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FSU and Tallahassee Memorial break ground on shared medical campus in Panama City Beach

St. Joe Co.
via Florida State University
Attending a groundbreaking ceremony for the medical campus in Panama City Beach are, from Left: Florida State College of Nursing dean Jing Wang, Panama City campus dean Randy Hanna, Florida A&M-FSU College of Engineering dean Suvranu De, FSU College of Medicine senior associate dean Alma Littles, FSU president Richard McCullough, FSU first lady Jai Vartikar, vice president for Research Stacey Patterson, and Chief Clinical Officer Joe Frascella.

The project is part of the university's long-term goal of climbing higher in national rankings and will also serve a massive retirement community that just completed its 1,000th home.

Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital have moved forward in a big way by breaking ground on their shared medical campus in Panama City Beach.

The project is part of FSU’s long-term goal of climbing higher in national rankings, which it has identified as a weakness is obtaining federal health funding. The school has made it a priority to get more money for health-related research from the National Institutes of Health.

Research funding is one of many metrics used to determine national rankings, and it’s also something on the state’s radar as colleges and universities vie for additional funding from the Legislature.

The campus will serve a nearby massive retirement community that just completed its 1,000th home.

“We see this transformational for our university, for building transformational health care, but also health care technology and research that will make a difference in the future,” said FSU president Richard McCullough during a groundbreaking ceremony for the site.

During McCullough’s hiring process, the medical campus was top-of-mind for many presidential search committee members, as was the need to grow the school’s health care research.

The new medical campus will feature specialty practices and a 100-bed hospital, where FSU medical students can train and be overseen by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital physicians. Plans also include an 80,000-square-foot medical office building scheduled to be complete in 2024.

Port St. Joe Land Co. is developing the retirement community. It benefits from the partnership by having a local medical practice to serve the needs of the 55-and-older residents who will be moving to its massive Margaritaville-branded retirement village.

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.