The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), pleased to take a lead in efforts to spark community support for building a medical school at the University of Central Florida (UCF), has pledged $1,000,000.00, contingent upon the approval of the Medical School by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors.
The pledge, one of the first from the community, was designed to tangibly demonstrate to the Governors this community’s support for the development of a UCF medical school, and its recognition that Florida needs more physicians. It is hoped the new medical school can help meet that need.
As a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of children and youth, older adults and the uninsured, the WPHF found the case to create a local medical school compelling, said Patricia A. Maddox, WPHF president and CEO.
Studies show that the supply of upcoming physicians falls far short of demand in Florida. In fact, they show Florida is 26th in the number of physicians per 100,000 population, and it imports 80 to 90 percent of its new doctors. Such shortages can result in less than equitable health care, increases in health care costs and a drop in health care quality—all issues of great concern to the WPHF.
“Our foundation has a history of supporting the UCF College of Health & Public Affairs, and various other university/faculty projects and programs. In fact, WPHF helped fund studies that have underscored the need for a medical school in Central Florida,” Ms. Maddox said. The region is not only in need of such a program and facility, but the WPHF pledge demonstrates its willingness to support its development.
“There’s no doubt that UCF has all the ingredients necessary to support the creation of an excellent new medical school,” she said.