Governor Rick Scott Highlights $80 Million in Cancer Research Funding in Jacksonville

Governor Rick Scott was joined by University of Florida Health officials to support a proposed $80 million investment for cancer research funding in Florida as part of the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.” During an event at the UF Proton Therapy Institute, Governor Scott highlighted the proposed funding for cancer research that includes $60 million for existing Florida Cancer Centers to assist in achieving National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, and another $20 million commitment for peer-reviewed research grants.

Governor Scott said, “Cancer research funding is important to the health and well-being of countless Floridians. It is because of the work of Florida’s cancer centers that patients can receive world-class treatment and the needed support to beat this terrible disease. We must continue to focus on enhancing Florida’s cancer research community until Florida is the best in the nation for research.”

Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the UF Proton Therapy Institute is staffed, situated and structured as a major clinical research facility, and serves as a center for multidisciplinary research involving all interests that touch cancer and its treatment. Since opening its doors in August 2006, the institute has used proton therapy to treat 5,000 patients from Florida, North America and across the world. Our patients enjoy access to one of the most advanced noninvasive cancer treatment tools available. The goal of the institute is to make proton cancer treatment a confident choice for those who need it most, dedicated to delivering proton cancer treatment in a way that takes the entire patient into account.

“An investment in cancer research is above all an investment in saving lives,” said Mayor Brown. “It’s also an investment in job creation because health care is important to Florida’s economy. Jacksonville is already a premier destination for top-quality patient care, and we want to build on that success. As a city, as a state, we need to stay on the leading edge of innovation and progress in medical research and health care.”

Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of UF Health, said, “As Florida quickly becomes the third-most-populous state in the country, it is imperative that its citizens have access to world-class cancer care – and it is through partnership and collaboration that we stand the best chance of finding better treatments and potential cures. Governor Scott’s proposed legislation can dramatically accelerate our work and move the state of Florida into the national spotlight for innovation in health care, and that’s great news for everyone we serve.”

Stuart Klein, executive director of the UF Proton Therapy Institute, said, “From creating a world-class treatment facility and a destination for exceptional care to the halo effect on the local economy, the UF Proton Therapy Institute is a powerful example of how partnership with the state of Florida and the city of Jacksonville has paid enormous dividends. We are able to change people’s lives for the better because our legislators and community members believed in our work. Imagine what can happen with Gov. Scott’s proposed funding to support the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers.”

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong said, “Governor Rick Scott’s proposal will make Florida a destination for patients who are seeking safe and effective cancer treatment from around the world. The ‘It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget’ will ensure that cancer centers in our state work together to offer Florida’s families comprehensive care based on state-of-the-art research.”

Governor Scott’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” provides designated funding that will help Florida’s Cancer Centers meet the rigorous scientific and research criteria required for the NCI designation. NCI-designated Cancer Centers provide the latest in medical discoveries to patients, serve the educational needs of health professionals and promote health equity throughout communities. This funding will further enhance Florida’s robust system for cancer research and collaboration which already includes projects funded by the peer-reviewed William G. “Bill” Bankhead, Jr. and David Coley Cancer Research Program, and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program, both which were established by the Florida Legislature.


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