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Tallahassee Memorial Hospital land designated for FSU's academic health center

Florida State University
This is an artist's rendering of the FSU Health academic health center, a facility that will offer advanced medical training and translational research opportunities. On March 8, 2023, The land will be built with $125 million appropriated to the university by the Legislature in 2022

The center, a joint venture of the two institutions, will provide about 130,000-square-feet of medical and research-related space.

Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare announced Wednesday they have designated land for a planned academic health center on the hospital’s campus in Tallahassee.

The center will provide about 130,000-square-feet of medical and research-related space, according to the health system.

In a news conference at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, university president Richard McCollough said the project, a joint venture between the school and hospital, will be “transformational for the region.”

“Not only to shore up the health of our community health care, but also to help increase the already health care that we have in Tallahassee by bringing researchers that are also physicians to the region,” he said.

According to Tallahassee Memorial, the center will accommodate about 30 principal investigators to produce an estimated $40 million of additional annual grant funding through clinical trials, data-driven precision health, digital health and clinical informatics, and clinical and translational research.

The facility will expand FSU’s medical instruction program, the school said.

Last year, the Legislature appropriated $125 million to the university to build an "FSU Health" center in Tallahassee.

It’s the second joint venture involving FSU and the health system. Along with the St. Joe Co., the are also partners on a shared medical campus under construction in Panama City Beach. That campus is meant to service a massive retirement community under construction nearby.

Tallahassee Memorial president and CEO Mark O’Bryant praised the partnership.

“We’ve been partners with FSU for a long period of time,” he said. “But the announcements we make [Wednesday] are going to cement that partnership even further.”

In a statement, McCollugh said the projects are meant to build a “health care ecosystem throughout North Florida” in response to population growth in the Panhandle. He noted that many of the Panhandle's counties are medically underserved.

According to the state, of the 29 counties considered “fiscally constrained” (they don’t generate enough revenue to cover their infrastructure costs), nearly half are in North Florida.

McCollough also said the Tallahassee and Panama City Beach projects will provide more opportunities for FSU medical students to have residencies and clinical rotations.

Florida has been working to increase the number of residencies in an effort to retain doctors amid a nationwide physician shortage.

FSU and the health system also announced the creation of a 10-member transitional committee to provide assistance on the Tallahassee center and other projects. It will be chaired by Kevin “Casey” Nolan, a partner with the global consulting firm Guidehouse.

WFSU reporter Brendan Brown and Health News Florida producer Rick Mayer contributed to this report.

Brendan Brown