Local agency helps people to stop smoking

While some people wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution to quit smoking, experts say there’s no time like the present to get started on the effort. Those who have tried to quit smoking understand the uphill battle in attempting to kick the habit to the curb. But, help is available. Through its tobacco cessation program, the National Area Health Education Center has been training … [Read more...]

Keeping cool, as temperatures soar

Florida, with its subtropical conditions, can reach temperatures that pose hazards to human health, according to the Florida Department of Health. Because of that, it’s important to take precautions to protect ourselves when doing outdoor tasks, such as gardening, during warm weather. Here are some preventative measures to keep in mind: Protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure it has a … [Read more...]

Health initiative encourages more movement

The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County and the “Get Healthy Pasco!” coalition, are encouraging residents to “Move More!” at Pasco County parks through April 30. A Community Needs Assessment was completed by Pasco’s health department in 2017, determining four areas of priority in the county, one of which was overall health and well-being. This prompted the launch of the coalition, “Get … [Read more...]

Flu can be deadly; use precautions to avoid it

Sick people are showing up in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms seeking treatment for the flu. Both in Florida and across the United States, flu activity is on the rise, according to Mara Gambineri, communications director for the Florida Department of Health. “We’re seeing more activity across all age groups this year than we’ve seen in previous seasons at this time, which may be an … [Read more...]

Wildfires in Pasco cause hassles, heavy smoke

Wildfires burning in Pasco County have produced heavy smoke — causing inconvenience for motorists, disrupting schools and posing potential health hazards. Pasco County officials have responded to the wildfires by issuing warnings to motorists to use care when driving through areas surrounding Starkey Park. Motorists should expect periods of heavy smoke on the road for 30 days to 45 days, … [Read more...]

Health services relocating to Wesley Chapel

Pasco County health clinics in Zephyrhills and Land O’ Lakes will close and their services moved to a professional office building in Wesley Chapel. The Pasco County Tax Collector’s office is expected to take over the former building used by the Land O’ Lakes clinic. County officials then plan to use the tax collector’s old space for County Development Services, which includes its permitting … [Read more...]

Commissioners study up on medical marijuana

A 22-year-old patient with debilitating seizures proved to Dr. Ron Aung-Din that medical marijuana is a useful, plant-based treatment for a wide array of illnesses. The active ingredients in the marijuana plant – known as cannabinoids – significantly reduced his patient’s seizures. “That was the beginning of my era of enlightenment,” said Aung-Din, a neurologist in Sarasota. Aung-Din was … [Read more...]

New rules ahead for dispensing medical marijuana

Voters statewide overwhelmingly said they want more people with debilitating illnesses to receive the benefits of medical marijuana. But, approval of the constitutional amendment in the Nov. 8 general election is only a first step in expanding an existing, but limited, medical marijuana program. State lawmakers and health department officials will have a say in what comes next. In the … [Read more...]

Medical marijuana may mean big money in Pasco

The local debate on how to regulate medical marijuana in Pasco County remains unsettled. But, two Tampa land use attorneys recently briefed county commissioners on the legal difficulties they face, and the vast sums of money at stake as the medical marijuana industry expands. County commissioners also received a recommendation from the county’s legal staff on limiting medical marijuana in … [Read more...]

Keeping children safe in the water

Just a few months ago, Christopher Santana, 11, didn't know how to swim. Neither did 10-year-old Ruby Rodriguez. But, thanks to free summer water safety lessons offered at the New Tampa Family YMCA, both youth, along with several others, are now confident about hopping into a pool and swimming unassisted. For the past three years, the New Tampa YMCA has partnered with the nonprofit … [Read more...]