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Strategic Goals to Improve Health Outcomes in Florida

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111


TALLAHASSEE—The Biomedical Research Advisory Council (BRAC) today announced its Strategic Goals and Tactics for the James and Esther King and the Bankhead-Coley Biomedical Research Programs, aligning research objectives with improved health outcomes and state health priorities.

The purpose of this research agenda for Florida's biomedical research funding is to specify defined objectives to be accomplished in established time frames. This will allow the people of Florida to evaluate the health impacts of the research funded through the James and Esther King Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program.

“Our state’s Biomedical Research Advisory Council has acted quickly to develop a research agenda that concentrates energy on cancer and tobacco-related disease so we achieve health outcomes that matter to Florida’s children, adults and families,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “This research agenda brings Florida another step closer to becoming the premier destination for cancer treatment, research and prevention."

“The Strategic Goals and Tactics” for biomedical research in Florida are in place to guide our state’s brightest scientists as they design and carry out research that will have a number of important benefits: preventing the devastating costs of cancer diagnosis and treatment, increasing the number of lives saved, reducing side effects for those requiring treatment and discovering new approaches leading to cure in the future for individuals with cancer and tobacco related diseases," said Dr. Daniel Armstrong, Chair of the Biomedical Research Advisory Council. "The Biomedical Research Advisory Council believes the strategic plan will help us assure that our investment in cancer and tobacco-related research will give all of Florida’s residents a better chance at avoiding or surviving cancer.”

“Florida’s continued support of cancer-related research is critical to the future health of our state,” said Dr. Thomas J. George Jr., Chair of the Cancer Collaborative Research Advisory Council (CCRAB). “We must continue to create innovative treatment and research methods that will foster excellent cancer care in Florida.”

“We are encouraged by Florida’s commitment to funding innovative cancer research and treatment methods,” said Stephanie Leeds, Vice President of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society in Florida. “Florida’s cancer patients and their families will benefit as we continue to advance biomedical research.”

“The BRAC’s research agenda exemplifies Florida’s dedication to quality cancer care and research,” said State Representative Marti Coley. “As Florida continues to make strides in research, the state, nation and world’s cancer patients will benefit from our commitment to find results.”

“I am pleased with the direction and continued effort of the BRAC to address cancer in Florida,” said State Senator Denise Grimsley. “As we move forward with innovative research and treatment, organizations such as the BRAC will propel Florida to becoming the premier destination for cancer care.”

“Every 8 minutes, a woman in the United States dies of lung cancer making it the #1 cancer killer of women in the United States—and it has been since 1987. That’s why the American Lung Association in Florida is delighted with the BRAC’s goal of reducing tobacco use and decreasing deaths caused by lung cancer” said Brenda Olsen, the association’s chief operating officer. “Florida’s devotion to tobacco cessation and cancer research is crucial to reducing the harmful effects of cancer for all Floridians.”

The strategic goals and tactics were developed in an inclusive collaborative process that involved 16 public meetings. The goals and tactics are based on input from partners in the system of cancer research and collaboration in Florida, including researchers, the state’s cancer centers, and the American Cancer Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and other advisory groups including the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council and the Florida Prostate Cancer Advisory Council.

The purpose of the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program is to seek cures in tobacco-related diseases. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Florida. Diseases related to tobacco, such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other chronic lower respiratory diseases, were the third leading cause of death in 2012. The King program funds research initiatives that seek new insights and innovative solutions in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of Floridians afflicted by cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung disease and tobacco-related cancers.

The William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program advances progress toward cures for cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of death for Floridians, surpassing heart disease. Florida has the second highest cancer burden in the nation. In the three year period from 2009–2011, the total number of cancer deaths was nearly 123,000. On average, 100,000 new cancers are diagnosed in Florida every year. Funding through the Bankhead-Coley program significantly improves cancer research and treatment in the state.

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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