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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. Erik Maltais took an unconventional path to becoming CEO of Immertec, a virtual reality company aimed at training physicians remotely. He dropped out of school as a teenager, served in Iraq in the Marine Corps and eventually found his way to Tampa.
    Software from Immertec can bring physicians into an operating room thousands of miles away.
  2. Homeowner Cheryl Murdoch, 59, explains the workings of the Philips Smart Mirror in her bathroom. Murdoch and her husband live in the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon, where some residents are piloting new health technologies inside their homes.
    In Pasco’s Crystal Lagoon community, AdventHealth and Metro Development Group are testing in-home technology aimed at keeping people away from the hospital.
  3. Sharon Hayes, the new chief executive officer at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, says she will draw on her roots in nursing as she engineers a turnaround for the hospital.
    The city’s largest hospital has suffered setbacks under a corporate owner, but a new leader says it’s time for an infusion of “love and attention.”
  4. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase initially would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project.
    Florida lawmakers are the key to unlocking the money, which would pay for more hospital beds and research space.
  5. A rendering of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Health Institute, which is expected to open in January. School officials said Tuesday the project will cost an additional $16 million. [Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
    School trustees asked for a breakdown of expenses before approving the increase.
  6. Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa participated in a newly released study that links post-traumatic stress disorder to ovarian cancer risk.
    A researcher from Moffitt Cancer Center participated in the study, which found that those with six or more symptoms of PTSD had double the risk of getting the disease.
  7. A trauma room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where a former nurse alleges in a lawsuit that the emergency room was understaffed.
    Marie David says she quit the hospital in May after taking her concerns to BayCare executives. The hospital disputes her account.
  8. While mosquito-borne illnesses have been relatively low across the Tampa Bay area so far this year, the number of cases in other parts of the state are on the rise.
    Heavy rainfall from the hurricane, coming after weeks of wet weather, could create the perfect breeding conditions.
  9. The Florida Department of Health recommends that residents have a minimum two-week supply of all prescription medications when a hurricane is approaching.
    Most major pharmacies provide emergency refills on maintenance medications that are non-controlled substances in advance of a storm.
  10. The entrance to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, located at 12502 USF Pine Dr. near the University of South Florida. The hospital, which opened in 1985, officially changes to an outpatient facility this month. But Tampa General Hospital will perform surgeries on Shriners' patients, under an agreement announced Tuesday.
    The new partnership follows a Shriners’ decision earlier this year to end inpatient care in Tampa.