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UNF and Region’s Hospitals Launch Initiative to Increase Health Care Professional Pipeline

The highly qualified talent pool in the Jacksonville region will continue to grow with a recent announcement from the University of North Florida (UNF). UNF’s plans for an expanded health care platform are getting $6 million in funding from the state of Florida to create the UNF MedNexus Program, a comprehensive, university-based medical and health care facility. The facility is the first of its kind in the nation to address the anticipated shortfall of health care professionals.

MedNexus connects health care providers with university students, faculty and researchers with the goal to become an area leader and catalyst in preparing high-quality health care professionals in Northeast Florida in an innovative way.  With health care jobs expected to account for 23 percent of the state’s growth between 2016 and 2024, these types of programs are imperative to keep up with demands on the regional talent pool.

UNF MedNexus plans to partner with many health care systems throughout the area 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 part of UNF MedNexus, the university will build a health care simulation and medical technology innovation labs in Jacksonville, with a satellite campus at AdventHealth in Flagler County. The first cohort will begin in January 2021 at the Palm Coast location.

In addition to providing this opportunity to the UNF community, the MedNexus program will partner with regional state colleges of Florida State College at Jacksonville, St. Johns River State College and Daytona State College and work with high schools to provide opportunities for additional growth throughout the area to further bolster the talent pool. The partnerships will help to enhance the opportunity for students across the region to gain the access, training and experience necessary to seek career opportunities in health care.

Health care opportunities remain on the rise with a need for a constant workforce pipeline. Leaders in the health care community, like UNF and those partnering with them on the MedNexus project, will work to continue providing the curriculum and excellent care for the Greater Jacksonville community while creating new jobs throughout the region.