Press Release for Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Healthcare and Bioscience Council Founding Members Named

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The Steering Committee of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council announced today its newly-selected founding members, comprised of leaders in the community who have broad experience.

“We are pleased with the depth and diversity of business, health care and community experience represented on the Healthcare and Bioscience Council. The enthusiasm of the members is inspiring,” said Carol Thompson, Healthcare and Bioscience Council Steering Committee Chair.

The Healthcare and Bioscience Council members include the following members: Susan Black, Carl Cannon, Mike Cascone, Yank Coble, Luther Coggin, Marshall Criser, T. O’Neal Douglas, Lawrence DuBow, Hugh Greene, Robert Harmon, Preston Haskell, Adam Herbert, Mac McGriff, Carol Thompson, Floyd Willis, Jim Winston, Art Wotiz. Ex-officio members of the Council are University of North Florida President John A. Delaney, Mayor John Peyton and The Honorable Fred Schultz.

The Council’s role will be to prioritize, guide and support a collaborative work group process to study and implement the 12 final recommendations that came from the Caring Community Conference. The formation of the Council was the No. 1 priority and essential next step of the Caring Community Conference, which was held last fall at Amelia Island and organized by the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy at UNF.

“The formation of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council is an essential step toward achieving the Center’s mission of collaborative action for improving health and medical care as well as enhancing the biomedical industry,” said Dr. Yank D. Coble, director, Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy at UNF.

Out of the 12, the two fundamental recommendations were to foster collaboration regarding patient care, research/education, public health, quality/safety and efficiency/reduction of barriers as well as to increase funding in the areas of health care, bioscience and education. The 10 other recommendations are as follows:

• Increase medical residencies
• Enhance the Regional Medical School in Jacksonville
• Develop a public education pipeline for bioscience
Health and Medical Care:
• Improve access to care
• Reduce health disparities and inequities
• Promote wellness/health
• Advance health information technology
Research and Bioscience:
• Establish a Northeast Florida bioscience industry campus
• Establish a regional bioscience academic institute in Jacksonville
• Create a branded economic corridor from Jacksonville to Gainesville

The Caring Community Conference was built on the premise that there are significant and highly effective health care, medical care and biomedical assets in the Northeast Florida region. Highly committed and effective groups working in the area of each recommendation were identified.

Through enhanced community understanding and collaborative action, Northeast Florida should be better able to address serious health issues in the community, enhance our health as well as our medical care and bioscience industries, and compete nationally and globally as a center of excellence in bioscience and medical care.