First time in 2022, Florida reports under 100,000 COVID cases in a week
From No. 24 to No. 8 to No. 32? COVID cases are declining here, and Florida saw a big change in rank on a list of states where coronavirus spreads the fastest. Also, this is the first time since the week of Dec. 19 that Florida reported less than 100,000 cases in one week. Florida reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, Feb. 20, adding 42,373 new cases. That's down 65.4% from the previous week's tally of 122,428 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19. The state also had 1,330 newly reported deaths this week. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Do's and don'ts for a healthy heart diet from a TGH nutrition specialist
Alexandra Fucarino, a clinical nutrition specialist at Tampa General Hospital, spoke to FLORIDA TREND about how diet can impact heart health. On diets, she tells us: “A common pitfall I see with not just heart patients but many patients with chronic diseases is following fad diets. Fad diets that promise quick weight loss and sound too good to be true usually are." [Source: Florida Trend]
Letter signed by hundreds of Florida health care workers reflects concern over abortion bill
To date, close to 700 Florida clinicians have signed an open letter opposing the abortion ban, calling it "bad medicine" and "bad policy.” Tampa OB-GYN and University of South Florida professor Dr. Shelly Holmstrom is one of the signees. She says the bill — which would ban abortion eight weeks earlier than the current standard — would harm patients. "This 15-week ban, it's nowhere near the threshold of viability during a pregnancy,” she said. “There are many patients of mine and throughout the state of Florida that don't even realize they're pregnant by 15 weeks." [Source: Health News Florida]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Manatee Memorial using shock therapy and a new device to treat heart patients
Manatee Memorial Hospital has a new treatment for severely calcified coronary artery disease patients: Shock wave therapy. Known as intravascular lithotripsy, the procedure uses sonic pressure waves to break up calcium blockages that can reduce blood flow in the heart. Once the calcium is broken up and the artery expanded, a stent can be implanted to increase blood flow. The hospital has done more than 55 of the procedures since last November. [Source: Florida Trend]
Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, says the Senate and House are on a “collision course” about dental care as they revamp the state’s Medicaid managed care system. Bean made the comment before his panel approved a bill (SB 1950) that would make a series of changes as the Agency for Health Care Administration prepares to move forward with a process to award new contracts worth billions of dollars to HMOs and other managed care plans. [Source: News Service of Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Patient data exposed during Florida hospital hacking incident [Becker's Hospital Review ]
Jackson County Hospital provided notice to its patients Feb. 11 that its network was accessed by an unauthorized individual who potentially viewed and obtained patient protected information. Around Jan. 9, certain systems in the hospital were rendered inaccessible. When the hospital investigated, it learned that several systems were accessed by an unauthorized person who viewed and took data from the systems, according to the hospital's website.
› Northside Hospital CEO watches challenges, uncertainty bring staff closer together [Tampa Bay Business Joural]
As the CEO of Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Valerie Powell-Stafford has very busy days, to say the least. She took the position in 2019, pre-Covid pandemic, and has seen the community rally around her health care staff in many ways. While it's been a stressful time with "uncertainty and distrust," Northside Hospital leaders have been "amazing" and she's worked with them to stay resilient and lead with courage, Powell-Stafford said.
› Orlando Health is the highest ranking healthcare employer in Florida and ranks in the top 20 nationwide [Florida Trend]
Orlando Health has been named the highest ranking healthcare organization in the state of Florida on Forbes' America's Best Large Employers list. The healthcare system ranks #86 overall out of 500 large organizations. In the "Healthcare & Social" category, which contains 35 employers, Orlando Health appears at #19, making the organization one of the top 20 healthcare employers nationwide.
› Alachua County Health Care Advisory Board meets about health disparities in East Gainesville [WUFT]
The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is developing a Hepatitis C clinic in the next 60 days for uninsured residents to be treated and cured of this disease — a step to counteract health disparities in East Gainesville. The Alachua County Health Care Advisory Board met Wednesday to discuss updates on the initiatives to bridge health disparities in East Gainesville. The lack of access to health care in less wealthier areas, including East Gainesville, has been a problem for many years.