Florida hospitals weren’t ready for Hurricane Ian. Some fear the next big storm.
Hurricane Ian exposed an alarming weakness in Florida’s healthcare system: Many hospitals in the state are unprepared to quickly evacuate patients and some facilities likely couldn’t withstand a direct hit from a major storm. The leaders of five hospitals found themselves in that situation in late September as Hurricane Ian approached. [Source: Politico]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Keiser introduces two new nursing initiatives to include health challenges of women and Hispanics
Keiser University was already one of the largest producers of nurses in Florida when this year it launched two initiatives to work on some of the largest hurdles in health care: Providing specialty care to women and to address the specific challenges of Florida’s growing Hispanic population. This fall, Keiser began enrolling students in its new master’s degree program in women’s health nursing, which is training practitioners in preventive services for women, from adolescence to the health challenges of aging. [Source: Florida Trend]
Commentary: Why doctors oppose ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth
A handful of politicians are pushing Florida to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender young people. They are willfully ignorant of the evidence behind the care we provide and value political gain over the collaborative decisions made between a physician, patient, and family. The truth is, they probably don’t understand all of the complex decisions that go into diabetes care either, but they know enough to leave it to the professionals and patients. It’s time to leave gender-affirming health care to the professionals and patients, too. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida has one of the worst updated COVID-19 booster rates in the country
Florida has the fourth lowest rate in the country for adults getting the updated COVID-19 booster shot, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates for kids and teens are well below the national average as well. Some health experts say that’s concerning, especially as the holidays approach. As of Nov. 16, just over 20% of Florida seniors had received a bivalent booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first authorized at the end of August. [Source: WUSF]
As Americans are overwhelmed with medical bills, patient financing is now a multibillion-dollar business, with private equity and big banks lined up to cash in when patients and their families can’t pay for care. By one estimate from research firm IBISWorld, profit margins top 29% in the patient financing industry, seven times what is considered a solid hospital margin. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Hillsborough Community College's new bachelor in nursing program helps close nursing shortage gap [Florida Trend]
Three years ago, when Hillsborough Community College started the process of becoming accredited to award baccalaureate degrees, the college was motivated by a troublesome gap in Hillsborough County’s workforce: A shortage of nurses. “There are almost 1,300 jobs that go unfilled each year that require a bachelor of science in nursing — and that means there are 1,300 jobs that are not filling the health care needs of Hillsborough County,” says Ken Atwater, HCC’s president.
› Hotel chain is training workers in Escambia to help reduce veteran suicides [Health News Florida]
Veterans are 1.5 times more likely than the general population to die by suicide, with 20 veterans on average taking their own lives each day. To help combat this crisis, Innisfree Hotels has started its own in-company initiative to train employees working with veterans or individuals experiencing mental health problems with the help of Fire Watch’s Watch Stander program in Northwest Florida.
› Babies born at UF Health can be heroes through cord blood donations [Florida Times-Union]
Public cord blood banking is now available in Northeast Florida for the first time. LifeSouth Cord Blood Bank has partnered with UF Health North and UF Health Jacksonville to offer this wonderful, cost-free opportunity for families. Mothers that give birth at these hospitals are now able to donate their baby’s cord blood to potentially save a life. A newborn’s cord blood is rich with hematopoietic stem cells that can be utilized in the treatment of cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma and other diseases of the bone marrow.
› Orlando Health coming to Apopka [Apopka Voice]
Orlando Health is coming to Apopka. In a statement released on Wednesday, the private, not-for-profit network of community and specialty hospitals based in Orlando announced that it will build a new 144-bed hospital in Apopka. The two-story, 100,000-square-foot facility will be located at 1425 South Orange Blossom Trail, central to Orlando Health hospitals and medical staff.