Representative Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, visited the University of Florida on July 30 and heard from deans of Health Science Center colleges about the progress made in patient care and research as a result of state funding. The deans, including Michael L. Good, interim dean of the College of Medicine; Kathleen Long, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., dean of the College of Nursing, and College of Dentistry Dean Teresa Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H.; thanked Cretul for his ongoing support.
“Your support touched all three of the College of Medicine’s missions; education, patient care and research,” Good said.
The 2009 Florida legislative session was an important one for UF and its medical school. College of Medicine funding from the state has decreased significantly in the last five years, and it falls well behind other Florida medical schools in terms of per-student funding – specifically the two new schools at the University of Central Florida and Florida International University and the recently built Florida State University’s medical school.
Cretul was instrumental in bringing this issue to light and in helping UF find advocates in the legislature to begin to close the funding gap between the UF College of Medicine and other state medical schools.
Last year, UF’s College of Medicine received $4.5 million in recurring funds from the legislature, and this year, another $5 million was added.
At the gathering Cretul spoke about how critical is it for all sides to be “at the table” when it comes to budget and policy discussions.
“You need to be at the table because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” he said. “And in today’s budget climate you better bring a knife and fork with you.”