To combat widespread reductions in healthcare use amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Hospital Association launched a public awareness campaign.

The “Your Health Matters” campaign encourages Floridians not to delay elective surgeries, check-ups, ER visits and health screenings due to fears concerning the coronavirus.

“The term ‘elective,’ I think, can be a little misleading,” said FHA President and CEO Mary Mayhew.

Florida Readies For Vaccinations At Long-Term Care Facilities

Dec 3, 2020
An experimental Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured in July.
Hans Pennink / Associated Press

Florida on Thursday ramped up plans to vaccinate seniors for COVID-19 by publishing two emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow representatives from the state health department, CVS and Walgreens into the facilities." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans Wednesday to roll out a coronavirus vaccine in as soon as two weeks.

In a 3-minute video message, DeSantis said he anticipates FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine next week, and the Moderna vaccine the following week.

Once the vaccine is available, the governor said residents in long-term care facilities will get first priority.


Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, is recognized across the world as a way to give back. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is hoping people will consider a donation beyond money this week.

Memorial Hospital

Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville is the first in our area to offer a robot-assisted procedure for patients with lung nodules. The high-tech bronchoscopy is a step forward in lung cancer treatment.

Florida on Monday sent the federal government its plans for a program to import prescription medicines from Canada, aimed at lowering drug prices. The program was approved by the state legislature last year.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration has submitted its plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Florida’s Canadian Drug Importation Program.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

As COVID-19 cases spike in Florida and across the nation, Dr. Sunil Joshi, the head of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation, said Monday he's very concerned about people's joining together on Thanksgiving.

A Florida Blue Drive-Up Flu Shot Clinic is pictured.
Florida Blue

Florida Blue is teaming up with Walgreens to provide no cost flu shots, Nov. 18, this Wednesday in Jacksonville.

Taimy Alvare / Associated Press

Although no vaccine is yet approved for distribution, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a long list of distribution partners nationwide who are committing to administer one.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Florida has made improvements in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, according to an AARP report released Thursday. 


A federal appeals court next week will wade into a battle about whether Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, violated antitrust laws by preventing agents from selling policies for a rival insurance company.

Photo of mosquito being examined.
Rick Bowmer / 2019 Associated Press file photo

Duval County residents should take extra care to avoid mosquito bites, as the West Nile virus has been detected in the County, local health officials say.


LifeSouth says it's worried if donations don’t increase, patient care at local hospitals may be threatened.

When Jennifer Bonamar’s son had COVID-19 symptoms in late September, she took him to a state-sponsored testing site in Sarasota.

Bonamar was told the results would come back in three to five days.

As the family waited, Bonamar required her sons to isolate.

“I had my kids quarantined in their rooms, with their masks on if come out of the room and bringing dinners to their rooms and you’ve got dishes,” she said. “You’re trying to do all the right things so life is really on hold while you’re waiting to hear back on the results.”

Board Says Fla. Pelvic Exam Law Is For Women Only

Oct 16, 2020
News Service of Florida

A new state law aimed at protecting patients from unwanted pelvic exams does not apply to people who are “biologically male,” according to a state medical board.

Business Wire / Via Associated Press

Doctors say getting a flu shot is more important now than ever before as coronavirus and the flu threaten a simultaneous “twindemic.”

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
Hugh Greene
Via 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.