Health News Florida

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After the recent mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in which 11 people were killed at a country music bar, President Donald Trump struck a familiar refrain: “It’s a mental health problem,” he said of the gunman, Ian David Long. “He was a very sick puppy.”

Similarly, after a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and staff members in February, Trump tweeted that there were “so many signs that the shooter was mentally disturbed.”

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Health officials in Florida have confirmed the state's first case of dengue this year.

The Florida Department of Health said in a news release on Monday that the case emerged in Miami-Dade County. The agency didn't identify the person or their condition.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that causes fever, severe headache, along with muscle and joint pain. There is no treatment or vaccine.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

Buried deep in the War-and-Peace-length tome that is this November's Florida ballot, voters will find a question asking if a ban on offshore drilling and a ban on vaping should be codified in the state constitution.

Yup, Amendment 9 is the bundled amendment bringing together e-cigarettes and oil rigs.

In its own words:

NO. 9

CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION

Article II, Section 7

Article X, Section 20

Sammy Mack / WLRN

There's a bridge in Overtown, under the 836 Expressway, that has long sheltered homeless people, many of whom are addicted to heroin.

Now a public health investigation is looking into a group of new HIV cases there. That’s part of what prompted Miami city commissioners to pass an emergency resolution to close the street two weeks ago.

A couple of sets of barricades block traffic to the area. Cars can't get through, but people are still staying there.

Florida Health Care Cost Website Hits Roadblocks, Transparency Effort Delayed

Oct 2, 2018
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The pushback against Gov. Rick Scott’s effort to create a health-care transparency website appears to be more widespread than state officials previously acknowledged.

Members of a statewide advisory panel were told this week that the Agency for Health Care Administration is “in the process of working with” insurance giant Florida Blue on getting claims data to use for the long-promised website that is supposed to help consumers compare health-care prices.

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The state’s school districts now must ask whether a child has ever been referred for mental health services on registration forms for new students.

Daniel Murphy / courtesy Kush Hospitality

Florida's $67 billion tourism industry relies on its workforce to provide sunny hospitality, but people who work in the service industry suffer from disproportionately high rates of depression and substance abuse.

This week, a Miami restaurant group wants to start a dialogue about what that means for people who make a career in hospitality.

Florida Health Insurance Will Cost More Next Year, But It's Not All Bad News

Aug 30, 2018
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Florida Democrats vowing to make health care a priority in the November elections got a jolt of surprising news this week that could reshape the ongoing back-and-forth over former President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation late Tuesday released data that showed health-insurance premiums won’t balloon as much as some had feared amid moves by the Trump administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

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Accusing them of ignorance and bigotry, a federal judge this week excoriated Florida corrections officials for refusing to accommodate a transgender inmate, despite the prisoner’s repeated suicide attempts and persistent requests to wear bras and panties and have access to women’s grooming items.

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On a recent Friday at Florida Atlantic University, Deb Del Vecchio-Scully began a lecture on trauma by asking an auditorium full of therapists to stand up and shake their bodies out like rag dolls.

"Do it with me," she said, as the room giggled and jiggled.

It was a light moment with a serious purpose. Del Vecchio-Scully explained that this was just one technique the therapists could offer a patient to help deal with the discomfort of traumatic stress.

Florida is not doing enough to prevent cancer, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society’s political-action committee.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

As the community around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prepares to go back to school, the Florida Counseling Association is hosting a free, two-day workshop focused on responding to communal trauma. The Friday event is tailored for mental health professionals, while the Saturday event is open exclusively to MSD staff.

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How teenagers envision their futures may have a big influence on whether they threaten or injure someone with a weapon, according to a new research in JAMA Pediatrics. The findings have implications for the health of teens in places struggling to prevent youth violence.

The research began with an observation by Dr. Alison Culyba, an adolescent medicine physician and epidemiologist at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh. She’d seen studies on the risk factors that lead to a kid experiencing violence and later, poor health.

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