Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

Florida Enacts Health Workforce Legislation, Teaching Hospital Designation

Faridat Animashaun
April 1, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on March 21 signed a legislative package that aims to increase the number of health care workers and promote industry innovation.

The “Live Healthy” initiative, spearheaded by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R), will invest more than $1.5 billion into the state’s health care workforce over the next 10 years:

  • SB 7016 dedicates $717 million to increasing residency slots, along with supporting loan forgiveness programs and tuition reimbursement programs for health care professionals, particularly those who choose to care for underserved populations.
  • SB 7018 invests $50 million a year to establish a health innovation loan program, which will prioritize applicants who provide care in medically underserved areas.
  • SB 330 will designate four behavioral health teaching hospitals to strengthen the behavioral health workforce. Additional hospitals can be designated starting in 2025. These hospitals will receive $100 million a year for three years and additional funding for workforce development, such as psychiatry residency positions. The four initial behavioral health teaching hospitals are association members:
    • Tampa General Hospital, in Tampa, affiliated with the University of South Florida.
    • Jackson Memorial Hospital, in Miami, and the University of Miami.
    • UF Health Shands Hospital, in Gainesville, and UF Health Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, affiliated with the University of Florida.

Contact Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Beth Feldpush, DrPH, at bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0111 with questions.

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