The University of North Florida’s MedNexus received $6 million in funding through the 2020-21 state budget passed by the Legislature and signed June 29 by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It will be the nation’s first comprehensive, university-based medical and health care facility to connect health care providers with university students, faculty and researchers, according to a news release from UNF.
“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 university President David Szymanski in the release.
UNF MedNexus plans to partner with Brooks Health, 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 lab, as well as a medical technology innovation lab, in Jacksonville.
The medical technology lab will house specialized equipment, including Shimadzu molecular analyzers, which will be used by Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Children’s St. Petersburg and Baptist MD Anderson to develop early diagnostics for diseases such as cancers and neurological disorders.
Partners will include Florida State College at Jacksonville, St. Johns River State College and Daytona State College, as well as local secondary school systems.
Through partnership with the city of Palm Coast, AdventHealth of Palm Coast and Allete Energy, MedNexus will extend UNF’s nursing programs and partner on a second simulation lab in Palm Coast.
Health care jobs are expected to account for 23% of the state’s growth between 2016 and 2024.