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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Dec. 20, 201809:51 AM EST

Former Art Museum to be transformed into Innovation Center

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Dr. Ashraf Affan, founder and president of Angel Kids Pediatrics, bought the Midtown Centre property Dec. 4.
by: Scott Sailer Editorial Research Director

The former Jacksonville Art Museum in Midtown Centre is designed to become a health care innovation center.

Dr. Ashraf Affan, founder and president of Angel Kids Pediatrics, bought the property at 4160 Boulevard Center Drive in Midtown Centre on Dec. 4.

Affan envisions the building’s open floor plan as ideal for the planned “think tank” that he has not named.

He sees the closed museum as ideal for a collaborative space to promote health care in a value-based model, which looks at the outcomes and welfare of the community beyond the walls of the clinic.

Affan wants the center to be available for providers, customers, government, academics, and others to meet to study how to improve health care.

He seeks to build a statewide network for physicians to help improve performance and reduce the cost of health care.

Dr. Ashraf Affan, founder and president of Angel Kids Pediatrics, is the new owner of the property.

Affan, under the entity Boulevard Center 4160 LLC paid $1.04 million to Freestone Properties LLC for the 30,355-square-foot building, which was built in 1967 and served as the Jacksonville Art Museum.

The museum started in Riverside and moved to the Boulevard Center location in the Koger Center, an office park developed by the late businessman and arts patron, Ira Koger. The park has since become Midtown Centre.

In the late 1990s, the museum transitioned to Downtown but did not have a facility. It opened in 2003 at 333 N. Laura St. as the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and soon became the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

Ira Koger bought the Koger Center building in 1998 and it served as the Koger Gallery until 2001.

The building remained vacant until 2012 when it became an event space. Parts of the building also were used as office space for other business. The 4.66-acre property features a landscaped outdoor space that formerly was a sculpture garden.

Affan plans to open the facility in a few months. It also will house the administrative offices of Angel Kids Pediatrics.

He said his vision for an innovation center comes from how he has modeled Angel Kids Pediatrics to improve the quality while reducing the cost of health care.

He said he believes pediatrics is the beginning of health care and that healthier individuals lead to a healthier community.

Affan said health care has been shifting from a fee-for-service to the value-based model.

Affan plans to open the facility in a few months. It also will house the administrative offices of Angel Kids Pediatrics.

Angel Kids Pediatrics operates six clinics in Jacksonville and a seventh will open soon in North Jacksonville at 2040 Riverview St.

Affan said the North Jacksonville clinic is in Duval County Health Department's Health Zone 1, in the zip code 32208 of the urban core, which he calls a “medical desert” with minimal primary care.

Most patients in the area visit the emergency room at UF Health Jacksonville, formerly Shands Jacksonville Hospital, for expensive treatment, he said.

He said the North Jacksonville clinic is an extension of his vision for value-based medical care. In addition to the clinic, it will provide a community center, full kitchen, tutoring for kids, and other opportunities to work within the community.

Affan wants to use coordinators to work with schools and churches to look out for the welfare of children and families.

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