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Health care improves quality of life

“We are one of only a handful of academic health centers in the country that feature the full complement of medical colleges, research facilities and hospitals we have. Through this unique combination, which includes the No. 1 research hospital in the state, we serve millions of patients each year — from every county in the state and every state in the nation, and from dozens of countries around the world. The landmark research we conduct changes lives and leads to innovative treatments that advance care and allow patients to achieve the best possible outcomes and return to a great quality of life.”

Those words by David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president of health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, pretty much sum up his university’s impact both near and far.

UF Health is ranked No. 11 by U.S. News & World Report for pediatric cardiology.

The region offers a virtual who’swho of medical standouts, which also includes Florida Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees, M.D. He is a professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and physician-in-chief of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, part of UF Health.

Aside from being the university’s academic health center, UF Health provides the broad spectrum of patientcare services through its family of hospitals and clinical programs.

Notably, much of the prowess also can be attributed to UF’s College of Medicine, ranked No. 43 in the nation and No. 19 among public medical schools for medical research, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Not far away, North Florida Regional Medical Center, an HCA member hospital, is undergoing a $90 million expansion, highlighted by the addition of three floors and 78 private patient rooms to its South Tower, which also is expected to result in 269 new jobs.

Says Eric Lawson, CEO of the medical center, “This new expansion just goes to show that growth and advancement is the North Florida way.”

Such investment, in fact, is occurring across Gainesville. Another example: Since 2009, there has been approximately $1 billion of investment in health care on a half-mile stretch along one thoroughfare, Archer Road, which also has helped to spur medical tourism.

“The investment is huge. People fly over great places [other cities] to get to Gainesville. And they fly their pets, too,” comments Bryan Harrington, director of development and construction for Trimark Properties, which specializes in commercial real estate projects.

Health Care By the Numbers

9 hospitals

2 animal hospitals

9 research institutes and centers

2 regional campuses

2,404 instructional, research and clinical faculty

100-plus physician practices

490,016 patients treated from all 67 Florida counties

20,778 patients from across the U.S.

UF Health Care By the Numbers

$4.6 billion – UF Health’s contribution to Florida’s overall economy

$3.8 billion – total revenue for UF Health

33,000 jobs – through direct employment and indirect spending

$410 million in NIH funding for UF Health

$837 million – total UF research funding in 2018

$349 million – total research funding for UF College of Medicine

$100 million – UF College of Medicine research awards from NIH in 2017

–Source: UF