health and science

Tom Flanigan

Young engineers and programmers were competing to reach the next level in regional robotic competition over the weekend of Jan. 18.

The program supporting thousands of Floridians with developmental and intellectual disabilities is likely in for an overhaul this year. Advocates had been relying on the Senate to save the ibudget program from being taken over by private companies. But some say Republican Senator Aaron Bean’s proposal might be worse.

Women stand in a line holding signs that read, "Keep you theology off my biology!" and "Protect, safe, legal abortion."
Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

A bill to require parental consent for a minor’s abortion has one more stop to go before heading to the Senate floor. Meanwhile, a similar bill in the House is already teed up for consideration by the full chamber. 

If passed, the Senate bill would penalize physicians for aborting a minor’s pregnancy without consent from their parents or guardians.

An elderly woman sits with her hands folded on her lap. (undated photo)
Cristian Newman / Unsplash

The Florida Healthcare Association and AARP are talking to anyone who will listen. Their message: pay attention to long-term care. Florida’s population is getting older and according to federal data, in 10 years, a third of Floridians will be over 60. That milestone comes as the state’s funding for programs like home care, nursing home funding and caregiver support lags behind.

blonde woman in front of grey background blowing vapor out of her mouth
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

Under a new federal law, stores cannot sell tobacco products to anyone under 21. The federal Food and Drug Administration is also limiting the sale of e-cigarette and vaping flavors. It comes as bills to do both are pending in the Florida legislature ahead of the upcoming lawmaking session. While the federal moves are welcome, anti-smoking advocates say there's plenty work left for states. 

Woman is typing numbers into a cash register. A woman in front of her has her wallet out to give the cashier money.
Craig Line / AP Photo

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun writing rules for two plans aimed at lowering drug costs for consumers. One would allow states to develop programs to import Canadian drugs. The other guides international manufacturers on how to bring their drugs into the U.S.

Person wearing white doctor's coat stands with arms crossed holding a stethoscope.
Online Marketing/Unsplash

For years, Florida’s Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) have tried to convince lawmakers to let them set up offices independent of physicians. Doctor groups have largely opposed the move, but a lawmaker who happens to be an emergency medicine physician isn’t giving up.

Right now, if a doctor or nurse falls behind on paying their student loans, Florida can revoke their license.  Rep. Mike Beltran (R-Valrico) says the practice doesn’t make sense.

Religious, political and social beliefs are key to the debate over whether to require parental consent for abortions in Florida. After an initial stall, the Senate’s Health Policy Committee voted Tuesday along party lines to approve the measure.

In the upcoming months state lawmakers will grapple with a decision: how to stabilize the budget of one of its healthcare agencies. The agency for persons with disabilities has run deficits in most years since it was created in the early 2000’s. Lawmakers have become increasingly frustrated about constantly having to backfill those deficits. Yet advocates are concerned over which chamber will get final say over how the agency moves forward.

Florida House Panel Seeks Insight From Oregon On Impact Of Recreational Marijuana

Nov 8, 2019

Facing the possibility that Floridians could be asked next year to legalize recreational marijuana, a House panel on Tuesday turned to Oregon to learn more about the economic, environmental and health impacts the state has faced since authorizing adult pot use four years ago.

Chris Gibson, the executive director of the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, told the House Health & Human Services Committee that Oregon has seen millions of dollars in tax revenue and a spike in illicit drug use, and is currently dealing with an overproduction of marijuana.

Finding Nemo Characters - colorful fish are painted on the wall. A bed is in the middle of the room.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU

A new emergency room is set to open in Tallahassee’s Southwood neighborhood. But It won’t have a hospital attached to it. ERs that stand alone are becoming more common.

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam sits on a stage laughing with another man in an interview setting.

NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, and the radio show is now two years old. We regularly hear the host, Shankar Vedantam, on Morning Edition as NPR's social science correspondent.

Vedantam also wrote the book, The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives.

We recently spoke with him about his work.

Eskamani stands at a podium with young adults from Planned Parenthood crowded around her. These adults hold signs that read, "Stop the Anti-Abortion Agenda," and "Protect Our Privacy, Stop HB 265/SB 404."
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU

Under a potential law, teens in Florida would need consent from their parents to get an abortion. Abortion-rights advocates gave lawmakers an earful Tuesday.

Chemist taking prescription from customer at pharmacy
Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock

A bill creating a prescription drug donation program within the Department of Health returned today in the Health Quality subcommittee. It passed on a unanimous vote.

blonde woman in front of grey background blowing vapor out of her mouth
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

As vaping makes national headlines, Florida lawmakers are bringing their agenda and policies to the forefront.

Capital Health Plan

Later this fall, Capital Health Plan will open its new Metro Center Building near the corner of Thomasville Road and Interstate 10.

Opioid painkillers layed out on a table.
irissca / Adobe Stock

In Florida, an estimated 17 people die every day from opioid abuse. To combat the issue, Attorney General Ashely Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis have created a new statewide task force. The group is charged with developing best practices for opioid abuse prevention through education, treatment, and law enforcement. Two recently appointed board members spoke about how they hope to help.

The chemistry formula of Fentanyl
Zerbor / Adobe Stock

Wednesday, the White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose.

Neil Armstrong / NASA via AP

Here in Tallahassee the Florida Historic Capitol Museum is holding an event to acknowledge the day the first human footprint was left on the moon.

Kristin Roberts / National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

Scientists at Florida State University have created the world’s most powerful continuous field magnet magnet. It’s capable of generating a 45.5-tesla field. Chief Materials Scientist David Larbalestier explains what that could mean for the future.

Person Washing Hands in Bathroom Sink
Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Hepatitis A infections are on the rise in Florida and the solution to stopping the outbreak could be as simple as washing your hands.  Despite giving out 6,900 free hepatitis A vaccines last week, the state saw its biggest increase in new cases.


pill bottles
David Kessler on Flickr. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) /

Attorney General Ashley Moody will have access to information in a prescription drug monitoring database under a bill passed this session.

Kevin Del Orbe

Florida State University’s College of Medicine has opened its new Primary Health Center, in sight of Sabal Palm Elementary School.

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) and the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) have launched a partnership in which attorneys will be mentors for young women aging out of foster care.

FAWL president Jennifer Shoaf Richardson says her members are excited about volunteering one hour monthly to mentor teen girls who are close to aging out of the child welfare system.

"I think many people – and especially foster youth – just need to be pointed in the right direction as far as the questions they need to ask and getting connected to the wonderful resources that already exist," Richardson says.