Health Sciences encompasses a broad array of disciplines with a large and growing footprint in Northwest Florida. These disciplines include traditional medical and health services, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, customer service centers supporting the health care industry, and human performance, where the Panhandle boasts one of the leading research centers in the world.
A number of major health systems are represented in Northwest Florida, including Sacred Heart, Baptist Health, Capital Health, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Bay Medical, and several Hospital Corporation of America institutions. Florida State University’s School of Medicine in Tallahassee is affiliated with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and other regional hospitals, and Florida A&M University offers a Pharmacy School with locations in Tallahassee and Okaloosa County, along with its other health curricula. In addition, the University of West Florida and the region’s five state colleges and community colleges provide training in a wide variety of medical and health-related occupations.
The Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa County, founded by internationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, is one of the world’s premier surgical and research centers for human performance enhancement and personalized medicine. Professional athletes and citizens from around the world are attracted to both the training and surgical facilities at the Andrews Institute.
The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola is a global leader in developing technologies that leverage and extend human capabilities. These technologies include next generation orthoses for human motion, which merges robotics and orthotics technologies to produce wearable exoskeletons or cognitive aids that enhance perceptual skills in vision and other senses. IHMC partners with the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other federal agencies to develop technologies supporting human performance across a wide spectrum of activities.
Northwest Florida is unique in Florida because of its proximity to Southeast U. S. markets. As a result, the Panhandle is ideally suited for companies that manufacture or distribute medical devices, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The region’s higher education institutions support the research needs of companies in Health Sciences, as well as the technical and soft skill training needed to support these manufacturing jobs.
The region also supports a large number of customer service, information and communication technology (ICT), and back office operations, including those in health and medical fields. One such company is Redpine Healthcare Technologies, which provides back office services to chiropractic professionals and offices across the United States. These companies are attracted to Northwest Florida because of the world-class labor force, including military spouses and relatives, as well as the region’s outstanding quality of life, which makes it easy to recruit workers at all education and skill levels.