A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August approved the first ever Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy, or "CAR-T cell therapy," for children and young adults up to age 25 suffering from leukemia and other blood and bone cancers. And just this week, the agency approved the same immunotherapy for adults with large B cell lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. ...
More than 2.4 million seniors in Florida rely on Medicare, and a good chunk of them could face rising health care premiums next year.
With Medicare's annual open enrollment period beginning Sunday, most of the changes to plans and services seem slight for 2018. But experts say Floridians will be among the millions affected nationwide by anticipated rising premiums for Part B plans, which cover outpatient care, doctor bills, physical therapy and more routine health services....
When we think of October, candy corn, jack-o'-lanterns and cooler, dry weather are top of mind.
But for Floridians looking for health care coverage, early October also signals that Medicare enrollment is just around the corner.
Oct. 15 marks the start of the annual enrollment period for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors 65 and over. The traditional window to shop around for plans runs through Dec. 7 this year. But that period has been extended to Dec. 31 for people who qualify who may have been impacted by the recent slew of hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria....
Richard Hackler recently drove five-plus hours round trip from his home in Vero Beach to St. Petersburg, hoping to find out if medical marijuana could help with his post traumatic stress disorder.
But the doctor he traveled to see seemed just as uninformed as the other physicians he had visited in Melbourne and Stuart. Though all three had been qualified by the state to prescribe medical marijuana, none of them, he said, seemed to know much about the plant or its ability to treat cases like his. ...
Allergies out of whack?
You can blame Hurricane Irma for that. Well, kind of.
As many continue to wait for cleanup crews to haul away the sopping piles of withering tree debris in front of their houses from Irma, plenty of people across Tampa Bay are sniffling and coughing more than they were before the hurricane passed, narrowly sparing the region from the worst of its wrath.
"I've been telling my patients that it seems like Irma brought the allergy season on a little earlier," said Dr. Rachel Dawkins, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. "We usually see the peak of it in the fall at the end of October and into November, when the trees start shedding their leaves. But right now we have a lot of trees on the ground, which means we have a lot of pollen on the ground, and there's an uptick of mold from standing water."...
Adventist Health System, the parent company of Florida Hospital, purchased a large tract of land in Polk County this summer with plans to expand and connect its hospital systems in Tampa Bay and Orlando.
The health care company paid $14.5 million for 103 acres along Interstate 4 just west of Florida Polytechnic University. Earlier this summer, executives with Florida Hospital, which has eight hospitals in the Tampa Bay region, met with Lakeland city officials to discuss the future development of the property. Plans include a freestanding emergency room and a possible 200-bed hospital in the next decade, if demand in the region warrants it. ...
Two sentinel chickens tested positive for the West Nile Virus in Pinellas County this week.
Pinellas County Mosquito Control confirmed the birds were located in the Sawgrass Lake and Lake Maggiore areas of St. Petersburg, and tested positive for the virus on Thursday. Technicians are treating the area by targeting adult mosquitoes and larvae by ground and air, according to a news release....
Open enrollment for individual health insurance is still about a month away, but insurance companies and "navigator" programs that help people find coverage are already bracing for what's likely to be a rocky year ahead.
Premiums for health care plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange and outside the exchange will rise an average of 45 percent in Florida this year, according to prices released this week by Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation. Insurers blame the rate hikes on the uncertainty surrounding the future of Obamacare, given recent repeal attempts in Congress to repeal the law. ...
The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer season for the virus. Some expected it to be even worse than last year, when 1,100 travel-related cases were reported statewide and Zika spread into pockets of South Florida. ...
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.
The national nonprofit's Southern Florida chapter has grown geographically and is now responsible for Tampa Bay and Sarasota as well as its existing coverage areas in Naples, Fort Myers and the region spanning from Palm Beach to Miami.
That's good news for Tampa Bay. The Make-A-Wish Southern Florida chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country for the organization, which grants "wishes" to children with critical illnesses and their families. The chapter, founded in 1983, has granted 11,000 wishes to children since it started and is on track to grant 600 or more wishes next year with its expanded reach, said chief operating officer Richard Kelly. That's nearly one wish every 16 hours, he said. ...
TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.
USF medical students, staff, donors and board members joined Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and a slew of local politicians and real estate developers to celebrate what will be the first part of Water Street Tampa, a $3 billion redevelopment project expected to span 50-plus acres in downtown Tampa. USF President Judy Genshaft said the medical school and cardiovascular institute will be a key anchor for the district....
More than a week after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of Floridians, about 300,000 customers across the state were still in the dark Monday evening.
But most in the Tampa Bay area could flick their lights on.
Duke Energy reported that more than 99 percent of outages were restored in a dozen counties across the state, including in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough. The utility said about 2,549 customers in Pinellas and 280 customers in Pasco — where Duke is the largest provider of electricity — remained without power Monday, though some outages were unrelated to Irma....
The Winn-Dixie grocery store on Big Pine Key opened Thursday after Hurricane Irma, thanks to a few local residents and one kind store manager.
Kenny Lowe, the store manager of the Winn-Dixie grocery store on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, hunkered down inside the grocery store during the wrath of Hurricane Irma. While preparing the store for the big storm, he connected with a 19 local customers who needed shelter, so he opened the doors to the grocery store to let them in. ...
When the big green semi-trailers with the Publix logo were driving into downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday morning, local residents breathed a collective sigh of relief.
They might not have had power in their homes, but at least the Publix on the corner was opening soon.
Retailers across Florida struggled to keep stores supplied before and after Hurricane Irma. The demand from everything to nonperishable food to toilet paper to bottled water and bags of ice has been fierce and overwhelming, store officials says. ...
As the fourth day after Hurricane Irma stretched on, a fifth of the state remained without lights or air conditioning as energy companies worked to restore one of the largest power outages in the country's history.
As of 9 p.m. Thursday, about 2.1 million customers still didn't have power — down from the peak 6.7 million with outages reported across the state Monday afternoon. It took utility companies working round the clock since Monday with thousands of out-of-state workers to restore power to 4.4 million Florida customers rocked by Irma's strong winds. ...