The proposed UNF health care training campus will need financial backing from the state.
The Palm Coast city government has shared renderings of a proposed University of North Florida health care training facility called UNF MedNex that — if it gets funding support from the state government — would be built in Palm Coast’s Town Center.
The facility would serve as a hub for regional healthcare training, partnering with major medical facilities and preparing students for positions such as physician assistant, occupational therapist, genetic counselor, audiologist, nurse anesthetist and others.
Together, those professions have an average annual salary of $76,000, according to a flier about MedNex released by the city, and the state is expected to see 23% job growth in health care between 2016 and 2024, accounting for 200,000 new jobs.
"This is economic development at its finest, and much-needed jobs in the region. ... This will be the anchor to catapult and launch many other initiatives that I think will transform our community."
— MILISSA HOLLAND, Palm Coast mayor
The renderings released by the city show MedNex as a futuristic building with a planted roof, lined by palm trees and overlooking a pond.
Sen. Travis Hutson, speaking by phone on Flagler Broadcasting’s Free For All Friday radio program on Feb. 7, said the Legislature is still in the negotiations for funding. The state university system has requested $12 million for MedNex.
“We’re working as hard as we can to try to get it done for you,” he said. “I think the biggest hurdle we’re running into is, there’s only so much money to go around in the budget, and where’s that sweet spot on how many dollars can we get to try to get the programs going? And we’re trying to push for every single dollar. So, we’re not settling for something small, we’re trying to push for more and more.” That will take another couple weeks as the Legislature finalizes its budget, he said.
Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland, also speaking on the radio program, said the MedNex project has regional significance.
“This impacts all the way from Nassau County to Brevard County,” she said. “This is economic development at its finest, and much-needed jobs in the region. ... This will be the anchor to catapult and launch many other initiatives that I think will transform our community.”