Press Release for Thursday, July 2, 2020
UNF MedNexus Receives $6 Million in Funding from Florida State Budget
of North Florida
The University of North Florida announces the
creation of UNF MedNexus, which received $6 million in funding through
the 2020-21 state budget passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by
Governor DeSantis on June 29. UNF MedNexus will be the nation’s first
comprehensive, university-based medical and healthcare nexus, further placing
UNF at the center of the Northeast Florida healthcare enterprise by connecting
healthcare providers with University students, faculty and researchers.
UNF MedNexus is
planning to partner with many of the region’s top healthcare providers,
including Brooks Rehabilitation, AdventHealth of Palm Coast, Mayo Clinic, Memorial
Hospital, Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health, University of Florida Health
and Flagler Hospital. As it expands, UNF MedNexus also looks forward to
partnering with universities in the State University System of Florida and
other healthcare providers across the state. With these partners and community
support, UNF will develop unique experiential learning opportunities through
immersion in existing health facilities, classes taught by experienced
healthcare professionals and innovative research.
As part of UNF MedNexus, the University will build
a new healthcare simulation lab, as well as a state-of-the-art medical
technology innovation lab in Jacksonville. The medical technology lab will house
specialized equipment, including a suite of Shimadzu molecular analyzers, which
will be used by research hospitals in the state (Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Children’s
St. Petersburg, Baptist MD Anderson) to develop hyper early diagnostics for
diseases such as cancers and neurological disorders.
MedNexus partners will also include regional colleges such as Florida State College at Jacksonville, St. Johns River State College and Daytona State College, as well
as local secondary school systems that will be working together to develop
unique career pathways from high school through to job placement.
Through an innovative partnership with the City
of Palm Coast, AdventHealth of Palm Coast and Allete Energy, MedNexus will also
extend UNF’s nursing programs and partner on a second simulation lab in Palm
Coast. UNF MedNexus plans to begin offering courses to the first Palm Coast
cohort in January 2021.
“UNF MedNexus will
become a leader and catalyst in preparing high quality healthcare professionals
in Northeast Florida in a way that is innovative and uniquely UNF,” said UNF President
David Szymanski. “We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Governor DeSantis, the
Florida State Legislature, state leadership and all of our partners for their
support of MedNexus.”
Healthcare jobs are expected to account for 23%
of the state’s growth between 2016 and 2024, with an estimated 200,000 new jobs
to be created during this period. The increased demand for healthcare
professionals in the region, contrasted with the declining population of 18- to
21-year olds nationally, will create a shortage of college graduates in health
fields without new and innovative initiatives, such as MedNexus.
regarding the site locations and detailed timelines are being worked through
with MedNexus partners. UNF will provide more information as it becomes