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Posted December 4, 2013
Governor Scott Visits All Children’s, Stresses Support of Graduate Medical Education

Gov. Scott meets Dr. Iyer
(L-R) Dr. Pallavi Iyer and ACH V.P. of Nursing, Hella Ewing, RN meet Gov. Rick Scott
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Florida Governor Rick Scott visited All Children's Hospital Wednesday morning to underscore his support of graduate medical education, while also giving high to praise to the ACH medical staff and mission.

"We're not going to have a great state if we don't have a great health care system," Scott said before a battery of TV crews, assembled on the outdoor play area of All Children's. "And one of the most important things we can do is make sure we have great doctors."

Scott commended the work done at several other hospitals in the region and USF Health. And he complimented ACH President and Physician in Chief Jonathan Ellen, M.D. on his accomplishments and vision, standing on a stage that also included Elizabeth Dudek, Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration; Pallavi Iyer, M.D., head of the All Children's endocrinology department; Jennifer Casatelli, M.D., an ACH hospitalist; and All Children's surgeon Paul Danielson, M.D.

"At All Children's hospital, (Dr. Ellen) is leading the academic transformation through the development of new education and research programs, including the innovative All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Pediatric Residency and Training Program that begins next July," Scott said. "I want to congratulate Dr. Ellen and the entire team at All Children's for all their great work."

Scott then stressed the importance of graduate medical education in building strong residency programs and creating future physicians who will put down roots in Florida.

"Today's medical students are tomorrow's doctors," he said. "More doctors in Florida means less wait times, more access to health care services and keeping some of our brightest in our state."

Scott introduced Dr. Iyer as one such talented physician. She moved from Ohio to become a resident and fellow at the University of South Florida before coming to All Children's. "Dr. Iyer has been able to experience Florida as a student, a doctor and now a teacher here at All Children's Hospital," said Scott. "We should all be very thankful for physicians like Dr. Iyer, who studied here and will continue to practice so they can benefit every one of our families, especially when we have a time of need."

Dr. Iyer then stepped to the podium, reflecting on her journey through residency and fellowship to become a specialist who cares for children and diabetes and other endocrine disorders. "I learned so much over the countless hours I spent here under the guidance of my pediatricians and sub-specialists," she said. "I have made life-long friends and I have a cadre of mentors over the years who still guide me. My training in pediatrics and endocrine fellowship wouldn't be possible without the support for graduate medical education."

Dr. Ellen also stressed the vital role of a residency program and the need for graduate medical education.

"Residency really does establish your trajectory for where you're going to go and where you're going to work," he said. "And having your residency in Florida is essential to draw brains and talent into the state, and then keep them in the state. That's really what our goal has been."

"Recently, as we have moved to a capitated system for care of children - and re-worked what I think is a more efficient way that we are reimbursed by Medicaid for our care - there needed to be an adjustment made to how we managed and paid for graduate medical education," he added. "As many of you know, we're paid in part by the federal government, but that's insufficient to be able to support the kind of costs that come with training the future doctors of this country. So we were lucky enough that the governor and the state legislature stood up and made a commitment to funding graduate medical education. For that, we're very thankful."

After the press conference, Dr. Ellen and members of the ACH medical team led Scott on a tour of the hospital, where he visited 18-year-old Ashley Krueger of Sarasota. Ashley met the governor in 2011 when she was a student at Sarasota Military Academy. Already batting cancer at that time, she was chosen to serve as his host for the day at the school. Since then, they have maintained a friendship and when Scott heard Ashley was at All Children's for a doctor's appointment, he made sure to stop by to visit and she how she was doing.


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