Mayo Clinic in Florida opens Downtown Jacksonville site focused on education, research

Published on September 12, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Mayo Clinic in Florida on Tuesday officially opened what it’s calling a Community Health Collaborative in Downtown Jacksonville. The office is aimed at helping researchers understand the healthcare needs of the community while sharing health education and biomedical research that supports their needs.

“Expanding Mayo Clinic’s footprint into Downtown Jacksonville with a dedicated space for community engagement and Mayo Clinic research teams allows us to fully explore innovative solutions that address the community’s most pressing health issues,” said Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida, in an emailed statement. “This is truly an exciting time for our teams, and we look forward to reaching more of our community.”

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The site, in the Edward Ball Building near City Hall, will have dedicated areas for community health education, clinical trial participation outreach and more. Mayo Clinic will not provide medical care at the location.

“We’re excited to bring our local community in Downtown Jacksonville expanded access to everything Mayo Clinic research offers to help improve health outcomes,” says Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, dean of research at Mayo Clinic in Florida. “We’re working with our neighbors to collaborate on research studies that directly address the needs of the community and help us discover more possible treatments and cures. Our researchers also will gain valuable insight from the people we serve so we may continue our commitment to address healthcare issues important to populations in the areas we serve.”

Celebrating the new center’s ribbon cutting are: (left to right): Doug Murrell, operations Administrator, COE, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; Monica Albertie, director of Operations; Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero; Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, dean of research, Mayo Clinic in Florida; Dr. Kim Barbel Johnson; Mayo Clinic in Florida CEO Kent Thielen; Folakemi Odedina, Enterprise Deputy Director, COE, MCCCC; Mayo Clinic in Florida Chief Administrative Officer AJ Dunn; Dr. Floyd Willis; Brian Hultgren, vice chair, research administration; Janice Krieger, associate director, COE, MCCCC in Florida; Alexis Jackson, operations administrator, MCCCC in Florida; David Martin, chair, campus planning – projects & operations, Mayo Clinic in Florida | Submitted by Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Community Health Collaborative’s offerings will include:

  1. Mayo Clinic Community Engagement Studios, a program aimed at helping researchers work directly with community members. Community experts sign up to participate and meet virtually with Mayo Clinic researchers to provide consultation, guidance and advice on reaching community members. The benefits of this process are meant to be mutual, as researchers gain insights and community members learn about research that may affect them and others with similar experiences.
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  3. The Mayo Clinic Community Research Registry, a database of diverse people who have consented to be contacted for biomedical research opportunities including clinical trials and biospecimen research. The goal of the registry is to reduce the disproportionate effect of disease in racially and ethnically diverse communities. About 250 members of the Jacksonville community are already enrolled in the registry.
  4. The Community Scientist Program, made up of “community scientists,” or community members who collaborate with medical researchers to improve the health of those in their communities. Members participate in activities such as providing input on study designs, reviewing study recruitment materials for cultural appropriateness and giving community presentations to advocate for research. The program supports biomedical research advocates in local neighborhoods and helps them build trust between Mayo Clinic and their neighbors.
  5. Community-Engaged Research Advisory Boards, which are community members who volunteer to consult with researchers. Board members are from a variety of backgrounds, meet regularly, and have broad scientific and local cultural knowledge. Board members also may work with community partners to develop activities to address community health needs.

author image Editor Jessica Palombo is editor of Jacksonville Today Jacksonville is her hometown.
author image Editor Jessica Palombo is editor of Jacksonville Today Jacksonville is her hometown.

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