Mayo Clinic in Florida, Nemours Children’s Health extends health care collaboration

Mayo Clinic in Florida and Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville announced April 30 a 10-year extension of their three-decade collaboration to improve health care in the region and train future physicians and health care workers.

The collaboration will continue to focus on medical training, research and clinical care, specifically in pediatrics, where there is a significant shortage of pediatricians in Florida and the US, according to a news release

“We are committed to creating the healthiest generations of children and our partnership with Mayo helps to achieve that goal,” Dr. Michael Erhard, North Florida region president of Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, said in the release.

Mayo Clinic and Nemours agreed to expand educational programs for staff, residents, fellows, students and other health care professionals; explore opportunities to advance cooperative programs of clinical and basic science research at both institutions; and explore future opportunities to collaborate.

The health care institutions began their collaboration in 1993.

“Our unwavering commitment to improving patient care, conducting groundbreaking research and fostering education will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the future of healthcare,” Dr. Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida, said in the release.

Mayo Clinic residents, fellows and staff obtain specialty training at Nemours, including medical rotations to obtain hands-on experience in various subspecialties of pediatrics.

The training is crucial in the wake of a significant shortage of pediatricians in Florida and the US, the release said.

Florida is below the national average, with just 83 pediatricians for every 100,000 children, according to the American Board of Pediatrics.

Across the US, physicians in many pediatric subspecialties are in short supply, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This means children and families face challenges in accessing timely health care, including traveling long distances to get care, waiting weeks or months to get an appointment, going without care or getting care from health care professionals who have less specialized training, the release said.

“This relationship has been critical for the development and expansion of the education programs at Mayo Clinic,” said Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero, vice dean of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. “Our medical school and many of our residency and fellowship programs would not have been possible without the training and mentorship efforts of our Nemours colleagues.”

Another benefit of the collaboration is that Nemours clinical and research staff may be considered for appointment to the faculty of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, according to the release.

“This announcement underscores the value and importance of partnerships between two academic institutions, aligned by a common mission to further the health of future generations of children through medical education partnerships,” said Dr. Raj Sheth, designated institutional official at Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville.