On June 29, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis approved $800,000 in funding for the Bitner Plante ALS Initiative of Florida in the 2020-2021 budget. This Initiative provides support for ALS patients receiving treatment at 4 different multidisciplinary clinics within the state of Florida (Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville; University of South Florida, Tampa; University of Miami, Miami; and UF Health Jacksonville).
ALS centers across the country face an enormous challenge each year – raising sufficient funds to provide ALS patients with access to comprehensive multi-disciplinary care, irrespective of the reimbursement through health insurance. In 2013, the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association took the lead in soliciting State support for ALS patient care through the Bitner Plante Initiative.
“We are enormously grateful for the generous support from Governor DeSantis for the Bitner Plante Initiative”, said Michael Benatar, MD, PhD, Executive Director of the ALS Center at the University of Miami and Volkan Granit, MD, Medical Director of the University of Miami Kessenich Family ALS Clinic. “Such support, especially in the time of COVID-19, is absolutely essential to our ability to continue providing care for our ALS patient population.”.
“We recognize that the Governor was faced with impossible decisions this year and greatly appreciate his commitment to ALS patients,” said Ray Carson, president and CEO of The ALS Association, Florida Chapter.
“Rep. Travis Cummings, Sen. Aaron Bean, Rep. Holly Raschein, Rep. MaryLynn Magar and Sen. Rob Bradley advocated for the Bitner Plante Initiative throughout the legislative session,” said Carson. “Their leadership and support mean so much to the ALS community.”
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