Opening Keynote: Sen. Colleen Burton discusses Florida’s Live Healthy legislation


Shane Ersland


Sen. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy, discussed the Live Healthy legislation that was passed in the legislature this year. The package of bills includes many components that aim to supplement Florida’s healthcare workforce and inspire innovation among providers. 

Burton sponsored Senate Bill 7016, a primary bill included in the Live Healthy package, and was instrumental in the initiative’s passage. She said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo told her she was going to make healthcare a priority this year following the 2023 session, which focused on the housing crisis.

“She correctly believed that we were near, if not at, a crisis point in access to healthcare in Florida. And I knew we were. I’ve had the privilege of serving on a healthcare committee the entire time I’ve been elected, so I have time in. I’ve heard a lot of stories, (and) knew what was happening. We are getting well over 800 people a week moving into our state. And they do not come with a proportional number of healthcare providers.”

— Burton

Live Healthy aims to grow Florida’s healthcare workforce through opportunities for education and training, and removes barriers to increasing workforce mobility in the state.

“Live Healthy is setting us up to be the place where people can move, live, (and) work in healthcare if they want. We’ll improve access across Florida, regardless of Floridians’ insurance status. Everybody is having challenges, so the multi-components of this bill speak to so many different areas.”

— Burton

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