The proposed health care education facility has been included in the Florida Board of Governors 2020-2021 Legislative Budget Request.
The University of North Florida's proposal to build a health care education hub in Palm Coast will proceed to the Florida Legislature for approval.
UNF MedNex would train students in nursing, rehabilitation, counseling, nutrition, hard sciences, medical engineering and related fields.
The Florida Board of Governors approved its 2020-2021 Legislative Budget Request, which includes a request for $12 million for the initial year of the UNF proposal, in a unanimous vote at a board meeting Nov. 22, according to a board spokeswoman.
The proposed facility, called UNF MedNex, would be built in the Palm Coast Town Center Innovation District and would train students in nursing, rehabilitation, counseling, nutrition, hard sciences, medical engineering and related fields. It would involve a partnership between UNF, the city of Palm Coast, AdventHealth, Allete Energy, and the Flagler County School District, among others.
Local city and county officials have supported it, and county commissioners voted at a recent board meeting to place the proposal at the top of the county government's annual legislative priorities list this year. County Administrator Jerry Cameron has said that if the proposal is accomplished, UNF MedNex would probably be "the biggest thing to happen to Flagler County since ITT.”
The proposal was approved in various Board of Governor committee meetings before it appeared for the full Board of Governors vote Nov. 22. The Board of Governors is responsible for governing the state's universities, and screens universities' requests for state funds before those requests are forwarded to the Legislature for approval, and, from there, to the governor.
The UNF MedNex proposal had previously met with enthusiastic support from the Board of Governors Strategic Planning Committee after UNF President David Szymanski presented it during a meeting on Oct. 3.
See previous coverage of UNF MedNex here: https://www.palmcoastobserver.com/article/university-of-north-florida-proposes-palm-coast-nexus-for-healthcare-education.