Sammy Mack

Reporter

Public radio. Public health. Public policy.

Most days, Mack covers health care policy for WLRN. Her health care journalism is supported by a fellowship with the Kaiser Health News and NPR Health Care Reporting in the States project.

Like most folks who've worked at a member station, she's worn a lot of hats: interim digital editor during the re-launch of WLRN.org, assistant producer for The Florida Roundup, morning news producer, intern coordinator, party planner. She was one half of the StateImpact Florida education reporting team. 

Her stories have appeared on NPR, Monocle 24, the Miami Herald, Global Health, Health News Florida, Gambit Weekly, MAP Magazine, Gulfshore Life, Philadelphia Weekly, the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) and other outlets.

Mack’s work has been honored with A Green Eyeshade Award for Investigative Journalism, and Florida AP Broadcaster and SPJ Sunshine State awards. She’s collaborated on projects that have won a Third Coast International Audio Festival bronze award, an Emmy, national and regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a Wilbur Award and a Dart Award. Mack was a writing fellow during the 2008 Poynter Summer Fellowship for Young Journalists.

She was recognized by her colleagues as the 2011 Herald Top Chef. She’s happy to share her recipe for garam masala macarons with lemongrass filling.

Ways to Connect

James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Following a rabid raccoon attack, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is advising residents to be careful around wild animals.

The raccoon in question scratched and bit a worker in the community of Breakers West last week. The attack was reported to the county. A local trapper caught the animal, which then tested positive for rabies.

The victim of the raccoon attack started a five-shot course of rabies vaccines.

This is the fourth confirmed rabid animal case in Palm Beach County this year.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

More Floridians get their health insurance through their jobs than from any other source—about 42 percent of us, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Which, when you start talking about making choices in healthcare, has some interesting implications for your personal health and your financial health.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

The pedestrian bridge at Florida International University 's Modesto Maidique Campus was touted as a marvel for traffic-burdened Southwest Eighth Street. An average of 66,500 cars a day crossed the intersection with Southwest 109th Avenue in 2016.

Last weekend, the $14.2 million project was installed. By 2019, the cable-supported bridge would link the city of Sweetwater, where about 4,000 students live, and the school’s main campus across the street.

Almost immediately after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Melissa Kornhaus, a licensed mental health counselor with a specialty in trauma therapy, was looking for a way to help.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

As Florida’s legislative session winds down, the clock is running out on a bill that would expand legal needle exchange access in Broward and Palm Beach counties—and the doctor behind the proposal says he’ll keep pushing for a vote until the handkerchief drops in Tallahassee.

Camila Kerwin / WLRN

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, politicians and activists have discussed funding more gun injury research.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the team that first found student Maddy Wilford briefly thought she was dead. A week and three surgeries later, Maddy was discharged from the hospital with little outward sign of the multiple gunshot wounds she sustained.

At a press conference at Broward Health North on Monday morning—flanked by her parents and the medical professionals who saved her life—Maddy and her family had a message of gratitude and hope.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is scheduled to reopen to students on Tuesday. The children, teachers and staff who survived the shooting last Wednesday now have to deal with a shared trauma.

Miami Herald

Peter Wang, a 15-year-old freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who spent the last moments of his life protecting other children, was buried on Tuesday.

There were too many people to fit in the Kraeer Funeral Home where the memorial service for Peter was held, so several hundred mourners—at least 200 of them students—crowded under a white tent in the parking lot out front.

The memorial was in English and Chinese, and the clear theme was that Peter died a hero.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Broward Health Medical Center received seven patients after Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. They were all kids.

Alexandra Vivas / BoldBeautyProject.com

Shelly Baer was working with an organization that supports people with disabilities when somebody suggested making a fundraising calendar: nudes of women with disabilities.

David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After three decades, the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse is changing its name to reflect a more holistic view of its mission.

At a 30th anniversary celebration in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, the group announced it is rebranding itself as the United Way Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention.

David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A particularly bad flu virus is burning through Florida and health officials say people can still protect themselves—and others.

“Getting vaccinated can prevent flu in yourself, but it also may prevent flu in people who you are not infecting,” says Dr. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Especially for young children or people who are at high risk of flu, it's very important that people around them are vaccinated.”

Marsha Halper / WLRN

Sammie Willis was a talker. He held court from his wheelchair—the man was a fixture at the gate to his small, cinder block apartment complex in Overtown—and talked to his neighbors, to the parents walking their kids to school, to the young men who cycled through this block. He greeted them all with a booming voice that resonated down the street. He talked to them about their families. About God. About love. About the hard things in life.

 

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