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Kathleen McGrory, Times Staff Writer

Kathleen McGrory

Kathleen McGrory is a health and medicine reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, she spent seven years as a metro reporter for the Miami Herald and two years as a government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She speaks Spanish and holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Phone: (727) 893-8330

Email: kmcgrory@tampabay.com

Twitter: @kmcgrory

 

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  1. Senate panel barely advances bill on gun violence awareness

    Blog

    The bill wasn’t supposed to be controversial, Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon said. Its aim: to raise awareness about firearm violence.

    But even that had a hard time winning support in the Florida Senate on Monday.

    The proposal, urging Congress to designate September 2017 as firearm violence awareness month, earned barely enough votes to advance out of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee (SM 1322)....

  2. Floridians debate Medicaid block grants before AHCA vote

    Blog

    As lawmakers on a Capitol Hill consider overhauling the federal health instance program for the poor, a debate has bubbled up over what the changes would mean for Floridians.

    Earlier this month, the Florida House passed a resolution urging Congress to establish a so-called block grant program, which would give states a set amount of money to spend for Medicaid and the flexibility to spend it as they see fit. The resolution passed along party lines....

  3. State Rep. Chris Sprowls seeks to save children's insurance plan

    Blog

    State Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, wants to bring back a popular health insurance plan for Florida kids.

    The plan, known as Sunshine Health Stars Plus, covered nearly 10,000 children across the state, some of whom had special needs and were unable to get coverage elsewhere. Their families made too much money to qualify for government-subsidized health insurance, and so agreed to pay the full premiums....

  4. AARP report: Obamacare replacement would hurt older Floridians

    Health

    How many older Floridians with Affordable Care Act coverage would see their premiums rise under the Republican replacement plan?

    About 454,000, according to a new analysis by AARP.

    Low-income people in their 60s would be hardest hit, the analysis found. For some, the proposal under consideration in Congress could mean an annual tax credit reduction of nearly $6,000.

    The cut in government aid would put thousands in an "untenable situation," forcing many people in their 50s and 60s to go without health insurance, AARP Florida state director Jeff Johnson said Friday....

    House Speaker Paul Ryan says the GOP proposal takes into account that health insurance plans cost more for older individuals.
  5. Rule change will lead to longer shifts for rookie doctors

    Health

    The notoriously long shifts worked by freshly minted doctors are about to get even longer.

    The organization that oversees physician training in the United States approved new rules last week that will let first-year doctors work 24-hour shifts in hospitals starting July 1.

    They had been limited to 16 consecutive hours since 2011.

    Critics have been quick to raise concerns about safety — both for the rookie doctors, known as residents, and their patients. But some physicians see the benefits of longer shifts....

    Dr. Sergio Herandez is a first-year resident in general surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
  6. Northside Hospital makes bid to open a trauma center, and its rivals are not happy

    Health

    ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Hospital has filed the preliminary paperwork to open a trauma center, setting up a potential fight with other Tampa Bay area hospitals already offering the specialized services.

    Northside is "uniquely positioned to respond to the need for additional trauma programs," spokeswoman Carrie Johnson said in a statement.

    "Our Comprehensive Stroke Center is the only nationally recognized program in the county and successfully supports hospitals along Florida's west coast," she said....

     Northside Hospital in St Petersburg recently filed preliminary paperwork to open a trauma center. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  7. For a Better Florida: Lawmakers tackle medical marijuana, hospital funding

    Blog

    The Florida Legislature stands poised to address some hot-button issues in health care this session, including hospital deregulation and funding.

    But the issue garnering the most attention so far is medical marijuana.

    In November, more than 70 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing people with "debilitating medical conditions" to use medical marijuana as prescribed by a doctor. Before then, only cancer patients and people with intractable seizures could use the drug legally....

    Negron
  8. For a Better Florida: Florida lawmakers to tackle medical marijuana, hospital funding

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE

    The Florida Legislature stands poised to address some hot-button issues in health care this session, including hospital deregulation and funding.

    But the issue garnering the most attention so far is medical marijuana.

    In November, more than 70 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing people with "debilitating medical conditions" to use medical marijuana as prescribed by a doctor. Before then, only cancer patients and people with intractable seizures could use the drug legally....

    Kathleen McGrory sig photo
  9. Democratic lawmakers move to repeal "Docs vs. Glocks"

    Blog

    Two Democratic lawmakers are pushing to have Florida's controversial "Docs vs. Glocks" law taken off the books.

