USF Health welcomes Dr. Charles Lockwood

Imagine sailing through a storm, the kind where the wind and the waves are so strong it takes every ounce of your strength, skill and judgment just to keep the boat from capsizing.

That’s where Dr. Charles (Charly) J. Lockwood is happiest.

“I like sailing long distances, and in conditions other’s might view as less than optimal,” he said. “In fact, I find those conditions exhilarating.”

Academic health itself is now navigating through rough waters – what Dr. Lockwood called “a perfect storm” of pressure across its core missions of education, research and health care. So it’s appropriate that Dr. Lockwood, the new senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, thrives on tackling challenges.

“There’s huge tumult and turmoil and we don’t know how it will all play out,” Dr. Lockwood said of today’s health landscape. “On the other hand, what an incredible time to be a doctor. We have imaging and technology that I couldn’t have dreamt of when I started medical school. For example, we can analyze the human genome in 24 hours.”

Dr. Lockwood took the helm at USF Health on May 5, coming here after being the dean of the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He’s also held leadership positions at Yale University and at New York University. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Lockwood is a national leader in women’s health and also has received international recognition for his research and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

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“The University of South Florida System is thrilled to welcome an individual of Dr. Lockwood’s national standing to lead USF Health as we continue to provide leading-edge health education and care,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft in announcing Dr. Lockwood’s appointment. “Dr. Lockwood is not only an innovative medical educator, but he is an accomplished researcher and entrepreneurial thinker who will be a leader for our region, state and nation.”

Dr. Lockwood’s management career has been marked by building new programs and restoring faltering ones. That drive to fix, organize and improve is reflected in his approach to caring for patients as well, he said.

“All obstetricians, and perhaps especially high-risk obstetricians, are to a certain extent ‘adrenaline junkies,’ ” he said. “When the situation is most critical, we are brought in to figure things out, organize a cogent management plan and deliver a healthy baby.”

At USF Health, Dr. Lockwood sees an organization that’s already great – but can do even more.

“The passion, the energy and the spirit of innovation that permeate this institution put it in great position to move ahead,” he said.

USF Health already encourages a “unique constellation of excellence,” he said, with its interprofessional collaboration across medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy and outstanding hospital partners. He promised to deliver “innovation with value,” seeking out creative solutions focused on critical issues and vetted for high return on investment.

“People often marvel at how optimistic I am about the future of health care,” he said. “But I believe, absolutely and in my heart, that the solutions to our challenges are within our grasp. And I am certain that at USF Health, we can do even more to keep making life better.”

Photo by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications