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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. Tampa Electric planning to convert Big Bend power plant where five died in June from coal to natural gas


    TAMPA — The parent company of Tampa Electric plans to seek regulatory approval in coming months to convert its Big Bend power plant, the site of an industrial accident that killed five workers last year, from coal to natural gas, a top executive said Friday.

    If approved, the full conversion would cost an estimated $1 billion and could take a decade to complete, said Rob Bennett, who led the integration of TECO Energy with Emera after the Canadian company bought TECO in 2016....

  2. OSHA: Tampa Electric ignored its own rules in accident that killed 5 workers


    APOLLO BEACH — Tampa Electric ignored its own rules when performing a dangerous maintenance job at the Big Bend Power Station in June that left five workers dead, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday.

    OSHA gave Tampa Electric its most serious type of citation — a "willful" violation, given only when companies either intentionally disregard its rules or act with indifference toward employee safety — and a $126,749 fine....

  3. Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak


    APOLLO BEACH — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Tampa Electric $18,108 and gave the company two "serious" citations for its response to a gas leak at the Big Bend Power Station in May, the agency announced late Friday.

    The May 23 incident involved a release of anhydrous ammonia that sent four workers to the hospital.

    OSHA also issued two "serious" citations and $25,350 in fines to Tampa Electric contractor Critical Intervention Services, a firm that provides security services at Big Bend....

    Tampa Electric was fined $18,108 following a May gas leak at the Big Bend Power Station.  [LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES]
  4. Two workers injured at Tampa Electric power plant


    APOLLO BEACH — An industrial accident at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station sent two workers to the hospital Tuesday afternoon, the company said.

    Tampa Electric officials provided few details Wednesday about what caused the accident, but said the injuries weren't life threatening and one of the men had been released from Tampa General Hospital.

    The workers, both contractors employed by the Zachry Group of Texas, had been tasked with fixing the cooling system attached to the Unit 3 boiler, Tampa Electric spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said....

    Two workers were sent to the hospital with injuries Tuesday after an accident at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. Earlier this year, five workers died at the plant. [Luis Santana   |   Times]
  5. After a graze from Hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay will remember the emotional toll


    It was called one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. It was bigger than Andrew, bigger than the state.

    First it aimed for Miami, then Naples. Twenty four hours before landfall, it set its sights on Tampa Bay.

    Fleeing cars packed highways. Homeowners hammered plywood onto windows and anchored garages with sandbags, with scenes of a water-logged Houston fresh in mind.

    "Stay safe," they told their neighbors....

    Steve Miccio, 53, secures a limb with a rope as he and others work to remove a tree from the roof of his Gulf Road home Monday in Tarpon Springs. Miccio and his family weren’t home when it fell.
  6. Irma spares Tampa Bay, other parts of the state not as lucky


    Monday's blustery daybreak brought relief — albeit cautious relief — across the Tampa Bay area.

    Hurricane Irma downed trees and power lines and knocked the canopies off some gas stations, but seemingly spared the region the catastrophic damage that had been predicted.

    "A glancing blow," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who had previously warned Irma would "punch us in the face."...

    Mobile homes remain flooded Monday off Collier Avenue in downtown Everglades City, which absorbed the brunt of Hurricane Irma’s landfall on Sunday.
  7. A day of dread in Tampa Bay as Hurricane Irma battered the state


    Scores of people walk on the sand of Tampa Bay along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Due to Hurricane Irma the water has temporarily receded to an extreme level allowing people to walk on what used to be the waters of Tampa Bay. Tampa Police responded to the scene and asked people to leave for their safety Saturday. (LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  8. With Hurricane Irma on track for Tampa Bay, here's what you can expect


    Hurricane Irma began a dreaded march north late Saturday, erasing any hope the Tampa Bay region and Florida's Gulf Coast would be spared its devastation.

    At shelters where thousands waited for the storm to arrive, and in living rooms where families gathered around their TVs, a community wondered just how bad it would be.

