Dept. of Health would revamp cancer research programs

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The Florida Department of Health wants to revamp the state’s cancer-research programs, including setting up a process for institutions to compete for tax dollars, according to an agency budget request via the News Service of Florida.

The department said it will issue what is known as an “invitation to negotiate” aimed at “directing Florida’s investment in biomedical research towards the establishment of nationally recognized cancer research and treatment programs and comprehensive statewide cancer protocols.” It also said in the budget request that priority for funding would go to “institutions that promote Florida’s integrated system of cancer care; are recognized as comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute; have established collaborative state cancer care and research partnerships with a cancer hospital located in the state of Florida and have the capability to provide treatments to both adults and children.”

To carry out the changes, the department is seeking to transfer $25 million from parts of the budget that earmark money for biomedical research, the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program, the William G. Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. The Department of Health and other agencies submitted budget requests this week for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.