look. He sees hundreds of them, some with spotted wings, some with black-and-white striped legs. The ones he's looking for have silver-white scales on their backs that look like miniature violins....

    Mosquito Inspector Ron Kolsen with the Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control demonstrates how a mosquito trap is hung. Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Scott warned that rainfall from Tropical Storm Colin could could increase the state's mosquito population, exacerbating the risk from Zika. [Chris Urso | Special to the Times]
  13. Grants turn profits from Bayfront hospital sale into projects that encourage healthy living


    ST. PETERSBURG — The foundation created by the sale of Bayfront Medical Center carried out its first major charitable act Thursday, awarding $4 million in grants to community groups working to improve public health.

    The 19 recipients included the Pinellas County School District, the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Mount Zion Human Services, and the USF Research Foundation.

    "This gives us stable financial footing to do work in the community that will produce lasting change," said Susan McGrath of the Florida Consumer Action Network, which won $172,371 to develop a healthy transit initiative and promote healthy lifestyles....

    “If I had to describe the race we’re running, it’s a double marathon with a relay where we will continually pass the baton to the next generation.” Steven Dupr?, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg board chairman
  14. The judgy world of online ratings comes to the doctor's office


    You can award 5-star ratings to restaurants, hotels, even your Uber driver.

    But the surgeon who fixed your knee?

    Yes, rating your health care provider online is a thing. And if the online review site Yelp is any indication, the practice is becoming more popular in the Tampa Bay area.

    Thousands of people have used the site to evaluate local doctors and hospitals. The reviews, which cover everything from bedside manner to office decor, aren't always pretty....

    Dr. Michael O’Neal worries about false claims in reviews.
  15. Orlando shooting showcased the benefits of a Level 1 trauma center


    TAMPA — The men and women who suffered injuries when bullets cut through an Orlando nightclub early last Sunday had one thing break their way.

    They weren't far from help.

    The club where gunman Omar Mateen opened fire, killing 49 people, stood just blocks from one of Florida's 10 Level 1 trauma centers, each poised to respond with an all-out, life-saving blitz of staff, expertise and equipment. The centers are also the subject of a major health policy debate over how many of them Florida needs and how that should be decided....

    The trauma team at Tampa General Hospital receives a trauma patient from emergency medical personnel in 2014. [John Pendygraft, Tampa Bay Times]