The University of Florida and Dr. George T. Wilks, the first African American physician to practice medicine in Florida, have created the National Medical Innovation Center.

Its mission is to support the development of medical innovation through the creation of partnerships with state and local health care systems, industry and non-profit organizations, and academic research and training.

Dr. Wilkins, the founding director of the Center, has led the efforts to create the center since its founding in 2013.

The center was founded as part of the state’s Strategic Plan to Advance Medicine, a blueprint for the creation and development of a nationwide network of advanced medical technology, innovation and clinical resources.

Its current mission is the creation, design and implementation of the nation’s largest public-private partnership to create and support advanced health care technology, including advanced medical technologies, clinical and research research and collaboration, and advanced medical services.

Its first two partners, University of Miami and the Florida Department of Health and Human Services, are currently collaborating on the Center’s mission.

Other partners include the University of South Florida, University Health Network, the National Institutes of Health, the Florida Hospital Association, and Florida Hospital Research Foundation.

The Center was created to address the needs of the growing number of Florida residents seeking the care of doctors who have contributed to the development and deployment of advanced health technology.

It is also designed to address a growing number who are seeking additional expertise in the development, delivery, and delivery of clinical, biomedical, and radiologic services.

The Center’s main goals are to: • Improve the quality of care and quality of life for patients and families, particularly among those who are older and need the most care and care coordination.

• Provide high-quality, affordable health care for patients with complex medical conditions.

• Support the advancement of innovative health care technologies and medical education and training, and improve patient outcomes and quality.

• Enhance patient and family wellness through innovative medical research and clinical education.

The Centers role includes: • Providing a place for physicians, health care professionals, nurses and other professionals to collaborate, share ideas, and exchange information to develop a better understanding of how medical research, clinical, and medical services are delivered.

• Advancing research on the intersection of medical research with patient care, particularly the development or delivery of advanced therapies and technologies.

• Facilitating the delivery of medical services and improving the effectiveness of medical care.

The centers efforts are focused on: • Increasing the availability of high- quality, affordable, and effective health care and health care delivery.

• Increasing access to quality care and providing care to the most vulnerable, including women, children, and older adults.

• Ensuring patient outcomes through better clinical outcomes and the improvement of patient outcomes.

The University is the center’s second partner, working closely with the Florida Health Care Research Foundation and the National Institute of Health.

The National Institutes will provide support for the development as well as implementation of new and innovative clinical technologies.

In 2018, Dr. T. Scott O’Neal, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University’s Osceola Medical Center, became the first black medical resident to become a physician.

Dr O’Neil has been active in Florida’s medical community since 2005.

In his tenure, he has developed a variety of innovative medical technologies and research initiatives, including the first patient-centered, patient-focused, and quality-based outpatient clinic in the country.

Dr. O’Neill, who also served as the first medical resident in the state to be awarded the Florida Distinguished Service Medal in 2010, said the Center is one of many initiatives that are advancing Florida’s future as a leader in medical innovation.

“It is truly an honor to be here at the helm of this pioneering program,” Dr. O`Neill said.

“This is a great opportunity to bring together a diverse team of doctors and scientists who share the vision of advancing Florida medical innovation and care to patients and their families.”