Justine Griffin, Medical Reporter

Justine Griffin

Medical Reporter

I cover health and medicine for the Tampa Bay Times. That could be anything related to your health, from the evolution of health insurance to medical marijuana. I'm a native Floridian who grew up in Pasco County. Prior to covering health care, I was a business reporter writing about retail, tourism and other consumer topics. Before joining the Times in 2015, I worked for the St. Augustine Record, the Sun Sentinel and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where I gained national attention for my retail coverage and for a long-form article I wrote about my experience as an egg donor. I'm a graduate of the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!), where I studied journalism. I'm also an equestrian. My horse's name is Mikey.

As Medicare open enrollment begins, many Florida seniors eye ‘Advantage’ plans

A page from the Medicare Handbook focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. Medicare's open enrollment period for 2020 begins Oct. 15 and lasts through Dec. 7. Pablo Martinez Monsivais  |  AP
New benefits are giving an extra boost to Medicare Advantage, the already popular alternative to traditional Medicare.

Tampa General, Clearwater company roll out a new virtual health station

Stephanie Vold, a medical assistant and intake specialist for OnMed, holds the door while Austin White, president and CEO of the company, talks with a nurse practitioner during a demonstration of their new telehealth system at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. The hospital is the first to deploy the OnMed station and plans to install them at other locations. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
The closet-size “office” with a life-size screen is another example of the changing face of medicine.

Navigating Medicare in 2020: What you need to know

The Medicare Handbook for 2020 is a good resource to have as the annual open enrollment period gets under way. The government usually mails beneficiaries a copy. Find a PDF version to print at medicare.gov/pub/medicare-you-handbook, or call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) to order a copy. Thomas Tobin  |  Tampa Bay Times
The open enrollment period, which lasts into December, is a time for millions of beneficiaries to review, and possibly change, their coverage.

Tampa Bay may be facing a tough flu season

Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center in Seattle, gives a patient a flu shot. Some signs are already pointing to an active flu season in the Tampa Bay area. [TED S. WARREN   |   Associated Press]
One area hospital has seen a sharp increase this month in children coming in with flu-like symptoms. Health officials are urging people to get a flu shot.

Opioids block pain during surgery. One area doctor has another idea.

William Lemoine, right, attends a followup appointment with his surgeon, Dr. Dilendra Weerasinghe. Lemoine, 71 of Port Charlotte, recently underwent surgery using an opioid-free anesthesia protocol at the Medical Center of Trinity in New Port Richey. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
At the Medical Center of Trinity, Dr. Dilendra Weerasinghe pioneers an opioid-free anesthesia blend that shortens recovery times.