    "I'm terrified," said Nicole Manuel, 37, who huddled with family at her mother's house in Clearwater. "I keep on hearing different things, different changes. How fast is it coming? When is it even coming? It's different every time I see the TV."...

     Erik Charles evacuates his parakeets from his family's ahead of Hurricane Irma in the Palmetto Beach neighborhood in Tampa on Saturday. (OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times)
  9. When workers died, Tampa Electric vowed to stop doing this. But weeks later, they did it anyway.

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — After five workers died at Big Bend Power Station, Tampa Electric vowed to immediately stop the kind of work that led to the fatal accident.

    No one would clean or do maintenance on a slag tank connected to a running boiler, the company promised — not before investigations into the accident had finished.

    "We're not going to do it," CEO Gordon Gillette told the Tampa Bay Times in August, "until we understand what happened."...

    The Tampa Electric Big Bend power station was the site of a fatal accident in June that killed 5 workers. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
  10. Congresswoman to OSHA: 'Act swiftly' to fix rules after Tampa Electric power plant accident

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, urged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Thursday to tighten its rules in response to a June accident that killed five workers at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.

    "While the community grieves and OSHA performs an investigation, I strongly encourage OSHA to act swiftly to develop clarifying rules that would prevent future tragic accidents," she wrote in a letter to the agency....

Five workers died in an accident at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.
  11. TECO accounts for nearly half of Florida power plant deaths, data shows

    Public Safety

    Tina Partridge wasn't expecting to see her dad at the door. He was working a contract job at a Tampa power plant, but made the drive to Jacksonville to surprise his grandsons.

    "The boys were thrilled," Partridge recalled.

    She thought nothing of saying goodbye to him that night in 1999. He had spent his whole career in power plants, and long assured her the work was safe.

    But days later, a giant fireball shot through Tampa Electric's Gannon Power Station in Hillsborough County, hurling heavy sections of the wall into the parking lot. Her father, Johnny Bass Sr., was killed at 52....

    Paramedics remove an injured worker from the back of an ambulance outside Tampa General hospital Thursday, April 8, 1999, after he was injured in an explosion at Tampa Electric's Port Sutton plant. [Associated Press]
  12. Bayfront Health St. Petersburg names new CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, the city's largest and oldest hospital, has named a new chief executive.

    Veteran health care administrator John McLain will assume Bayfront's top job on July 17. He replaces Kathryn Gillette, who is retiring....

      Since being purchased by Community Health Systems in 2014, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg underwent a financial transformation led by CEO Kathryn Gillette, who says she is retiring.
  13. Florida Blue pledges statewide commitment to Affordable Care Act


    Despite the uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act, Florida Blue plans to offer individual health insurance plans in all 67 counties next year, the insurer told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.

    "It is consistent with our mission to help people in communities achieve better health," said the company's West Florida Region market president David Pizzo. "We don't stay only in certain counties that are profitable."...

    Despite the uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act, Florida Blue plans to offer individual health insurance plans in all 67 counties next year.
 [Florida Trend file photo]
  14. With Bayfront Health on firmer footing, CEO Kathryn Gillette plans to retire


    ST. PETERSBURG — After four years at the helm of the city's largest hospital, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg chief executive officer Kathryn Gillette is retiring, she told the Tampa Bay Times.

    Her last day will be in early August.

    "This was the job that I wanted to end my career with," she said.

    TIMES PROFILE: Gillette faced health care challenges...

      Since being purchased by Community Health Systems in 2014, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg underwent a financial transformation led by CEO Kathryn Gillette, who says she is retiring.
  15. All Children's Hospital, UnitedHealthcare resolve contract dispute that affected thousands


    ST. PETERSBURG  — UnitedHealthcare members can once again pay in-network rates at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, the hospital and the insurance company announced Thursday.

    All Children's had been out of network since May, when contract negotiations between United and the hospital broke down. All Children's wanted United to pay more; United said All Children's was asking for too much....

    Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and UnitedHealthcare have agreed to rates, ending a stalemate that left United members paying out-of-network fees. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]