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Christopher O'Donnell - Health and Medicine Reporter

Health and Medicine Reporter

I’m a political junkie and I love literature so this job fits like a glove. But journalism wasn’t my first career. I was born and grew up in England and programmed computers for a living. I switched to reporting when I moved to Florida in 2001. I got my first break at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after earning a journalism degree from the University of South Florida. I joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Tampa Tribune, where I covered city halls on both sides of Tampa Bay. When I’m not shouting at cable news, I love watching real football from England (alright, soccer) and riding my road bike on trails.

  1. Hope Village of America President and CEO Kirk Ray Smith in a 2018 portrait. Members of a fundraising committee for The Haven domestic violence shelter have resigned saying that Smith ranted and belittled them during a zoom call on Oct. 19. The nonprofit's governing board is holding an emergency meeting Monday.
  2. Tampa Bay region hospitals received passing grades for patient safety in new rankings released this week by Leapfrog.
  3. An architect's rendering of the Bayfront Health Medical Pavilion – Institute Square, part of Orlando Health's expansion of the Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital.
  4. Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, center foreground, works with a multidisciplinary team during rounds in the 2D COVID-19 unit at Tampa General Hospital. Many hospitals began relaxing masking rules in the past month after new guidance from the CDC.
  5. A sign in Rapid City, South Dakota, encourages people to vote in favor of Amendment D, a measure to expand Medicaid eligibility for state residents. The measure passed with 56% support, buoying supporters of expansion in Florida who believe the Sunshine state could follow the same path.
  6. People held up signs during a joint meeting of the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine on Nov. 4, 2022. The boards established new rules blocking medical treatments for transgender youth.
  7. Randall Russell resigned as CEO and president of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
  8. Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act began Tuesday and runs through Jan. 15, 2023. This past year, a record 2.7 million Floridians were insured through the federal program.
  9. A rendering of Feeding Tampa Bay's planned headquarters on Causeway in Tampa. The facility will include warehouses for food distribution, a health clinic, a grocery store and a job training center.
  10. BayCare Health System on Monday named Nate Malcom as president of St. Joseph's Hospital. Malcom previously served as a vice president of Advocate Aurora Health in the Chicago area.
  11. La Administración de Control de Drogas advirtió recientemente a los padres sobre las píldoras de fentanilo de colores brillantes que, según dicen, están diseñadas para atraer a los niños a la adicción. Algunos funcionarios públicos destacados, incluida la fiscal general de Florida, Ashley Moody, han ido más allá y han relacionado el riesgo con el  dulce de Halloween.
  12. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently warned parents about brightly colored fentanyl pills that they say are designed to entice children into addiction. Some prominent public officials including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody have gone further and linked the risk to trick or treating on Halloween.
  13. A Carter Healthcare office in Largo. The company, based in Oklahoma City, agreed to pay $7.1 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it billed Medicare for unnecessary medical treatment.
  14. Pediatric nurse Chelsea Macatangay listens to the lungs of 3-month-old Jasmine-Ruth Awung as parents Delphine and Columbus look on in her room at University of Maryland Children's Hospital. The infant is one of the many patients in Maryland with respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. Children's hospitals in Tampa Bay are also reporting a surge in RSV cases.
  15. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
  16. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo appeared this week via video conference on podcast X22 Report, a far-right show that espouses conspiracy theories including QAnon.
  17. Anthony Prado of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team peers under the eave of a collapsed roof while searching for people on Oct. 5. at Fort Myers Beach, which was mostly destroyed after Hurricane Ian made landfall Sept. 28. Almost 60 percent of those who died in the storm were age 65 or older.
  18. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared a nationwide shortage of Adderall, a medication used to treat attention-deficit disorder among other conditions.
  19. Candles, flowers and photos mark the spot in Plant City where Nathan Vega, 29, riding home on his motorbike, hit a tree felled by Hurricane Ian. Vega died from his injuries.
  20. Heather Danenhower, with Duke Energy, walks among around 2.000 utility trucks that are staged in a rural lot in The Villages of Sumter County on Wednesday morning. They were staging in preparation for Hurricane Ian, which has made landfall in Florida.
  21. Traffic is seen stopped along the northbound lanes of I-75 near Sumter Boulevard Friday. Flooding has shutdown both the north and south lanes until Saturday afternoon.
  22. Motorists seen stalled on I-75 North bound on Friday, September 30, 2022.
  23. St. Anthony's Hospital at 1200 7th Ave N on Monday, March 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. BayCare Health and Florida Blue on Wednesday announced they had reached an agreement.
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