05/03/16 State Roundup
After weeks of not answering questions on controversial revisions to the state HIV count, the Florida Department of Health has released more detailed information on the state's calculations.
In a list of frequently asked questions posted Friday to the Department of Health's website, officials said they send information about all new HIV cases to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC then identifies cases that may have been counted in more than one state and asks those health departments to decide where the case was first diagnosed....
05/02/16 Nursing Homes
As investigators probe potential abuse at a Pinellas Park nursing home, some guardians are speaking out about what they say is substandard care at the facility.
Fernando Gutierrez, the guardian of a 65-year-old man who died Saturday after spending hours in the sun, said Monday he plans to remove his other 10 clients from GraceWood Rehabilitation and Nursing Care.
"In good conscience, I cannot leave them there," Gutierrez said Monday....
ST. PETERSBURG — Behind the thick wooden doors of the operating suite at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, surgeons use a new $2 million robot to perform precise movements inside a patient.
Look around and there is more: special lighting, new anesthesia machines, new instruments — just a few of the upgrades totaling $60 million that have been made throughout the hospital over the last three years....
Eleven members of Florida's Congressional Delegation are pressing Gov. Rick Scott to explain how the state changed its count of new HIV cases amid a controversy over the numbers.
The members, a mix of Democrats and Republicans representing districts from North Florida to the Keys, sent Scott a letter Thursday demanding to know why the state health department revised the number of new infections reported in 2014 from 6,147 to 4,613....
TAMPA — With the warm and wet summer months fast approaching, officials said Tuesday that Tampa Bay area residents can — and should — take steps to prevent getting Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has quickly become a major international health concern.
Their primary focus: women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant this summer. U.S. Health Department officials confirmed this month that Zika can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by an unusually small head size....
ST. PETERSBURG — For Ashlee Gordon, the double vision came and went.
Her doctors had different theories over the years. One thought it was an eye problem. Another suggested it was allergies. Another still said Ashlee was perfectly fine.
But when the 15-year-old from Valrico started seeing black spots, her mother decided to get to the bottom of it.
Last Thursday, mother and daughter went to an optometrist at Brandon Town Center Mall. Dr. Sylvia Bernatsky performed the usual battery of eye exams; everything seemed normal....
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, is calling for a federal investigation into the "dramatic" changes made to Florida's HIV statistics.
Earlier this year, the state department of health changed the number of new HIV cases reported in 2014 from 6,147 to 4,613. State health officials said the 25 percent adjustment was routine.
But the revision was significantly larger than any revision made in recent years, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found. What's more, it was made as state lawmakers grilled Florida's top health official over a reported spike in new HIV infections....
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, is calling for a federal investigation into Florida's recently adjusted HIV statistics.
Earlier this year, state health officials revised the number of new HIV cases reported in 2014 from 6,147 to 4,613, removing about 25 percent of new infections from the books....
ST. PETERSBURG — In joining forces with the internationally known Johns Hopkins Health System five years ago, All Children's Hospital hoped to catapult itself into the top tier of pediatric hospitals.
In many ways, it succeeded.
All Children's has a new medical residency program that recently attracted 1,400 applicants for 12 slots. It draws experienced physicians from top hospitals such as Boston Children's. And it has broken ground on an $85 million research and education facility....
There are vaccines to help the body fight off measles, mumps and the flu.
But breast cancer?
That's exactly the technology a Florida-based company is hoping to bring to the market in the not-so-distant future.
The company, TapImmune Inc., is teaming up with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to test two vaccines that could help the body fend off certain types of breast, ovarian and lung cancers. Mayo plans to launch a 280-patient clinical trial on one of the vaccines this summer....
State lawmakers blasted the state surgeon general in January for cutting staff and spending at a time when new HIV cases were spiking in Florida.
A month later, the Florida Department of Health quietly revised its figures.
The department's division of disease control lowered the number of new HIV cases logged in 2014 from 6,147 to 4,613 — erasing one in four new infections from the rolls that year, state records show....
ST. PETERSBURG — All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine is changing its name.
Starting next month, the 259-bed medical and research center will be known as Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.
"The purpose of that is to take what is a leading brand in health care and use it to signal that All Children's Hospital is providing — and is committed to providing — the highest quality care and the safest care for children in the region, in the state and in the country," Ellen said....
The Tampa Bay area is one of nine in the U.S. that could see large numbers of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — the kind that carries Zika virus — come July, according to a recent study in the journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks.
The study , which used climate data from 50 major cities to simulate the abundance of mosquitoes, found the insect could thrive as far north as New York and Philadelphia in July, August and September....
TAMPA — Ansley Brown, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Florida, was expecting a big surprise on Match Day, when soon-to-be doctors learn where they will continue their training as residents.
She wasn't expecting two.
After she and her boyfriend, fellow graduating medical student Matthew Wollenschlaeger, took the stage Friday to learn where they would be residents, Wollenschlaeger got down on one knee....
A larger share of doctors in Florida have accepted freebies or payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies than in all but seven other states, according to a new analysis by ProPublica.
The analysis looked at doctors in five common medical specialties who had 1,000 or more claims to Medicare in 2014. In Florida, 85 percent of them had received free meals or travel, gifts, or compensation for speaking or consulting....