Michelle Corum/WJCT News

The University of North Florida and Nemours children’s health system certified its first-ever students Friday in an animal therapy program called Assisted Dog and Pony Therapy (ADAPT).

A patient care room.
Associated Press file photo / Damian Dovarganes

Ascension St. Vincent’s announced Friday that it was again relaxing some of its patient visitor restrictions because of a decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in the community.

TALLAHASSEE --- A push by state lawmakers to encourage Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work has been stalled in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration for more than a year --- and there's no clear indication when the program will get up and running.

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew assured top legislative leaders and the governor’s office in a June 29 report that her agency was developing an outreach plan to promote what’s known as the Working People with Disabilities Program and that it would take effect in July.

FSU COVID-19 Rule Breakers Now Subject To Suspensions

Sep 21, 2020

Thrasher sent a statement via email to students today. In it, he thanks those who have been wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. But he also says students who ignore COVID-19 safety guidelines are putting everyone at risk.

"The choices you make don’t just impact you. They affect your friends, families, professors, FSU staff, and the Tallahassee community at large, as well as our ability to hold in-person classes and future events and provide campus services," Thrasher says.

Florida Blue CEO Sees Employees Working On 'Hybrid' Schedule

Sep 18, 2020
Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty said it is hard to say what the health insurer’s 100-acre Deerwood office campus will look like in the future, but he and his team are looking at creative ways to use the space.

Walmart Announces Plans To Build 7 Health Centers In Jacksonville

Sep 18, 2020
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Walmart announced Sept. 17 it would build seven Walmart Health clinics in Jacksonville, with the first opening in early 2021.

Researchers in several University of South Florida departments - including medicine, nursing and business - are recruiting volunteers from Tampa General Hospital's COVID-19 clinic for a new wearable devices study to predict when symptoms will worsen.

Health News Florida's Daylina Miller spoke with the principal investigator, Matthew Mullarkey, about the study, which is working to determine why some people get so sick from COVID-19 while others don't.

Daylina Miller: Can you tell us a little about about this study?

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The state of Florida is severing ties with Quest Diagnostics after the lab company failed to report nearly 75,000 COVID-19 test results in a timely manner, with some of them dating back to April.

Jackson Township (Pa.) Police Chief Terry Seilhamer shows boxes of Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdose in this 2019 file photo.
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

Free online training sessions on recognizing the signs of an overdose and how to administer the Narcan nasal spray drug, which may help prevent an opioid drug overdose death, are being held on Monday, August 31.

Opinion: The Diminishing Role Of Public Health

Aug 18, 2020
Hughe Greene
The Jacksonville Daily Record

Editor's Note: The following opinion piece is by Hugh Greene, Retired President & CEO of Baptist Health and a contributor to First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

Jacksonville Daily Record

Florida Blue continues to renovate the office buildings at its Deerwood Park campus in an investment that could top $45 million, although COVID-19 is delaying work on the remaining two structures.

Florida, which has endured a surge of coronavirus infections this summer, will participate in a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program with the federal government.

State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said Tuesday, during a conference call with hospital officials, that Florida has been invited to be part of a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine pilot group. Rivkees said Florida was one of four states chosen to participate, along with the city of Philadelphia.

Medicaid Enrollment Expected To Top 4.3 Million

Aug 5, 2020

Medicaid enrollment will balloon by more than 14 percent during the state’s current fiscal year, with economists predicting an average monthly enrollment of 4.36 million people.

The economists, who met last week to discuss the enrollment trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic, did not estimate the costs associated with the surge in enrollment. They will meet Thursday to look at the financial impact.

Health Care Projects Advancing in Duval, St. Johns Counties

Jul 31, 2020
Artist's rendering of Flagler Health+ Village
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Two medical projects are moving forward in northern St. Johns County and southern Duval County. 

File photo of girl getting her vaccinations
Toby Talbot / Associated Press file photo

The Clay County Health Department has scheduled a three week Back-to-School Immunization Drive that will start Monday.

One Blood

Jacksonville native Roger North, 79, gave blood occasionally until his 9-year-old granddaughter Tessa-Lynn developed leukemia. 

Mayo Clinic

Plans are in the works at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to be able to substantially reduce the time patients spend in the hospital.

Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ vow this week to make deep cuts in the new state budget has health-care advocates and lawmakers on edge, as the Legislature tucked nearly $100 million in so-called “special projects” into the health and human-services portion of the more than $93 billion spending plan.


Health care workers are among those on the front lines of the coronavius outbreak. As more of them start to become sick, they're starting to speak out about the risks they're facing and asking for changes to working conditions in hospitals.

Aubrey Holland, performs tests at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Miami, where the COVID-19 virus is being tested at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Jacksonville-area hospitals are taking extra precautions against the new coronavirus — though there are no confirmed cases in Northeast Florida.

Healthmobile Bus
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

A new mobile health bus will be making its rounds around the city with a goal of helping Jacksonville’s homeless population.

Photo of People wearing facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martin Meissner / Associated Press

The Florida Department of Health announced the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the state on Sunday night, in Hillsborough and Manatee counties.

Florida has its first two cases of COVID-19 as patients in Hillsborough and Manatee counties tested positive for the virus, officials from the Florida Department of Health announced Sunday night.

State Labs Now Testing For Coronavirus

Mar 2, 2020

A top Florida Department of Health official said Saturday that three laboratories in the state can now test for the novel coronavirus, the contagious disease known as COVID-19.

Deputy Secretary of Health Shamarial Roberson told The News Service of Florida that state laboratories in Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa can conduct tests instead of sending samples to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labs in Atlanta.

“It is good news,” Roberson said, adding, “it leads to more timely testing.”

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

Four more people in the Seattle area have died after contracting COVID-19, health officials say, bringing the total in both Washington state and the U.S. to six. The state now has a total of 18 cases.

Three of the people who died were residents of King County, Wash., which now has 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The fourth person had been living in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. That county has a total of four cases.

Duval County Has Florida's Highest Number Of Hepatitis A Cases

Feb 25, 2020
Syringe photo
Rick Callahan / AP File photo

Florida has topped 280 reported cases of hepatitis A this year, with the largest numbers in Duval and Volusia counties. 

ShareMD Pays $67 Million For Southbank Tower Anchored By One Call, Baptist Health

Feb 21, 2020

Atlanta-based ShareMD, a medical office building owner and operator paid $67 million for Eight Forty One, the Southbank office tower anchored by One Call and Baptist Health.

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville
MikesMegapixels / Wikimedia Commons

Baptist Medical Center is expanding its mental health acute care clinic to include children.

VA Considering Jacksonville Sites For Outpatient Clinic

Feb 19, 2020
The Jacksonville VA University Clinic at 3901 Memorial Health Plaza is pictured.
Jacksonville Daily Record

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking at sites in Jacksonville to construct and lease a new outpatient clinic.

Flu A Bigger Worry In Florida Than Coronavirus

Feb 19, 2020
David Goldman / Associated Press

The flu remains a far deadlier illness to worry about in Florida than the coronavirus, state lawmakers were told on Tuesday.