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Gov. DeSantis and President Cost

Governor announces partnership with University partner Dolphin Pointe Health Care

Skilled nursing facility and Jacksonville University partner Dolphin Pointe Health Care has partnered with the state to accept long-term care residents with COVID-19.

At a press conference attended by University President Tim Cost, Provost Dr. Chris Sapienza and Dolphin Pointe Health Center Special Ambassador Artis Gilmore, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) has chosen Dolphin Pointe Health Care to isolate contagious COVID-19 patients who don’t require hospitalization but risk spreading the virus within their home facilities.

Gov. DeSantis talks with President Cost.
Gov. DeSantis talked with President Cost about next steps on the path to reopening Florida.

“We have some facilities that have the ability to care for COVID patients and do appropriate isolation procedures,” said Gov. DeSantis, who said the state requires all hospitals to test patients for COVID-19 before discharging them to long-term care facilities. “But we have far more that simply do not have the capacity.”

Dolphin Pointe, which is located at the north end of the Jacksonville University campus, admitted its first coronavirus-positive patient on April 14, according to Dolphin Pointe co-owner Geoff Fraser. He said he expected to have 24 patients at the 146-bed facility from as far away as Melbourne by last weekend. He also said the facility, which is designated by the state as a regional center, has already accepted patients from Jacksonville’s Baptist Health, Memorial Hospital and Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System.

Dolphin Pointe Co-owner Geoff Fraser
Dolphin Pointe co-owner Geoff Fraser said his facility accepted its first patient on April 14.

AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew said Dolphin Pointe will be a model for COVID-19 containment and rehabilitation for long-term care residents statewide. The goal, she said, is to limit the spread of the disease in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, whose populations are at greater risk of contracting the virus, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State health officials have recorded at least 24 deaths related to COVID-19 at Jacksonville long-term care facilities.

The 100,000-square-foot, two-story Dolphin Pointe facility began development in 2016 and is part of Dolphin Pointe Landing, a 55-acre site owned by a company led by Jacksonville University graduate Gregory Nelson.

Gov. DeSantis talks with Artis Gilmore
Before the press conference, Gov. DeSantis took time to talk with members of the Dolphin Point and University communities, including President Cost and Artis Gilmore.

Jacksonville University recently completed its three-story, 105,000-square-foot Medical Sciences Complex adjacent to Dolphin Pointe. The University expects to eventually partner with Dolphin Pointe to provide opportunities for students in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences to gain experience in a practical, modern healthcare setting.