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UCF and Nemours announce official pediatrics partnership

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two local organizations are teaming up to improve the healthcare of children in Central Florida and beyond.

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The University of Central Florida and Nemours Children’s Health announced Wednesday the official establishment of UCF’s College of Medicine Nemours Children’s Health Department of Pediatrics.

More than 4.2 million kids call Florida home.

The growing population of children in the state has increased the need for pediatricians.

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“The proportion of children with medically complex conditions is growing across the country as it is in Florida,” Dr. Kanekal Gautham the Pediatrician-In-Chief for Nemours Children’s Hospital in Florida and the inaugural chair of the new department, said. “We’re going all out to save more and more children who in past decades would’ve been allowed to pass away.”

UCF and Nemours are partnered to train medical students in how to treat those children who need special care.

“When the students engage with a Nemours physician, they can see what a future will look like,” Dr. Deborah German, the Founding Dean of the UCF College of Medicine, and Vice President for Health Affairs, said. “I expect more of our students will be interested in pursuing pediatrics.”

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Dennis Gross is a third-year medical student at UCF who is going through pediatric training now.

While he plans to pursue Internal Medicine, he said understanding children is the foundation for all medical care.

“Everyone was a kid at one point,” Gross said. “The diseases we see in kids is often really unique, really rare, and really young. All these diseases progress into adulthood, most of them.”

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It’s a partnership that will provide more opportunities for students, staff, and expand the care of children.

“In doing research, cutting edge research, which will advance children’s care,” Dr. Gautham said. “That will transform care across the country and across the world.”

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