February 6, 2023
COVID spreading faster in Florida but isn't as strong

Florida Trend Health Care

COVID spreading faster in Florida but isn't as strong

| 1/10/2023

COVID spreading faster in Florida but isn't as strong

Florida’s weekly average of COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled between November and January, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC data show Florida hospitalization numbers rose to a weekly average of 2,200 admissions by the first week of January. Elena Cyrus, a epidemiologist at the University of Central Florida, said the rising rate of hospitalizations accompanied by lower death counts compared to last year means the current variant of the virus spreads faster but it isn’t as strong. More from Health News Florida and the Tampa Bay Times.

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Cancer care: Early detection

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Gregg Fields brings the personal and the scientific to his work against cancer. All four of his grandparents died of cancer before age 70. His parents and sister are cancer survivors. Fields is executive director of FAU’s I-Health (Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention), which combines scientists across different disciplines to advance research and treatment. He’s also co-director of the Memorial Cancer Institute Florida Atlantic University Cancer Center of Excellence. [Source: Florida Trend]

FDA says pharmacies can now give abortion pills by prescription. What about in Florida?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow select retail and online pharmacies in the United States to provide abortion pills to people with prescriptions, in a move that will greatly increase the availability of the medication at a time when many states are trying to limit these measures. The FDA’s final rule change on Tuesday comes during a period when an increasing number of states are seeking to ban abortion pills, emboldened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade. [Source: Miami Herald]

Veterans' nursing homes in Florida are still recovering from pandemic

A top state veterans official told Florida senators Wednesday that the state-run nursing homes for veterans are still recovering after the COVID pandemic shrank their staffs and reduced the number of residents. Deputy Executive Director Bob Asztalos of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs told a Senate committee that its wages are finally competitive, thanks to a $5.6 million boost in state funding last year. [Source: Health News Florida]

DeSantis awards $79 million to nursing education and health care programs

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday awarded $79 million for high-performing nursing education programs in Florida. The funding rewards public postsecondary nursing programs that have gone above and beyond to train Floridians and provides matching funds for scholarship awards, faculty recruitment, equipment and additional educational supports. [Source: WQCS]


› $250-million Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute set to open as demand for care grows
Imagine you’re one of the over 2 million people who get hip or knee replacements each year in the U.S. You’re recovering in a hospital bed, and it’s a little too bright. You can call a staff member into the room, or, if you’re at the Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute, you can also verbally ask your room to close the blinds for you. These “smart rooms” — a first for Orlando Health — are only the beginning.

› Lee Health reopens primary care practice, walk-in clinic on Sanibel after Hurricane Ian
Lee Physician Group announced its Sanibel Primary/Walk-In Care has reopened its doors to patients. The clinic at 2495 Palm Ridge Road, which originally opened in July 2022, suffered damage during Hurricane Ian. Dr. Robert Bussing and Dr. John Schmidt returned to Sanibel to begin seeing patients at the clinic again.

› City considering $500K grant for Northwest Jacksonville medical facility
A joint project between the Kappa Alpha Psi Jacksonville Foundation and Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville to build an $8.3 million health care facility on Moncrief Road is in review for city financial help. The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled to vote Jan. 9 on filing a bill with City Council to appropriate a $500,000 grant to establish the Dr. C.B. McIntosh Community Achievement Center in Northwest Jacksonville.

› ACHA's chief of staff Jason Weida takes over as agency's interim secretary
With the departure of Simone Marstiller from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Jason Weida has become interim secretary of the agency, according to the AHCA website. Weida, an attorney, most recently worked as the agency’s chief of staff after serving as an assistant deputy secretary for Medicaid Policy and Quality. Marstiller announced in November that she was stepping down as secretary of the agency, which oversees the massive Medicaid program.

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