Hearing on med center's NExT initiative set for Feb. 6

by Karen Burbach, UNMC public relations | February 03, 2020

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This Thursday, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., will highlight a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity for the State of Nebraska when he testifies in support of LB 1084. The bill would allow the medical center's proposed expansion project, referred to as NExT, to qualify for tax incentive-like funds.

The Revenue Committee hearing will take place in the State Capitol.

LB1084, introduced by Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward, Nebraska, supports the "NExT" project -- the Nebraska Transformational Projects Act. This bill would allow the NExT project to qualify for tax incentive-like funds if $1 billion in federal investment is achieved. A unique public-private partnership, the NExT project would be an economic driver for the state and expand the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus and its educational, research and health care missions.

If this bill is of interest, university employees and students may consider reaching out to state senators but must contact them on their own time and without using university resources (computers, telephones, letterhead or university accounts).

Find members of the Revenue Committee.

"NExT is another public-private partnership that we believe will have an even bigger impact than the cancer center," Dr. Gold said. "It represents a once-in-a-generation chance for Nebraska to cement its status as a partner with the federal government, exponentially enhance the state's health care research and education efforts, shape a state's future in the emerging "knowledge-based" economy, and deliver even more impressive economic benefits to the state as a whole."

The NExT project includes two major components:

  • A state-of-the-art academic medical center facility that serves the needs of Nebraska and transforms the quality and practice of health education, training, research and care. The facility would provide capacity for training more health professional students.
  • A federal all-hazard disaster response military and civilian partnership that provides training in the management of highly infectious and other emerging threats, as well as critical care, for federal, civilian and military personnel.

"The NExT Project is a tremendous opportunity to leverage, and deepen, this relationship with the federal government as its go-to partner for preparedness and response," said Chris Kratochvil, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC. "As the current Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak shows, this type of threat is not going away. And, this proposed all-hazard disaster response, which will include military, federal and civilian partnerships, is much needed."

With state support, Dr. Gold said, the medical center would build the educational, training, research, all hazard disaster response space and infrastructure for NExT. State support also would be used to leverage federal, private and philanthropic investment, which would be dedicated to clinical space and infrastructure. "Funding from public and private sources for these purposes will permit the med center to leverage this support to recruit, retain, educate, and train new high-skilled, high-demand, high-wage workers," he said.

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