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Kathleen McGrory, Times Staff Writer

Kathleen McGrory

Kathleen McGrory is a health and medicine reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, she spent seven years as a metro reporter for the Miami Herald and two years as a government reporter in the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She speaks Spanish and holds degrees from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Phone: (727) 893-8330


Twitter: @kmcgrory


  1. Perspective: As the toll climbs, advocates bring renewed attention to Florida gun violence


    Times Staff Writer

    Like most 12-year-old girls, Ra'Mya Eunice loved slumber parties.

    She was at one on April 30, fast asleep, when a bullet blast through the wall, striking the side of her head.

    Ra'Mya was rushed into surgery, her grandmother Terri Eunice said. But she lost most of her brain function, and had to be put on a ventilator.

    Her parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and cousins gathered in a Jacksonville hospital, hoping to spot signs of recovery. The blink of an eye. The wiggle of a finger....

    The Empire State Building in New York City was bathed in tangerine light last year to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. It was part of the Wear Orange campaign led by the non-profit Everytown for Gun Safety. [Courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety]
  2. New facilities will help St. Petersburg Free Clinic grow

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — For decades, the bustling St. Petersburg Free Clinic has operated largely out of an old post office building.

    That will soon change.

    The clinic recently bought two buildings in Pinellas County, said executive director Beth Houghton. One will house its growing health center, which provides free medical services for low-income people who are uninsured. The other will house its expanded food bank....

    Workers move food at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s loading dock May 3. A Lealman warehouse will host the new food bank.
  3. Tampa Bay hospitals brace for $92 million in cuts

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers have agreed to cut $91.7 million from Tampa Bay area hospitals under a budget the Legislature plans to pass early next week.

    Statewide, the proposed hospital cuts total $521 million, all coming from "supplemental" money that state lawmakers put into the Medicaid program two years ago.

    Cuts would be deepest at the hospitals that take the largest number of Medicaid patients....

    The state budget proposal would cut $18 million from Tampa General Hospital, pictured, and almost $92 million across Tampa Bay.
  4. State denies Northside Hospital's bid for new trauma center


    ST. PETERSBURG — The state health department has denied Northside Hospital's application for a new trauma center.

    The decision, finalized Monday, came days after a circuit court judge said the health department planned to give Northside the green light — and issued an order blocking the St. Petersburg hospital from moving forward....

    Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg wanted to open a Level 2 trauma center to treat critically injured patients, but its application was denied by the state. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. At Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, young doctors work to battle 'toxic stress' in kids


    ST. PETERSBURG — Resident trainees at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital went into the community last week to teach children, parents and teachers about the dangers of toxic stress.

    Toxic stress occurs when children are abused or neglected, or exposed to violence, serious turmoil or economic hardship. In young kids, the repeated activation of the nervous system can have a lasting effect on the developing brain. In older children, it can increase the risk for disease....

    Residents hear from a panel on toxic stress among the community’s youth as part of their project. The panel, from left, included Donna Sicilian, executive director of student services for Pinellas County Schools, Rick Kriseman, mayor of St. Petersburg, psychologist Lacy Chavis and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, St. Petersburg City Council.
  6. Florida Blue working to resolve payment glitch


    Tracey Davis was stunned to learn her checking account was overdrawn Monday.

    She was even more stunned to learn why.

    Florida Blue had billed her May health insurance payment 21 times. The total charges topped $18,000.

    "I was in compete disbelief," said Davis, who lives in Tampa and pays $877 a month for a health insurance plan that also covers her husband. "It was a good thing I was not drinking my coffee. I would have done a spit take on my monitor."...

    A computer glitch caused Florida Blue to electronically debt some customers accounts many, many times. [Florida Trend file photo]
  7. Judge blocks new trauma center at St. Petersburg's Northside Hospital


    ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Hospital can't immediately move forward with plans to open a trauma center, a circuit court judge ruled late Friday.

    The hospital, located at 6000 49th St. N, intended to open a specialized center for critically injured patients on May 1. But it met a legal challenge from Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, which operates its own trauma center downtown and said having a competitor just a few miles away would siphon off patients and erode quality....

    Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg from immediately opening a new Level 2 trauma center. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  8. Will Zika return to Florida this summer? Yes, and it could be worse


    Wondering what's ahead for Zika?

