USF Health celebrates 2013, looks ahead to New Year

As 2013 winds down and USF Health  moves into 2014,  we reflects on some highlights and accomplishments over the past year.

And, we look ahead in the New Year to renewing our commitment and efforts to improve life in the Tampa Bay area and around the world — through education, research, service and patient care.

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The University of South Florida broke ground for its USF Health Heart Institute, a $50-million proposed facility that will combine advanced research and technology with the best cardiovascular care to benefit patients with heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  USF Health will continue working with governmental, hospital and community partners to make the institute a reality.

CAMLS, Surgical Skills Lab, vascular surgery course

The USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS), the world’s largest freestanding center of its kind, passed its first year with more than 14,000 learners from all 50 states and more than 60 countries. CAMLS completed a feasibility study with Panama to build a CAMLS-like facility and is also exploring expanding its academic entrepreneurial business model to Brazil, Mexico and Lebanon.  Healthcare professionals and students aren’t the only beneficiaries of CAMLS’  leading-edge, extensive resources for simulated learning.   In December, the USF Health doctors at CAMLS teamed up with the Florida Aquarium to help diagnose an injured sea turtle, Freud.

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The USF College of Nursing continued to attract international attention for its research and education to benefit veterans and service members.  Recently published research by a USF Nursing faculty team suggests accelerated resolution therapy (ART), a brief new therapy to ease symptoms of psychological trauma, may be an option for veterans who do not respond optimally to conventional therapies endorsed by the Department of Defense and VA.  The college began its fourth and largest ART study, which will recruit 200 veterans and service members to study the cost-effectiveness of the therapy and further examine how and why it works. The college also received the largest of nine federal grants to help veterans with healthcare skills earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

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The Florida Covering Kids & Families program at the Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, USF College of Public Health, this summer received the largest navigator grant in Florida – and second largest in the country.  The one-year $4.2-million federal grant to help eligible uninsured individual get health care through the Health Insurance Marketplace drew widespread media attention to the USF navigators and their partners statewide. National coverage included stories in the News York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Associated Press, TIME magazine, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.

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The USF Health Diabetes Home for Healthy Living opened in August, ushering a new approach to diabetes care.  The new one-stop facility in the Westshore area of Tampa offers diabetes patients a relaxing, home-like environment with every aspect of care to successfully and proactively manage their chronic condition.  The medical home is the newest addition to USF’s leading research, education and clinical care initiatives making life better for those with chronic illnesses like diabetes.

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USF President Judy Genshaft appointed Donna Petersen, ScD,  and Harry van Loveren, MD, interim leaders of USF Health after healthcare innovator Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health, was named to lead a prominent Philadelphia university and hospital system.   Dr. Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health, serves as interim CEO of USF Health, and Dr. van Loveren, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, as interim dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, while the national search for USF Health’s next CEO and medical school dean continues.

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The USF College of Pharmacy continued to advance on a fast track as it grows toward a projected complement of 400 students. The incoming College of Pharmacy Class of 2017 represented the largest class in the highly competitive school’s short history – with 107 students selected from among 800 applicants. This past summer the college — with an innovative, rigorous curriculum emphasizing a collaborative approach to patient care and research — was awarded accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

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The Doctors of USF Health campaign introduced this spring informed patients and families across the region that the region’s only academic medical center provides access to the most advanced health care available.  The brand identity linked to USF Health’s launch of a newly designed patient care website with access to nearly 400 highly specialized healthcare professionals.

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The first class of USF SELECT students, having completed their first two years of learning at the Morsani College of Medicine, moved to Allentown, PA, to begin two years of clinical education at Lehigh Valley Health Network.  The innovative program, which welcomed its charter class in Fall 2011,  gives students unique training in leadership development, intense coaching, and the scholarly tools they need to become empathetic, passionate physician leaders who will be catalysts for change.

Villages Specialty Care Center

Construction began in March on the USF Health Specialty Care Center in The Villages, setting the stage for a new era and range of health care for residents of “America’s Healthiest Hometown,” the nation’s largest community of people over 55. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Jan. 24, 2014, for the 25,000-square-foot facility, designed as a collaborative complement to The Villages’ expanding primary care network. USF Health doctors representing several specialties will provide high-level care at the new center,

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A new master’s degree program in Physician Assistant Studies, based in the Morsani College of Medicine, was approved by the USF Board of Trustees in March 2013. The first class for the interprofessional, two-year PA program will start Summer 2015, initially accepting 24 students, with plans to increase that capacity. The program is an important step forward in addressing the state’s increasing shortage of primary care practitioners.

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Tampa General Hospital approved a new long-term affiliation agreement with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. The “evergreen” agreement automatically renews each year.  The strengthened partnership will help Tampa Bay’s only quaternary hospital and its only academic medical center to enhance what both institutions do best:  provide leading care for patients and teaching and training opportunities for residents and students.

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The USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and the University of West Florida announced a physical therapy partnership program that will offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in Pensacola. The collaborative program, approved by the Florida Board of Governors in January 2013, will start in Summer 2014.  It will expand access to UWF students interested in pursuing a DPT and help meet a state-identified need for more physical therapists in a largely rural region of the state.  USF Physical Therapy also continues to lay the foundation for a new PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences, which was approved by the USF Board of Trustees in December.

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The USF College of Public Health greeted new students this fall with a record number of online offerings. Demand for the college’s online public health degree programs has exploded this year — with enrollment more than doubling since the middle of the last decade. The college’s advances in distance learning have been noted in the Guide to Online Schools, which uses data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics to rank colleges with the best quality and most affordable online programs. USF Health is home to the nation’s first online master’s degree in health informatics and to seven online master’s degree programs in public health.

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications

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