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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO Jimmy Patronis Hosts “Victory for Florida’s Health Care Heroes” in Jacksonville to Celebrate Passage of COVID-19 Liability Protections

4/20/2021

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
**PHOTO RELEASE**
CFO Jimmy Patronis Hosts “Victory for Florida’s Health Care Heroes” in Jacksonville to Celebrate Passage of COVID-19 Liability Protections
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis hosted a ‘Victory for Florida’s Health Care Heroes’ event at Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville to celebrate the recent passage of Senate Bill 72, which provided vital liability protections for Florida’s health care workers and long-term care personnel. The CFO was joined by representatives from the Florida Health Care Association, Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. For nearly a year, CFO Patronis has been committed to ensuring COVID-19 liability protections were passed this legislative session. 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Since the pandemic began, our state’s health care and long-term care personnel have been on the frontlines, fighting to protect Floridians, especially our state’s most vulnerable population – seniors. These frontline heroes have been working long hours and maintaining stringent health safety processes to protect our state’s most vulnerable population. They have fought through PPE shortages, and put their own lives on the line to protect our friends, family and loved ones from this serious virus. That is why it was so important for us to step up and protect them as they have worked to protect us.
 
“This legislation was a huge win for Florida and a major step to get Florida’s economy back on its feet and ensure our state fully recovers from this pandemic. No doubt, this was the single most important piece of legislation in our state and a huge milestone for businesses and health care workers who no longer have to live in fear of frivolous COVID-19 litigation. I can’t thank our Governor, Senator Brandes and Representative McClure enough for stepping up for our health care heroes and passing and signing Senate Bill 72. Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has vaccinated over 3.5 million seniors.” 

Doug Baer, Brooks Rehabilitation President & CEO said, “As the leader in providing post-acute rehabilitative care, our health care heroes worked relentlessly during the global pandemic. Brooks is grateful to CFO Jimmy Patronis and is proud to host the Victory for Health Care Heroes event and join him in celebrating all heroes who have gone above and beyond to ensure patients and residents receive exceptional and safe care.”

Jon Cooper, President Ascension St Vincent’s Hospital said, “COVID liability reform is one of the ways we can support our frontline healthcare workers and hospitals, like Ascension St. Vincent’s, that cancelled non-emergency surgeries to be prepared for a surge of Covid-19 patients last Spring. We are grateful to CFO Patronis and his recognition of our tireless health care heroes.”

Kathy Gallin of Signature HealthCARE and Florida Health Care Association Board Treasurer said, “Throughout the pandemic, our long-term care centers never shut down, and our caregivers showed up every day, despite the limited resources and constant changes we had to navigate. FHCA is grateful to CFO Patronis for his leadership and his willingness to stand up for our healthcare heroes and remind them that what we do every day does not go unnoticed. He is a true Champion for the Elderly, and FHCA is proud to recognize him for his unwavering commitment to our long-term caregivers and the residents entrusted to our care.”

Mary Mayhew, President and CEO, Florida Hospital Association said, “When the coronavirus entered our communities last spring, Floridians retreated from public settings and put distance between themselves and others. Meanwhile, Florida’s hospitals remained open, and our doctors, nurses, and hospital workers ran toward the threat with ever-changing guidance and information. Florida’s health care providers were there for us when we needed them and now Florida is there to protect them from unfounded lawsuits stemming from this pandemic. A special thank you to Governor DeSantis, CFO Patronis, Senate President Simpson, House Speaker Sprowls, and the bill sponsors for their work to protect our health care heroes.”

Emmett Reed, CEO, Florida Health Care Association said, “FHCA appreciates CFO Patronis for spearheading such a critical issue and applauds the Governor for approving Senate Bill 72 to keep opportunistic lawsuits from diverting precious resources away from our facilities as they continue safeguarding residents and ensuring their high-quality care. With COVID vaccines giving us hope to a return to normalcy, these much-needed liability protections are an important step forward in our facilities' ability to recover from the pandemic and support the staff who continue to make a positive impact in the lives of their residents.”

Justin Senior, CEO, Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida said, “The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida is extremely grateful to CFO Patronis for advocating for Florida’s health care workers for over a year now. COVID liability reform is one of the ways we can support our frontline healthcare workers and those hospitals that cancelled non-emergency surgeries to be prepared for a surge of COVID-19 patients last spring. We will always be the frontline defenders of health and the very mission of our hospitals - to be the highest trained professionals in fighting diseases and preparing for supporting the state during crises - was tested in the last year. We are proud to say we rose to the challenge and we will do so again and again with the continuing support of Governor DeSantis, CFO Patronis and legislative leaders who make critical investments in our research and our resources.”
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).