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. The Cape Coral office of Children's Network of Southwest Florida. The nonprofit took over Hillsborough County's foster care system Friday. The contract is worth $90 million per year.
  2. Protesters march during an abortion rights rally on Saturday, June 25, 2022, on the corner of East Fowler Avenue and North 56th Street in Temple Terrace.
  3. Los funcionarios de salud están refiriendo a las familias a “centros de salud federalmente calificados”, clínicas generalmente administradas por organizaciones sin fines de lucro.
  4. Nurse Jordan Dierksheide and Medical Assistant Cassandra Ross help administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to JoseMaria Mejia, 7, of Ruskin, during a vaccination event hosted by Enterprising Latinas at Wimauma Opportunity Center in Wimauma on Nov. 14, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month recommended COVID-19 vaccines for kids under age 5, but some Florida parents are struggling to get young children vaccinated.
  5. Housekeeper Tonia Harvey cleans a bed in the Roseland Community Hospital intensive care unit after a COVID-19 patient passed away, April 17, 2020.
  6. Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, front left, gestures as speaks before a bill signing by Gov. Ron DeSantis, front right, Nov. 18, 2021, in Brandon.
  7. Sarrah Vesselov, 44, is a married mother of two and small business owner. She poses for a portrait May 13 while working as a graphic designer from her shop, the Your Turn Cafe in Zephyrhills. She said her family, her education and her business would not be possible if she hadn't had access legal abortion at age 19.
  8. Publix, el empleador privado más grande del estado, no ofrecerá la vacuna recientemente aprobada para niños menores de 4 años.
  9. Publix, the state's largest private employer, has announced that it will not be offering the newly approved vaccine for children ages 4 and under.
  10. (From top left) Delquanda Turner Smith, 46, and Erik Smith, 50, pose for a portrait with their two sons (bottom left), Erik Smith, 4, and Carlton Smith, 3, outside their home on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 in St. Petersburg. The two sons have an immune disorder which leaves them vulnerable to illnesses, including covid. The Smith’s hope to vaccinate their sons soon as federal officials recently announced their approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 4 and under.
  11. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha speaks during the April 26 daily briefing at the White House. Jha said Friday that Florida's failure to preorder doses of the vaccine for children 4 and under will delay delivery to the state's pediatricians, children’s hospitals and medical facilities.
  12. A photomicrograph of the bacteria “Neisseria meningitidis” recovered from the urethra of an asymptomatic male and magnified. The bacteria causes meningococcal disease, a serious disease that is spreading in Florida, state health officials say.
  13. Isaih Epps, 15, get his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic for children and adults ages 5 and up at Turkey Creek Middle School on December 2021 in Plant City. Thousands of medical facilities across the country will get vaccine doses for young children, according to a Herald report, but Florida facilities that rely on the federal pipeline may not until the state places its order.
  14. The Pinellas County Courthouse in downtown Clearwater.
  15. El primer centro de Walmart Health en Tampa Bay se inauguró en Wesley Chapel Supercenter. Marca la expansión del gigante minorista en el mercado de atención médica de Florida.
  16. The first Walmart Health center in Tampa Bay has opened at the Wesley Chapel Supercenter. It marks the retail giant's expansion into the Florida health care market.
  17. Nurses rally outside HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital Tuesday morning to call for more nurses to be hired. They warned that a shortage of nurses in the hospital is threating patient safety.
  18. More than 500,000 Floridians could lose their health insurance if Congress fails to extend tax credits passed through the American Rescue Plan Act, a new report warns.
  19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's community chart on Friday shows many Florida counties are at high risk of COVID-19. Those are the ones colored orange. The medium risk counties are colored yellow and low risk counties are green.
  20. Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital at 501 Sixth Ave. S in St. Petersburg.
  21. St. Anthony's Hospital’s new 90-bed patient tower, featuring all private rooms, is part of a $152 million expansion of the BayCare facility, which opened in 1931.
  22. Three boaters stranded on a buoy near Egmont Key after their vessel began taking on water were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard crew.
  23. Demetrius Roberts has been charged with murder in connection with a Pasco County shooting.

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