Governor Crist Discusses Economic Outlook with Local Business, Community Leaders

- Posted: 06/08/10
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~ Visits new Capital Regional Medical Center Gadsden Memorial Campus, set to create 50 jobs ~

TALLAHASSEE – Continuing his commitment to strengthening Florida’s economy, Governor Charlie Crist today met with Gadsden County business, community and government leaders during a roundtable to discuss the economic climate in Gadsden County and throughout Florida. Following the meeting, the Governor visited the new Capital Regional Medical Center Gadsden Memorial Campus which is slated to create an estimated 50 jobs after its grand opening later this month. In 2009, the Governor signed legislation extending the period for which a hospital’s certificate of need is valid, allowing the hospital an opportunity to renew its license and reopen for business.

“It is important that our neighbors in smaller, more rural counties have the same access to health care and economic opportunity that other larger counties have access to,” said Governor Crist. “I appreciate the local leaders for their candor and am pleased that while we are increasing access to healthcare, we are also creating jobs for our talented, well-trained workforce.”

The new Capital Regional Medical Center Gadsden Memorial Campus will have emergency care available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Of the 50 jobs expected to be created, nearly 20 of those jobs are anticipated to be local hires. State-of-the-art medical equipment and technology such x-ray, CT, as well as lab services and radiology will be available. The Governor was joined by Representative Alan Williams for the visit.

Today’s hospital visit builds on the Governor’s ongoing dedication to strengthening health care for Gadsden County residences. In November 2007, Governor Crist met with members of the Gadsden County Commission to discuss ways the Executive Office of the Governor could assist in addressing the county’s greatest needs. Governor Crist dispatched a leadership team to offer support and technical assistance from state agencies to address the needs identified by Gadsden County leaders. Among other tasks, executive staff was charged with improving access to health care, educating Gadsden County residents about available assistance through the ACCESS program, and creating a greater safety net for all uninsured through partnerships between county health departments and primary care networks in 14 counties with the greatest need, including Gadsden County.

Additionally, the Governor supported the installation of a photovoltaic system at East Gadsden County High School and West Gadsden High School through the SunSmart school program, an educational initiative that supports professional development for teachers and educational materials for students on solar energy. The Governor’s Office of Tourism Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) has also allocated Rural Infrastructure Funds to the City of Gretna for ongoing assistance and guidance on economic development projects, including more than $113,000 for the State Road 12/Interstate 10 Corridor Wastewater Collection System line.