Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News


Florida’s infant mortality rate is lower than ever, but that isn't the case in the northeastern part of the state.

Duval County's infant mortality rate is higher than the state average, and a disproportionately high number of babies who die are African-American, according to the Duval County Health Department.


Mission One Million

Today marks World Health Day.

Here on the First Coast, Mayor Lenny Curry and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy marked the occasion with a major effort to improve the health of this entire community.

"Mission One Million” is a new, citywide initiative with the goal of getting all of Jacksonville to collectively lose one million pounds.

Florida Department of Health

Hundreds of activities are planned around the globe Thursday in recognition of World Cancer Day, but for Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong, the international "holiday" is personal.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Duval County health officials are launching a campaign aimed at stemming childhood obesity.

The county has had mild success reducing the rate among young kids, but the number of overweight teens — especially in the urban core — continues to climb.

 Gov. Rick Scott opened fire on the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, accusing the agency of starving Florida of the information, equipment and even the testing kits the state needs to be safe from the deadly Ebola virus.

"The CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida's requests," Scott said angrily. "We are now asking publicly to support us in these important efforts for our state."

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Florida, but health care providers and the Center for Disease Control are preparing for the possiblity.

Six Florida groups have been awarded a total of $4.7 million in federal Healthy Start grants aimed at improved maternal health and lower infant mortality rates.

The Florida grants are part of $65 million that will go  to 87 organizations in 33 states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced.

The largest Florida grant, $1.4 million, was awarded to REACHUP Inc. of Tampa.

Other state award-winners were:

CDC Official: FL Lags in HPV Vaccination

Aug 13, 2014

Public health officials lately have their hands full with exotic diseases like Ebola and Chikungunya.

But the immunization director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came to Tampa today with a different message. Dr. Anne Schuchat says Floridians should worry more that the state lags behind in vaccinating for cancers tied to the Human Papilloma Virus.

She says HPV infection is a major cause of cervical and other cancers. And Florida has among the nation's lowest participation rates.

A doctor accused of sending sexually explicit videos and texts to a patient should be barred from treating females and should be suspended until he completes a psychiatric evaluation, the Florida Board of Medicine said Friday.

Warren Miller

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, and educated in Kentucky, Ciro Camacho built a computer business with his wife, Rita.

For the past two years, Florida’s top state lawmakers have opposed expanding the Medicaid program for low-income people under the federal health law. The state has rejected more than $51 billion under the federal Affordable Care Act to increase income eligibility limits and add more people to the rolls. Now one of the state’s most powerful physician groups, the Florida Medical Association is backing a Medicaid Expansion, but it may not be enough to change state lawmakers' anti-ACA stance.

It’s only three weeks until school starts up again in Duval County but some kids won’t make it past the front door.

Health officials are reminding parents that students need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations before they go back to school.

Dr. Kelli Wells, director of the Duval County Health Department, says many children get sent home each year because they don’t have the proper immunizations.

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to add new regulations to additional tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco and cigars.

The proposed regulations are not going down well in Tampa's Ybor City, which has been rolling out cigars since 1886.

Marissa Alexander, the Bostwick Building and Florida Blue are in the headlines today.

Counse / Flickr

Jacksonville could soon have more bells ringing on city streets as bike sharing gains popularity.

Mia Jones, bike sharing and gopher tortoises are in the headlines today.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

A $500,000 grant will go toward a new citywide effort to boost the number of children with health care.

Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida

As the chief executive of a local public health organization, it was somewhat ironic when Dawn Emerick started feeling like job-related stress was starting to affect her health.

Intropin / Wikimedia Commons

Mark Krancer came home one day to find his roommate unresponsive. He felt a surge of panic and fear when he realized that his friend was overdosing from prescription medication. / Facebook

Florida ranks second behind Texas in the number of children who have died of heat stroke from being left in a hot car. 

River City Men's Chorus / Facebook

The River City Men’s Chorus is gearing up for a series of concerts around town this month.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

The health of Northeast Floridians ranks among the best and the worst, depending on where you live. St. Johns County ranks best in the state, but nearby Baker County falls just short of the bottom of the list--number 62 of 67.  Duval County ranks number 47.

But across the five-county region there is plenty of work to do. Only about a quarter of adults get an adequate amount of physical activity and about half of adults in the region suffer from chronic illness.

Vestagen/Baptist Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on any given day one in 25 hospitalized patients — 4 percent — is battling an infection picked up in a hospital or other healthcare facility.

Federal health officials are issuing audit reports and rushing to collect $267 million in alleged overpayments to some Florida hospitals to close the books on an old program, says Florida Hospital Association President Bruce Rueben.

FHA argues against a rush to judgment, saying some of the audits are still preliminary. Also, the group says, it’s unreasonable to expect hospitals to repay millions of dollars in one year. 

Nemo / Pixabay

Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?

A2-33 / Wikimedia Commons

Concern is growing in Florida about a disease with a funny sounding name but very serious effects.

United Way of Northeast Florida

Today is a big day for the United Way of Northeast Florida as the organization officially welcomes it's new president and CEO.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Steve Petteway / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on whether for-profit businesses with religious objections can refuse to pay for birth control as part of their employee health benefits package has ignited national debate.

adeane25 / Photobucket

This week, as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Florida man known as the father of that legislation, Dr. Robert B. Hayling, will be in St. Augustine.

Governor Rick Scott, the Mayo Clinic, and Miss Florida are in the headlines today.