With the opening of online health insurance marketplaces a little over a month away, I've been receiving lots of questions about how they'll work.

Here's one that deals with the issue of getting the subsidy payments out quickly for consumers.

A 57-year-old Duval County man has tested positive for West Nile Virus, and there is concern that there are more cases to come.

That's according to the Florida Department of Health, which is advising Duval County residents today of increased mosquito-borne disease activity encouraging residents to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

Help Available to "Navigate" Obamacare

Aug 23, 2013
USF Health

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was recently at USF Tampa to award more than four million dollars in grant money to hire "navigators," counselors who will walk people through the

As Health News Florida's Lottie Watts explains, It's not just these so-called "navigators" who will be helping Floridians make sure they comply with one of the biggest parts of the new law — the requirement for nearly all Americans to buy health insurance next year.

Dwayne Scheuneman is a Navy veteran who was paralyzed after a diving accident.  But thanks to his drive and determination, he has become a successful wheelchair athlete – most recently winning four gold medals and three silver medals in track and field at the 2013 National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Despite his athletic success, Scheuneman is more comfortable on the dance floor than the racetrack. But it opens him up to some friendly teasing from other veterans.

According to the latest "F as in Fat" report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Florida still has a serious obesity problem. 

Although the rate decreased slightly from 26.6 percent in 2011 to 25.2 percent in 2012, researchers say the lower numbers aren't statistically significant. They call the changes a "leveling off," not a decrease.

Across the country, every state except for Arkansas had a slightly lower adult obesity rate. Researchers caution there's still a long way to go, and note people who are obese are at risk for much worse health outcomes and higher health costs. 

"The numbers were essentially flat from last year," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "That's the first time  in the 10 years we've been doing this report, and in the many years the CDC has been following theses trends, that we've seen that kind of leveling off, so that's a very hopeful sign."

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Individualized breast cancer treatment comes to Mayo Clinic in Jax: The multi-million dollar donation of one local couple will fund new genetic treatments for breast cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

National Cancer Institute

Breast cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville may soon be receiving tailor-made treatments thanks to a large donation from an Amelia Island couple. 

The $5 million gift from Cecilia and Dan Carmichael is helping fund Mayo’s new Individualized Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville.

The impetus for the contribution, says 67-year-old Cecilia Carmichael, was her 2008 breast cancer diagnosis by Mayo Clinic doctors. 

"Because, of course, when you have breast cancer, you immediately start thinking about your children and grandchildren,” she said.

Twenty children who had come into contact with the Department of Children and Families have died since April 11 -- four times as many as had previously been named, the Miami Herald reports. One was Jewel Re’nee Howard, a 3-year-old who had told her father of abuse inflicted by her mother’s boyfriend, who had a history of arrests and charges. DCF failed to act, which cost Jewel her life. 

University of South Florida will receive the lion's share of "Navigator Grants" being issued for Florida, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to make the announcement at USF at noon. (An updated article will be posted following the press conference.)

The list of grants released for Florida totals around $7.8 million -- more than the $5.8 million that had been expected.

Residents on the city's Northside will soon have a new medical facility in their area.

WJCT First Read : Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aug 14, 2013

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Jax City Council approves election center move: At their regular meeting last night, the Jacksonville City Council approved a ten-year lease for a building on Imeson Rd. to house the Duval County Supervisor of Elections training offices and warehouse with a 13-6 vote.

Nationwide Bacteria Outbreak Reaches Northeast Florida

Aug 9, 2013
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The Florida Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora, including six cases in Northeast Florida.

Cyclospora is a food-borne, single-cell bacteria that infects the small intestine causing diarrhea, loss of appetite and fatigue. When untreated, symptoms can last for several weeks. So far no deaths have been reported in the outbreak spanning seventeen states, but 30 individuals have been hospitalized.

charity: water /

It's a startling realization for us insulated Americans: diseases from unsafe water and the lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. 

A basic need we may take for granted in this country, simple clean water, can change lives around the world.

You can be part of the movement to bring clean water to developing countries at a great event happening this weekend.

Saying she is "writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience," actress Angelina Jolie reveals on the op-ed pages of The New York Times that she had a double mastectomy earlier this year to substantially reduce the chances she will develop breast cancer.