SF Partners with Heart of Florida to Address Healthcare Shortages

SF Partners with Heart of Florida to Address Healthcare Shortages

The Heart of Florida Healthcare Summit III will convene on Monday, Feb. 15 to continue the collaborative effort of finding new solutions to positively impact healthcare shortages in our region.

“The partnerships represented at the summit will be called upon as we leverage the Gainesville area’s unique and extensive health care assets into a thriving industry not only in Florida, but nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Sasser. “This cannot occur without skilled and adaptive knowledge workers and the vision represented by every participant at the summit.”

Guest speakers and panelists will provide perspectives, practices, and progress related to statewide and local healthcare issues, including Thomas Power, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Cliff Stearns; Mary Lou Brunell, Executive Director of the Florida Center for Nursing; Tracy Yacobellis, Florida Department of Education; Dr. R. Paul Duncan, Chair of Health Sciences Research, Management and Policy at UF; Dr. Kendra Siler-Marsigilio, Director of Rural Health Partnership; and area healthcare educators, CEOs and administrators.

One of the goals for Summit III is to begin work on a legislative plan that prioritizes the funding and assistance needed from the state to implement necessary healthcare reforms in our region, such as tuition relief for nurses to complete graduate studies in return for serving as faculty at state institutions of higher learning.

“Healthcare in the Heart of Florida is excellent,” said Ron Barnwell, Executive Director for the Heart of Florida Regional Coalition. “Bringing the regional healthcare leadership from Ocala, Gainesville, Lake City and Starke together to work on the common issues facing our future is a significant event. Such collaboration and leveraging of the expertise and experiences will help us continue to be leaders in this industry.”

The summit meets from 8 a.m.-noon on Monday at the Best Western Gateway Grand, 4200 NW 97th Blvd., Gainesville (32606). The summit is hosted by the Heart of Florida Healthcare Steering Committee and Santa Fe College.


  • Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser – to arrange an interview, please call his assistant, Tina Crosby, at 352-395-5164
  • Priscilla Parker, member, Summit Planning Team, 352-283-4055 (cell) or email to
  • Paul Hutchins, Dean of Educational Centers and Economic Development at Santa Fe College, 352-395-4420 or email to