health

Challenge Looms Over Medical Pot Applications

Jul 31, 2015

Even before selecting five nurseries to become Florida's first legal pot producers, Department of Health officials will face a challenge from at least one grower whose application was tossed out because it was late.

The department's Office of Compassionate Use staff rejected two of the 30 applications from nurseries hoping to get chosen as one of the five coveted "dispensing organizations." Both were tossed because they were received after a 5 p.m. deadline following a frenzied scene during a torrential downpour July 8 at the agency's headquarters.

Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Studies a $1.45 million grant to fund a health clinic at Miami Northwestern Senior High (MNW).

The Liberty City-based campus will begin providing family and pediatric care services in November. These will include preventative care, vaccines, flu shots, physical therapy, speech therapy and athletic training.

Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

Medicare and Medicaid were established 50 years ago on July 30.

To celebrate the occasion, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had an event at Florida International University to reflect on the impact of the programs during the past half century, as well as look forward at how they can keep expanding and improving.

The event was themed as a birthday party, with a performance by a group of dancers from Little Havana and cake for everyone once the speakers were done.

President Barack Obama is unveiling an updated national strategy Thursday to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic that could have a big impact in Florida, which leads the nation in new HIV infections.

The White House unveiled the first national HIV plan in 2010, with ambitious, measurable goals: reduce new HIV diagnoses, increase the number of youth with an undetectable HIV viral load, and reduce the death rate from AIDS.

There’s been positive progress on all those, and there’s been a drop in the number of women, heterosexuals and IV-drug users contracting the disease.

UM Lowe Art Museum / Courtesy

The University of Miami is adding Baroque paintings and Greek vases to its diagnostic arsenal.

Medical, nursing and physical therapy students at UM are supplementing their clinical training with visits to the Lowe Art Museum at the university’s Coral Gables campus. There, they discuss works of art in small groups and make connections to health care.

Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs coordinator, calls these visits the Fine Art of Health Care. She runs the workshops, which began in 2008.

Crescent Heights

The Baptist brand of health care is coming to Miami Beach.  

The city planning board voted 6-1 to give Baptist the green light to build an urgent care center at 709 Alton Road.

“We’re very happy and delighted that the planning board took such consideration really to give this project the time and attention that it needed,” says Ana Lopez-Blazquez, chief strategy officer for Baptist Health.

Nathan Rupert / Flickr

A high number of leprosy cases have been appearing in Florida. The possible culprit: armadillos. 

This year, nine cases have been reported in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health. The state usually gets about two to 12 cases a year. 

In light of the spike in reported leprosy cases, wildlife officials recommend people wear gloves when handling any animals.

For the past three years, public health activists have been trying to convince Florida lawmakers to support a needle-exchange program to fight the HIV epidemic in South Florida, and for the past three years they’ve been turned down.

One Miami activist refuses to wait for lawmakers. George Gibson is an ordained minister. Nearly everyone calls him Elder as in a church elder.

He says his needle-exchange program is related to his religious work.

“I see it as being an AIDS ministry,” he said.

Abe Aboraya / Health News Florida

Will Blair can describe his family in three words: southern, conservative, Baptist. 

“I’m kind of the black sheep,” he said.

Blair was 17 and living in rural Lake County when he came out as gay to the grandparents raising him.

Last year, at 32, he had to come out a second time: as HIV positive.

“It’s hard dealing with letting the people close to you know,” Blair said. “Because some people, even the ones close to you, even though they’re talking to you and you hear the words coming out their mouth, you know that behind what they’re saying is judgment.”

Elias Levy / American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ciguatera poisoning is far more common in Florida, especially South Florida, than previously believed based on public health records, according to a new study from the University of Florida and the state Department of Health.

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