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Senate panel narrowly confirms Rick Scott’s Surgeon General

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The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday gave the nod to state Surgeon General John Armstrong. Members granted him confirmation to extend his tenure as head of the state’s health care apparatus, but just barely by a 6-4 vote Armstrong has been under heightened scrutiny in Tallahassee because of recent public failures in the state’s health care infrastructure, including faulty pediatric cardiac standards and a growing rate of HIV/AIDS, particularly in South Florida. For his part, Armstrong cited progress on such…

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Today on Context Florida: Abortions, climate change, HIV/AIDS and the next digital threat

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Today on Context Florida: Republicans in the Florida Legislature are poised to create more damaging, expensive, unconstitutional laws that could take years to undo in the courts, says Julie Delegal. They’ve done it with the death penalty. They’ve done it with their drug-testing-without-cause laws for poor people. They’ve done it, most profligately, with their gerrymandered maps. And they could do it again with a bill that, if passed, would ban nearly all abortions in Florida. During his visit to the United…

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Florida Surgeon General offers tip sheet for healthy Halloween

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Making sure youngsters eat a healthy snack or meal before they go trick-or-treating could help make their Halloween a bit healthier according to a tip sheet put out by the Florida Department of Health Tuesday. “Halloween and fall festivals are a great time to remind your children to make healthy choices while having fun,” said Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Let’s encourage everyone to make safety a priority when visiting with family and neighbors.” According…

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Dept. of Health unveiling new leadership team; Alexis Lambert named chief of staff

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Starting in September, Florida’s Department of Health will be under new leadership. Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong announced the promotion of Alexis Lambert to chief of staff, moving Jennifer Tschetter to chief operating officer, and Nathan Dunn will become chief operating officer. All three appointments begin September 11. “Leadership excellence remains a hallmark of Florida’s Department of Health,” Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “I am privileged to work with such a talented leadership group that is dedicated to improving the health of all people in Florida.” Lambert, eldest daughter…

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‘Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You…’ author kicks off healthcare commission’s traveling ‘transparency tour’

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The “Spotlight Transparency Tour” starts in Tampa on Wednesday June 17 with at least two local hospital executives and Marty Makary, medical doctor and author of “Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care,” slated to address Gov. Rick Scott’s blue ribbon commission. Makary, associate professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, will address the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding for 90 minutes, according to a draft copy of the…

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Nine appointments made to Gov. Rick Scott’s new healthcare, hospital commission

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Gov. Rick Scott named nine people to the newly created healthcare and hospital board on Monday, steering clear of appointing anyone to the commission who is affiliated with a hospital. One medical doctor serves on the commission. Many of the commission members Scott appointed have made campaign contributions to Scott, the governor’s political committee, Let’s Get to Work, or to other Republican candidates, including Carlos Beruff, who will chair the commission. Beruff, of Parrish, is a member of the South Florida Water…

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Gov. Scott reappoints 14 agency heads for another year despite Senate snub

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Gov. Rick Scott on Monday reappointed 14 men and women as directors of state agencies despite the Florida Senate refusing to confirm them during the regular session. The agencies run the gamut from Department of Economic Opportunity to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to the State Technology Agency. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Richard L. Swearingen and Department of Environmental Protection Jonathon Paul Steverson are not included in Scott’s press release. Both of those appointments require both Cabinet…

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