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Justine Griffin - Medical Reporter

Medical Reporter

I cover health and medicine for the Tampa Bay Times. That could be anything related to your health, from the evolution of health insurance to medical marijuana. I'm a native Floridian who grew up in Pasco County. Prior to covering health care, I was a business reporter writing about retail, tourism and other consumer topics. Before joining the Times in 2015, I worked for the St. Augustine Record, the Sun Sentinel and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where I gained national attention for my retail coverage and for a long-form article I wrote about my experience as an egg donor. I'm a graduate of the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), where I studied journalism. I'm also an equestrian. My horse's name is Mikey.

  1. A chemist displays hydroxychloroquine tablets in Mumbai, India this week. President Trump announced Monday that he's taking the drug, but he's not alone. It's being tested locally in studies involving researchers and patients at USF and Tampa General Hospital. [RAFIQ MAQBOOL  |  AP]
  2. Tampa Bay Times staff photographer Douglas Clifford walks towards a OneBlood bus Tuesday, April 28, 2020 in St. Petersburg. Clifford was diagnosed with COVID-19, the virus which causes coronavirus in April. After being cleared by doctors Clifford was asked to donate his plasma which could help others who are suffering from coronavirus. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  3. Children ride through Central Park while pulled by a man on a bicycle last week in New York. More than 100 children in the city have reportedly had Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be connected to COVID-19 exposure. [FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  Associated Press]
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  5. Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center is working to find a new CEO after Dr. Alan List and other top leaders were ousted last year during a scandal over ties with China. State lawmakers are looking into the matter, but the coronavirus crisis has put their work on hold. [Courtesy of Moffitt Cancer Center]
  6. A rendering shows a planned 59-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility that will be a joint project of Tampa General Hospital and Kindred Healthcare. [Courtesy of Tampa General Hospital]
  7. Primary care physician Dr. Brett Levine, shows a coronavirus test kit April 6 in his office, LevMed Health, St. Petersburg. Levine has tested multiple patients for the virus. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  8. John Foss (left)  a nurse with the Pinellas County School Board  and Dr. Pedro Lense with the Florida Department of Health Pinellas, prepares to administer COVID-19 tests to local residents during a free drive-up and walk-up testing site coordinated by the Pinellas division of the Health Department in partnership with the Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association and St. Pete Fire & Rescue on Saturday May 2, 2020 at the Frank H Pierce Recreation Center at Bartlett Park in St. Petersburg. Officials estimated that approximately 130 people were tested. Testing is also available weekdays during business hours at department headquarters located at 205 Dr. MLK Jr. St. North in St.Petersburg. For additional information on mobile testing refer to Health Department's website at http://pinellas.floridahealth.gov [BOYZELL HOSEY  |  Times]
  9. A scientist presents a rapid antibody test for the coronavirus at a lab in Germany last month. Tests like these can show a result in minutes, which could help officials get a better handle on how the disease has spread. But dozens of antibody tests are on the market right now. Doctors say it's difficult to know how accurate they are and where they can be most useful during the crisis. [JENS MEYER  |  Associated Press]
  10. Non-emergency procedures like this hand surgery at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs were postponed for six weeks while local health systems prepared for a coronavirus surge. The state order delaying those procedures has been lifted. [KEELER, SCOTT  |  Times (2003)]
  11. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a press conference at Tampa General Hospital on Monday, April 27, 2020 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  12. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis adjusts his face mask as he and John Couris, President and CEO of Tampa General Hospital walk out after a news conference at Tampa General Hospital Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  13. A health care worker takes a man's temperature before entering the Seminole Pavilion Rehabilitation and Nursing Services building at Freedom Square on Friday. All residents had been removed from the building so it could be disinfected. The Florida National Guard offered COVID-19 tests at the site on Friday. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  14. The 25,000-member Florida Medical Association is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift his March 20 executive order, which halted non-essential medical services to help control the coronavirus. The order served its purpose, the group says. [Times (2018)]
  15. Sunstar employees walk gurneys into a wing of St. Mark Village nursing home Monday in Palm Harbor. Several residents were transported from St. Mark Village Monday to local hospitals. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  16. At USF Health, 3D printed nasal swabs are being tested to measure their accuracy compared to standard swabs. [Courtesy of USF Health]
  17. Tampa General Hospital's clinical command center, opened in August, is being thrown into action to help the whole region prepare for a COVID-19 surge. The center takes data from other area hospitals to track patients and hospital resources. [Times (2019)]
  18. A patient is transported via ambulance from the Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion on Thursday in Seminole. Twenty-seven patients and staff at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 and 38 patients were taken to hospitals for monitoring, according a statement from the retirement community. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  19. Opa-locka Assistant City Manager George Ellis packages okra at a drive-thru food distribution site at Sherbondy Park on April 14 in Opa-locka. Hundreds of people lined up for the fresh vegetables and fruit. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
  20. Hospitals in the region have halted non-essential surgeries to conserve resources for a coronavirus surge, a trend that is straining their finances and their employees. [Courtesy of Tampa General Hospital]
  21. Primary care physician Dr. Brett Levine shows a coronavirus test kit Monday in his St. Petersburg office. "Primary care is important, and this is shining a light on just how important it is,” said Levine, who has tested multiple patients for the virus. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  22. From left, HCA Healthcare nurses Debbie Montoya, Mary Dechari and Rosanne O'Malley speak with an unidentified hospital employee near the employee entrance to the Medical Center of Trinity Wednesday. The three were handing out fliers urging HCA to provide health workers with the necessary equipment to safely treat COVID-19 patients. Workers at other local hospitals have voiced similar concerns. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  23. A database released by the state shows how many hospital beds, including those in intensive care units, are available in Florida to handle the spread of the coronavirus in the coming days. [Times (2011)]
  24. Photos showing the convenience and safety of telemedicine technology are used to promote the service. This one is from Teledoc Health, which partners with Florida Blue to provide a telemedicine app for patients. Demand for the service, and others like it, has soared during the coronavirus crisis. [Courtesy of Teledoc Health]