Baptist Health hires Dane Bennett as its chief lobbyist

Bennett, Dane
'With his extensive experience in government affairs and public policy, Dane is a real asset to our team.'

Baptist Health in Northeast Florida on Monday announced Dane Bennett has been hired to serve as its Director of Government Relations, leading the faith-based health system’s lobbying efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

Bennett will report to Michael A. Mayo, president and chief executive officer of Baptist Health.

With his extensive experience in government affairs and public policy, Dane is a real asset to our team,” Mayo said. “His strategic mindset, collaborative style and demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships make him an excellent fit for our organization.”

Bennett most recently served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Florida Home Builders Association, which hired him in Nov. 2019 after the resignation of Douglas Buck.

But Bennett also has health care lobbying experience. Bennett worked at WellCare in Tampa, where he served as the health plan’s Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Manager.

Prior to those lobbying posts, Bennett, who served for five years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, also worked as a legislative aide to former state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto.

The mission-driven, non-profit Baptist Health has an expansive network with more than 200 points of care, including six hospitals: Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital; Baptist Health; Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; and Baptist Medical Center South.

The hospitals, which combined have 1,185 beds, have achieved Magnet status, a recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to health care organizations that prioritize patient care through nursing initiatives.

There were 46,709 surgeries at Baptist hospitals in 2021 and 331,920 emergency room visits during the year. Baptist Health hospitals cared for 61,605 inpatients in 2021; an average of 906 inpatients per day, 64 of which were newborns in intensive care units.

Baptist Health invests $250 million annually in Jacksonville and the surrounding area through its commitment to provide charity care as well as offering services and health care to people who cannot compensate or fully compensate Baptist Health for the costs of care.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital team,” Bennett said. “I can think of no greater purpose than advocating for one of Florida’s four specialty children’s hospitals and ensuring we can meet the demands of providing accessible, world-class health care at a reasonable cost to one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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