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Governor Scott’s Florida First Budget Will Make Florida First In Keeping Families And Visitors Healthy

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

November 23, 2015

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Nov. 23, 2015



Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—Governor Rick Scott’s Florida First budget invests nearly $2.8 billion to help keep Florida families healthy. The Florida First budget focuses on biomedical research efforts and continued technological improvements. With these advancements, Florida can become home to the leading cancer registry in the nation.

Governor Rick Scott said, “With a growing number of Florida residents and almost 100 million visitors each year, we must continue to do all we can to keep families and visitors healthy. The Florida Department of Health is working hard across our state each day, and this investment will give them additional tools they need to support health and wellness in the Sunshine State.”

“Through the Florida First Budget, Governor Scott has prioritized systems of public health that will keep Florida on the cutting edge of health improvement,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Governor Scott’s proposed funding will allow the department to better protect and improve our information technology services through increased integration across the state. It is also great news that the Governor is recommending further funding to enhance Florida’s statewide cancer registry. Our cancer registry is one of the most comprehensive registries in the nation, and this new investment will enable us to expand both its quality and completeness, translating into more effective research and care for our children, adults and families.”

Recommended Funding Highlights

$654,150 for Florida Cancer Registry Enhancements

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in Florida, which is why the department invests more than $82 million annually to research new treatments and cures and to better understand the disease. Tracking cases of cancer is key to these research efforts. The Florida Cancer Data System, Florida’s population-based, statewide cancer registry, is a joint project of the Florida Department of Health and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and has been collecting cancer incidences since 1981. Based on the recommendations from the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council, the funds will be used to enhance registry completeness, quality assurance and improved data utilization. Better tracking and understanding of cancer incidence data will enrich Florida’s already robust biomedical research industry.

Dr. Stephen D. Nimer, director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine said, “In Florida, we are proud to have the second largest cancer registry in the United States. The funding recommended by Governor Scott ensures that our registry will not only be maintained but improved upon for years to come, translating into a greater knowledge of cancers and cancer trends.”

Dr. Thomas George Jr., Chair of the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council said, “This funding for the Florida Cancer Registry will improve the existing registry by ensuring cancer specialists and policy makers can see the full burden of cancer affecting our citizens and their families.  By linking it to an automated web based data system, more stakeholders have access to this important information. We are delighted that the high quality data maintained in the Florida Cancer Registry will be more accurate and readily available."

$2.29 Million for Information Technology Security Risk Protections

This funding will help ensure the department’s information technology systems, which house personal and protected medical information, are protected from security risks. The advancements planned will also increase collaboration and communication between the department’s central office and our 67 county health departments, as well as other agency partners. With advancements in technology it is important to be a step ahead of security risks and to be prepared for disaster recovery situations.

Jody Bryant Newman, EdD, EdS, chair of the Florida Board of Nursing said “Governor Scott and the department’s continued investment in advancing information technology systems helps health care professionals obtain and renew licenses in a predictable and sustainable manner, ensuring that regulation does not impede them from performing important work.”

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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