Florida Dietitian Licensing Law Could Go to Federal Court of Appeals

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Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers have authorized payments to parents whose children died from traumatic brain injuries sustained during birth. A protest by Ohio’s deaf community, a doctor suing UT Southwestern over the limitations of trans care for its children, and many others are also making headlines.

Health News Florida: A federal appeals court has been asked to review a Florida dietitian licensing law

Arguing that her First Amendment rights have been violated, a woman who was blocked by the Florida Department of Health from providing dietary advice is asking a full federal appeals court to challenge a law on state dietitians . Lawyers for Heather Kokesch Del Castillo filed a 30-page motion last week asking the 11th United States Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case, after a court panel upheld the law in February. Del Castillo, a northwest Florida resident, was cited by the Department of Health in 2017 for being paid to provide dietary counseling without being a state-licensed dietitian or nutritionist. Del Castillo, who operated what is described in court documents as a health and nutrition coaching business, paid a $754 fine after the state was notified by a registered dietitian. (Saunders, 3/16)

In other Florida news –

Miami Herald: Florida lawmakers allow payments to parents of children who died of brain damage

In a legislative session marked by culture war battles and redistricting, Florida lawmakers took the time to extend a measure of mercy to a group of parents whose children died of catastrophic brain damage related to birth . … The reforms were implemented after a series of articles from the Miami Herald and the nonprofit ProPublica newsroom, called Birth & Betrayal, documented how NICA parents had to apply for the aid from the program, which was supposed to provide “medically necessary” care for some children who were severely disabled from lack of oxygen or spinal cord damage at birth. Parents complained that they had to plead, often unsuccessfully, for medication, specially equipped vans, nursing home care and home modifications, to which they were entitled under NICA statute. (Miller and Chang, 3/15)

In Ohio, Texas and Georgia updates –

The Columbus Dispatch: Deaf community protests Ohio service agency manager’s firing

The sign outside a Worthington-based deaf services agency reads ‘Where Communication Happens’. Yet more than 50 people served by the Deaf Services Center say the agency has not included them in decisions or informed them of leadership changes. The group hoisted banners, waved to passing cars and listened to speakers during a protest Tuesday night outside the organization’s Ohio headquarters. …Having a leader who is not hard of hearing or deaf is offensive and wrong, they say. “We need someone who is part of our population, someone who understands our struggles,” said Vince Sabino, a social worker from Hilliard, who is deaf and an advocate for the deaf. “We are a very small population, but we are very marginalized.” (Narcissus, 03/16)

Dallas Morning News: Doctor who treats transgender children takes UT Southwestern to court over change in care

Filing in court, known as a 202 petition, allows attorneys and their clients to investigate claims before filing a complaint. This is the first time that one of the program’s leaders has publicly opposed the university’s decision to close Genecis to new patients. Lopez’s attorney provided a copy of the petition exclusively to the Dallas Morning News. Lopez is asking the university and Children’s Health to turn over documents, including communications that could show pressure from elected officials sparked the changes at Genecis, and wants top officials to sit for depositions. The petition notes that the information sought will allow Lopez to decide whether and against whom she will take legal action to overturn the university’s decision to cut care for new transgender patients. (Wolf and McGaughy, 3/16)

AP: Ex-nurse pleads guilty in death of war veteran at nursing home

A former nurse has pleaded guilty to her role in the death of a World War II veteran whose cries for help were ignored at a nursing home, prosecutors said. Loyce Pickquet Agyeman of Snellville pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manslaughter, neglect of an elderly person and concealment of the death of another, the DeKalb County prosecutor said. A judge sentenced Agyeman to eight years in prison. (3/16)

In Missouri, Mississippi, and Indiana updates –

Kansas City Star: Shortage of Missouri child protection workers puts lives at risk

Like others at Missouri’s troubled child welfare agency, Dayna Eckhardt worried that a critical shortage of abuse and neglect investigators was putting children’s lives at risk. She tried to get the attention of her bosses — and even their bosses — by writing detailed emails about what she saw as the growing dangers within the Missouri Department of Human Services. When that didn’t work and DSS leaders failed to acknowledge the problem, she again sat down to write about the issues, desperate for someone, anyone, to listen. In the email, obtained by The Star, Eckhardt told Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a Republican from eastern Missouri, that there were so few investigators on her circuit that investigative reports were considerably late. And because of that, the child abuse investigator said, some allegations that would otherwise be substantiated were concluded as “unsubstantiated.” (Bauer and Thomas, 3/16)

Mississippi Clarion Ledger: As Mississippi Medical Marijuana Takes Shape, Patients Have Hope

The trajectory of Mississippi’s medical marijuana program is often described as a roller coaster ride. It’s been a year and a half since 74% of voters first approved a framework for a robust medical marijuana program via a ballot initiative process in November 2020. Since then, the future of the program has been mired. in a legal and legislative debate until February 2. , when Governor Tate Reeves finally signed the program. It could still take months for the products to become available. The Mississippi State Department of Health said in an advisory that it could take until at least the end of the year to allow for testing and quality control. (Clark, 3/16)

Indianapolis Star: Indiana Lawmakers Cut Vaping Tax in 2022 Legislative Session

Indiana lawmakers mulled a tax on vaping products even before it was implemented, a move that critics fear could impact the health of teens who are more prone to use e-cigarettes than other nicotine products. Under Senate Bill 382, ​​which Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law on Tuesday, the tax on prefilled e-cigarette cartridges, or vaping pods, would be reduced from 25% to 15% of the wholesale price. Public health advocates have strongly criticized the tax cut, saying it would likely end up encouraging smoking in Indiana, which has the 10th highest smoking rate in the nation, according to the American Cancer Society. Not only will this discourage adults from kicking the habit, but it could encourage more young people to start vaping, they said. (Lange and Rudavsky, 3/17)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.


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