Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Real McCoy

In today's Sunday Pensacola News Journal, Carlton Proctor offers a thousand-word-plus retrospective on the Andrews Institute's recent "Project Odyssey" misadventures. It's a subject we've mentioned before.

Essentially, Baptist Hospital built an expensive monument to the Miracle of Medical Marketing and then finagled a quarter of a million dollars -- with prospects of more to come -- out of state development funds on the premise that private space travel by multi-millionaires would generate much-needed tourist money for Florida some day soon. Or, maybe the premise was that treating rich space tourists would solve one of America's most pressing unmet medical needs. Something like that.

Seriously. Space tourism medicine. As in Star Trek's Doctor "Bones" McCoy.

It's not entirely clear why the story is the PNJ's top front page headline, as if it were breaking news. But Proctor has done one thing to advance the narrative. He gives ample -- some might say endless -- opportunity for the hospital's "chief innovation officer" to explain why he did nothing wrong and, besides, space tourism is so awesome.

'Project Odyssey' will soar "to the highest level," Dr. Joe Story promises. "We're going to run this program with the staff and doctors we have on board," he vows.

This is very good news, indeed. Since "the staff and doctors ... on board" Baptist Hospital are so capable, no more money should be needed from the public coffers. Right?

Of course, that kind of defeats the purpose of the Andrews Institute marketing scheme, doesn't it. After all, what's the point of spending millions to erect a fancy building, slap an allegedly famous physician's name on it, and import a bunch of batting cages, if you can't parlay all of that into cushy money grants in the form of state and federal government hand-outs?


JamesColman said...

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HenrikBrown said...

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