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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

Email: kmcgrory@tampabay.com

Twitter: @kmcgrory

 

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  1. On the front lines against Zika, Tampa Bay area mosquito experts are pressing hard

    Health

    TAMPA

    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....

    Burns makes piles of dead mosquitoes last week at the unit’s offices in Tampa. Mosquitoes are counted every Tuesday. What he finds will help determine where the county will spray later in the week.
  2. Grants turn profits from Bayfront hospital sale into projects that encourage healthy living

    Health

    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....

    The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg was created in 2013 when the not-for-profit Bayfront Medical Center was sold to a for-profit hospital chain. [Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times]
  3. The judgy world of online ratings comes to the doctor's office

    Medicine

    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. David Lubin once confronted a patient about a review.
  4. Orlando shooting showcased the benefits of a Level 1 trauma center

    Health

    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]
  5. Heavily represented among the Pulse victims, Orlando's growing Hispanic community assesses the damage

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — Hours after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, when the names of victims started to trickle out on the news and social media, one thing struck the Rev. Gabriel Salguero.

    Nearly all were Hispanic.

    "It wasn't lost on me that it was Latin night at Pulse," Salguero said, naming the Orlando nightclub where Omar Mateen opened fire on hundreds of people before he was killed by police....

    Ricardo Cartagena kneels near flowers, cards and other items left as memorials for victims of the Pulse mass shooting. It was Latin night when the killer struck, and many victims were Hispanic.
  6. 'This is not a drill:' Doctors tell how a quiet night in their Orlando trauma center suddenly turned ghastly

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — The waiting room was empty.

    Unusual for the overnight shift, Dr. Kathryn Bondani thought as she walked across the emergency room floor at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

    It was just before 2 a.m Sunday and relatively few cases had come through the doors. Bondani had started her shift at 11 p.m., and was scheduled to work through the morning with five physician trainees. The senior physician, Dr. Gary Parrish, planned to go home in an hour....

    Dr. Michael Cheatham, second from right, is flanked by other doctors during a news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Orlando. Several doctors and Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor Angel Colon spoke to members of the media Tuesday. [CHRIS URSO  |   Special to the Times]

  7. Poe: The LGBT community can move the needle on gun laws

    Blog

    Democratic congressional candidate and former state Democratic Party Chairman Bob Poe attended the vigil in Orlando late Monday to remember the 50 people killed in a massacre in a gay night club.

    "It’s hard to wrap my mind around it," Poe said. "You never think that something like this would happen in Orlando. It’s unimaginable."

    Last week, Poe announced he is HIV-positive. He said he hoped to bring awareness to those living with the illness....

  8. Grief and long waits for families of Orlando shooting victims

    Public Safety

    ORLANDO — They held hands and draped arms around each other's shoulders as they approached the imposing brick building.

    Their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, best friends and dancing partners were among the few dozen still missing after the terrorist attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub where a rifle-wielding man had turned a raucous night out into a massacre Sunday.

    Complete coverage: All of our reporting on the Orlando shootings on one page...

    Chris Drozd, left, and Stefan Salvatore, right, are consoled by Don Raber on Monday after leaving flowers and pictures at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center for friends who died during the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting. Mourners were expected to gather at the center for a vigil Monday night to remember the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. [CHRIS URSO  |   Special to the Times]
  9. Friends and family mourn those killed in Orlando

    Crime

    ORLANDO — Eddie Sotomayor was among the first names released Sunday of at least 50 killed in a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, the deadliest massacre in U.S. history.

    A charismatic national brand manager for gay travel company Al and Chuck Travel, Sotomayor lived in Sarasota and was a University of South Florida graduate.

    Sotomayor was a trailblazer, according to his boss and the company's owner, Al Ferguson. ...

    Guerrero, left, was killed; friends and family had not yet heard about his boyfriend Christopher Leinonen, right.
  10. Scott talks Zika with Hillsborough County health officials

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott met with Hillsborough County health officials Thursday to discuss Zika preparedness.

    Newly appointed state Surgeon General Celeste Philip and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera also attended the meeting.

