Florida: Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis Award $20 Million to Support Innovative Cancer Research
The Floridant/10261129

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ~ TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis have announced a significant investment of $20 million towards cancer research in the state of Florida. This funding, awarded to various researchers across the state, is part of the Cancer Innovation Fund and aims to promote innovation, research, and lifesaving care for cancer patients in Florida.

During a press conference held today, Governor DeSantis expressed his administration's commitment to funding innovation in cancer research and care. He stated that through historic investments in cancer treatment, Florida is leading the way in fighting against this terrible disease and keeping patients and clinicians at the forefront of this mission.

First Lady Casey DeSantis also spoke about the importance of unleashing the power of innovation against cancer. She highlighted how technology is constantly improving but it can take years for patients to access new treatments. With this funding, Florida is bolstering state-of-the-art research to detect and fight cancer.

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Following the announcement, members of the Cancer Connect Collaborative held a roundtable discussion on how Florida is fostering cancer innovation and setting a standard for cancer research. Two awardees of this funding presented their projects to the Collaborative.

One project presented by Dr. Cody Wehrkamp, a Research Fellow at Mayo Clinic, aims to utilize biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer has a devastating prognosis with limited therapeutic options and early detection can significantly improve survival rates.

The second project presented by Dr. Justice Mbizo from the University of West Florida focuses on improving access to breast cancer screenings in rural areas of the Panhandle. This project involves a consortium of universities working together to increase early detection among rural women who may not have access to preventative care otherwise.

State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo praised First Lady Casey DeSantis' personal experience with cancer and her passion for fighting against it. He expressed confidence that this funding will lead to greater innovation and improve the lives of cancer patients not just in Florida, but around the world.

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Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Jason Weida also commended First Lady Casey DeSantis for her efforts in ensuring that technology is applied to healthcare at the same pace as it is improving. He stated that funding opportunities like this will allow researchers to uncover actionable data and create tangible results in cancer care.

Collaborative member and Chair of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, Representative Sam Garrison, also praised First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Cancer Connect Collaborative for their important work. He emphasized the significance of dedicated funding towards innovative cancer research in helping Florida families fight against cancer at every stage.

The Cancer Connect Collaborative is an expansion of Cancer Connect, an initiative launched by First Lady Casey DeSantis in August 2022 to provide cancer information and survivor stories. With Florida ranking second in the nation for newly diagnosed cancer cases, First Lady DeSantis is committed to supporting those facing cancer and promoting the world-class care available in Florida. Support for those affected by cancer can be found at Florida Cancer Connect.

Filed Under: Government, State

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