Jacksonville City Council cements UF’s presence in region, grants $10 million for new trauma center

by | Mar 30, 2023


  • The Jacksonville City Council unanimously voted to contribute $10 million towards UF Health’s construction of a new emergency department and trauma center. 
  • The new facility is expected to generate over 5,000 new employment opportunities in the Jacksonville area, and it is planned to replace the current facility at UF Health Jacksonville to serve residents of several counties.
  • Upon completion, the hospital will be the sole level-one trauma center in northeast Florida.
  • The council also approved a motion this month to allocate $50 million across the next three years to support the development of a separate new graduate campus proposed by the University of Florida.

The Jacksonville City Council unanimously voted to contribute $10 million in funding towards UF Health’s construction of a new emergency department and trauma center.

The new trauma center, named in honor of Dr. Leon Haley Jr., will serve as the sole level-one trauma center in northeast Florida. Currently, the nearest level-one trauma centers are located in Gainesville and Savannah, Georgia. Moreover, the new facility is expected to generate over 5,000 new employment opportunities in the Jacksonville area, according to the University of Florida.

The new trauma center is planned to replace the current facility at UF Health Jacksonville and intends to serve residents of Duval, Nassau, Clay, and St. Johns counties. The center will be built to provide a safer environment for Baker Act patients and others with mental health issues; The project is expected to be completed and operational in the next four years.

The funding allocation comes nearly a year after Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded $80 million of state funding for the project.

Earlier this month, the Jacksonville City Council approved a motion to allocate $50 million across the next three years to support the development of a separate new graduate campus proposed by the University of Florida, bolstering the university’s presence in the region.

With a 16 to 1 vote, the measure received near-unanimous support from the council, authorizing the allocation of $20 million in the current fiscal year towards future expenditures including planning, design, and other ancillary costs. City Council documents show that the remaining $30 million will require approval from its legislative body before being dispersed to UF in 2024 and 2025.

The project is estimated to have an aggregate cost of $100 million over a three-year period and the grant will be disbursed on an annual basis to the UF Board of Trustees. The establishment of the satellite campus is expected to have a strong economic impact on Jacksonville through the creation of high-paying jobs and the development of a graduate education pool.

As developments progress, city and university officials plan to coordinate with industry leaders in Jacksonville to determine which educational subject areas would best satisfy the critical needs of the local workforce.

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