    The 2011 law sought to ban physicians from discussing gun ownership with patients unless the information was "relevant to the patient's medical care." Physicians who violated the law would have been subject to disciplinary action.

    The hot-button measure sparked a years-long court battle that has drawn national attention. Most recently, the law was struck down by a federal appeal court, which ruled it violated doctors' constitutional right to free speech. But that decision could still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court....

    Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
  10. "We have an epidemic. And nobody is doing anything about it."

    Blog

    Gun injuries are a growing problem for Florida’s children, rising along with the increasing availability of firearms across the state, the Tampa Bay Times has found.

    To determine how many kids are shot each year — accidentally, intentionally or during the commission of a crime — the Times looked at millions of hospital discharge records for patients across Florida, as well as data collected by the state’s 24 medical examiners....

    Gun shoppers browse the Florida Gun Show’s booths at the Florida State Fairgrounds in December. Legal firearm sales are on the rise. Background checks, which are required to buy firearms from licensed gun dealers, jumped 66 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
  11. In Harm's Way: Gun injuries and deaths among Florida kids have spiked. One child is shot every 17 hours.

    Health

    TAMPA — Huddled in a backyard shed in Sulphur Springs, the four boys examined their prize: a .380 caliber pistol so smooth it looked like a futuristic toy.

    One of the boys had stolen it from his uncle. They thought it was unloaded, so they passed it around, pointing it at each other like in the movies, until it fired, its bullet tearing a hole in Ikeim Boswell's neck.

    Ikeim died that night, March 14, 2015, at Tampa General Hospital. He was 16....

    Patricia Davis, mother of Ikeim Boswell, holds an urn with her son's ashes in her Tampa home. Ikeim was 16 on March 14, 2015, when he was fatally shot. Read our special report this morning on child gun deaths and injuries in Florida: "In Harm's Way." [JOHN PENDYGRAFT |   Times]
  12. 'Please don't let me die.' Gus Bilirakis hears from district on Obamacare

    Blog

    Rep. Gus Bilirakis issued the call to residents of his conservative district on Facebook: Come share your thoughts on the future of health care.

    More than 200 people took the Republican congressman up on it, packing a Palm Harbor community center on Saturday morning so tightly that late-comers had to park down the street.

    The twist: Despite the demographics of the district, which includes all of Pasco and parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, nearly all the guests came to support for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law now on the chopping block....

    Hundreds turned out for a town hall meeting Saturday called by Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis. In this largely conservative district, the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Obamacare. Despite their strong statements, Bilirakis favors repealing the Affordable Care Act to resolve its flaws.
  13. A Bilirakis gathering turns out to be strongly pro-Obamacare

    Health

    PALM HARBOR — Rep. Gus Bilirakis issued the call to residents of his conservative district on Facebook: Come share your thoughts on the future of health care.

    More than 200 people took the Republican congressman up on it, packing a Palm Harbor community center on Saturday morning so tightly that late-comers had to park down the street.

    The twist: Despite the demographics of the district, which includes all of Pasco and parts of Pinellas and Hills- borough counties, nearly all the guests came to support the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law now on the chopping block....

    Hundreds turned out in support of the Affordable Care Act at a town hall meeting Saturday with Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis.
  14. Researcher left Moffitt under a cloud from journal articles

    Research

    TAMPA — A longtime researcher who retracted 19 articles from the Journal of Biological Chemistry last month has parted ways with Moffitt Cancer Center, the center confirmed Tuesday.

    Dr. Jin Cheng asked to have his work withdrawn after an investigation found he used the same images to represent different experimental conditions, the journal's deputy editor Fred Guengerich said....

    Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. [Times files]
  15. Despite Obamacare rate hikes, advocates say many plans in Florida will be affordable in 2017

    Health

    Open enrollment for individual health insurance starts Tuesday — and local shoppers are already bracing for rate hikes.

    Florida won't be immune from the increases that made national headlines this week. Premiums for plans offered on and off the Affordable Care Act exchanges will rise by an average of 19 percent statewide, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

    Still, advocates insist the plans will be economical. A study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found 84 percent of Florida consumers will be able to purchase a plan with monthly premiums of $100 or less....

    Dr. Avery Rosnick-Slyker, of  USF's Florida Covering Kids & Families initiative, helped 26-year-old Nickolas St. Cyr purchase individual health insurance in 2015. The next Obamacare enrollment period begins on Nov. 1, 2016. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]