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Posted May 20, 2014
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Pays a Visit to All Children’s Hospital
Atwater at the Biorepository
Jeff Atwater visits the ACH Biorepository

Bringing a message that the state is regaining its financial strength after some tough economic times, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater stopped by All Children's Hospital on May 19 to give hospital leaders an update on state issues and hear about hospital initiatives. This was Atwater's second visit to ACH.

"I am clearly in the presence of the people who have the experience and capacity to heal and keep Floridians healthy, "said Atwater.  "I want to express appreciation for what you do in your life's work and for building this enterprise," he said. "The healing and education you provide keep us from going down the wrong path.  Your helping us shape who we become as a state.  That's why this research here is important."

"When you think of medicine and taking care of patients it's both an art and a science," Dr. Paul Danielson,  ACH Chief of Staff,  told Atwater. "The art is in managing people and taking care of the kids. The science is based on evidence. It's not based on hunches. We have technology to ask questions and get answers. We can use these answers to do the right thing for the kids. This era of evidence-based practice management is where we are moving."

"We have worked hard over the past few years to build an infrastructure to conduct more complicated research and a greater number of research studies to make those available to kids and their families," added Dr. Neil Goldenberg, Director of Research at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine. "We already have a strong foundation in place for research, but there's room to improve our database building and we needed infrastructure to collect process and maintain biological samples."

Goldenberg explained how ACH is building a biorepository - a perpetually secure safe preserving biological characteristics of cells, tissue and DNA. "These are critical tools in being able to answer early prediction of diseases and prevention.  It is the only pediatric biorepository within Johns Hopkins Medicine and one of only a few in the U.S. dedicated to children," said Goldenberg, who gave Atwater a tour of the new biorepository.

Atwater also learned about our comprehensive community needs assessment from Cindy Rose, ACH Vice President of Community Relations and Marketing. "We involved a wide variety of community members. We looked at demographics and the true pediatric needs."

Rose said the assessment results brought up many issues to address including: chronic disease in children, infant mortality and mental health issues.  "As a result, we have developed a community needs assessment plan. One of the first things being addressed is childhood obesity.  We will also address asthma and injury prevention through these efforts."