    Scott has spent the last several weeks raising concerns about the mosquito-borne virus, which is spreading across South and Central America and the Caribbean. The Republican governor recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for more than 5,000 Zika preparedness kits, spraying equipment and mosquito traps, as well as funding for more city and county mosquito control workers and an expanded outreach program....

    Gov. Rick Scott talks to health officials in Tampa on Thursday.
  11. A limb is saved, a life is changed as Moffitt Cancer Center works to perfect a targeted blast of chemo

    Health

    TAMPA

    The amputation was scheduled for July 29, 2014.

    Earlier that summer, a doctor in Denver had found a malignant tumor tangled in the tendons of Mike Hladky's right wrist. The doctor said an above-the-elbow amputation was the only way to prevent the cancer from spreading. So did a specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    Hladky, a Wyoming man who had made a living in construction before retiring in 2013, tried adjusting to the news. He bought himself a pair of shoes that didn't need to be tied....

    Mike Hladky smiles after receiving an isolated limb infusion at Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center last year. The rare procedure involved wrapping a tourniquet around his arm to stop blood flow while doctors pumped a targeted flow of chemotherapy drugs to a tumor in his right wrist. The treatment was an alternative to amputation and so far appears to be working. [Photo courtesy of Mike Hladky]
  12. Medication resembling a breath strip could treat Parkinson's disease 'off episodes'

    Health

    TAMPA — It happened once last year during a rehearsal for The Nutcracker at the Carrollwood Cultural Center.

    Helen Michaelson, 66, felt her muscles suddenly get stiff. She became disoriented, too, causing her to slip down a crowded set of stairs and dislocate her shoulder.

    "It was a pretty good fall," she recalled.

    So-called "off episodes" can be a common occurrence for people like Michaelson who suffer from Parkinson's disease. In between doses of their regular medication, their bodies become rigid, their movements slow and labored....

    Dr. Robert A. Hauser holds up a medical strip used to help people with Parkinson's disease in his office at the University of South Florida's Byrd Institute on Wednesday morning, June 1, 2016 in Tampa. The strip is taken like a breath strip - and has been shown to provide quick relief from 'off episodes' from those afflicted with Parkinson's disease.
ZACK WITTMAN  |  Times
  13. For people with dementia, devices bring music that awakens the past

    Health

    PALM HARBOR

    Pearl Leimbach sometimes struggles to remember the vibrant life she lived in Maryland and the people who now care for her in Palm Harbor.

    She's 91 and suffers from dementia.

    But when she slipped on a pair of headphones at the St. Mark Village nursing home on a recent afternoon, she instantly recognized the upbeat holiday tunes from her childhood.

    "Oh, Christmas music!" said the woman once known as Toots, a smile spreading across her lips....

    St. Mark Village resident Pearl Leimbach, 91, who has dementia, listens to music last week on her new MP3 player with the help of Kimberly Glem, the Palm Harbor facility’s life enrichment director. “The music is soothing,” Glem said.
  14. Ranking rates St. Petersburg among the worst cities for skin cancer risk

    Health

    ST. PETERSBURG — Living in a place called the Sunshine City has its benefits.

    This isn't one of them.

    Gloriously sunny St. Petersburg is among the worst cities in the nation for your skin, according to a new analysis by the online finance network WalletHub.

    The study , which ranked 150 U.S. cities from best to worst, examined factors such as climate, melanoma incidence rate, skin-cancer death rate, and number of tanning salons for every 100,000 people....

    Dr. Vernon Sondak is the chair of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center. [Courtesy of Moffitt Cancer Center]
  15. For pregnant women in Tampa Bay, a lack of answers heightens worries about Zika

    Health

    TAMPA — Rosa Mayerly Velasquez was overjoyed to learn in January that she was pregnant.

    But her excitement quickly turned into anxiety.

    Weeks earlier, Velasquez, 33, and her husband had visited family in Colombia, a country that has seen an alarming spike in Zika infections and birth defects linked to the mosquito-borne virus.

    She didn't experience the fever, headaches or rashes that typically signal an infection, she said. But then again, most people who have the virus don't realize it....

    Rosa Mayerly Velasquez and her husband, Francisco Acevedo, visited family in Cali, Colombia, in December.