    This coming summer will likely look like last summer, when 1,100 travel-related cases were reported statewide, and the virus spread in small pockets of South Florida.

    But there's a chance it could be worse.

    "We are preparing for local transmission, and we are preparing for the worst-case scenario," said Dr. Beata Casanas, an infectious disease expert and associate professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine....

    A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker sprays around a home in the Wynwood area of Miami in August. This summer could look a lot like last as far as the Zika virus is concerned.
  9. USF played a key role in approval of new MS drug


    The first drug to treat an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis has won approval from the Food and Drug Administration, a significant medical development with ties to the Tampa Bay area.

    Local patients helped test the safety and effectiveness of the drug in clinical trials at the University of South Florida's Multiple Sclerosis Center, said Dr. Derrick Robertson, the center's director.

    "We were one of the top enrolling sites in the country for this medication," Robertson said. "We have lots of patients who have been part of the science that led to this drug getting approved."...

    Dr. Derrick Robertson says the drug is a “game changer.’’
  10. Senate panel barely advances bill on gun violence awareness


    The bill wasn’t supposed to be controversial, Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon said. Its aim: to raise awareness about firearm violence.

    But even that had a hard time winning support in the Florida Senate on Monday.

    The proposal, urging Congress to designate September 2017 as firearm violence awareness month, earned barely enough votes to advance out of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee (SM 1322)....

  11. Floridians debate Medicaid block grants before AHCA vote


    As lawmakers on a Capitol Hill consider overhauling the federal health instance program for the poor, a debate has bubbled up over what the changes would mean for Floridians.

    Earlier this month, the Florida House passed a resolution urging Congress to establish a so-called block grant program, which would give states a set amount of money to spend for Medicaid and the flexibility to spend it as they see fit. The resolution passed along party lines....

  12. State Rep. Chris Sprowls seeks to save children's insurance plan


    State Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, wants to bring back a popular health insurance plan for Florida kids.

    The plan, known as Sunshine Health Stars Plus, covered nearly 10,000 children across the state, some of whom had special needs and were unable to get coverage elsewhere. Their families made too much money to qualify for government-subsidized health insurance, and so agreed to pay the full premiums....

  13. AARP report: Obamacare replacement would hurt older Floridians


    How many older Floridians with Affordable Care Act coverage would see their premiums rise under the Republican replacement plan?

    About 454,000, according to a new analysis by AARP.

    Low-income people in their 60s would be hardest hit, the analysis found. For some, the proposal under consideration in Congress could mean an annual tax credit reduction of nearly $6,000.

    The cut in government aid would put thousands in an "untenable situation," forcing many people in their 50s and 60s to go without health insurance, AARP Florida state director Jeff Johnson said Friday....

    House Speaker Paul Ryan says the GOP proposal takes into account that health insurance plans cost more for older individuals.
  14. Rule change will lead to longer shifts for rookie doctors


    The notoriously long shifts worked by freshly minted doctors are about to get even longer.

    The organization that oversees physician training in the United States approved new rules last week that will let first-year doctors work 24-hour shifts in hospitals starting July 1.

    They had been limited to 16 consecutive hours since 2011.

    Critics have been quick to raise concerns about safety — both for the rookie doctors, known as residents, and their patients. But some physicians see the benefits of longer shifts....

    Dr. Sergio Herandez, a USF medical school grad working as a general surgery intern at Tampa General Hospital, says he agrees with the new rule allowing first-year doctors to work up to 24 consecutive hours. The change, effective July 1, will "give some of us in surgery exposure to experiences we wouldn't otherwise have," he said. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  15. Northside Hospital makes bid to open a trauma center, and its rivals are not happy


    ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Hospital has filed the preliminary paperwork to open a trauma center, setting up a potential fight with other Tampa Bay area hospitals already offering the specialized services.

    Northside is "uniquely positioned to respond to the need for additional trauma programs," spokeswoman Carrie Johnson said in a statement.

    "Our Comprehensive Stroke Center is the only nationally recognized program in the county and successfully supports hospitals along Florida's west coast," she said....

     Northside Hospital in St Petersburg recently filed preliminary paperwork to open a trauma center. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]