Former Florida Health Secretary Dr. Robert Brooks to join USF Health

Dr. Robert Brooks

Tampa, FL (July 20, 2009) — Dr. Robert Brooks, a nationally recognized patient safety, health informatics and policy scholar, researcher and educator, has been recruited from the Florida State University to USF Health. Dr. Brooks will build upon his well-established research and teaching record and will be professor of medicine and public health and associate vice president for health leadership at USF.

Robert Brooks, MD, MA, MBA, MPH, brings to USF an extensive and intricate working knowledge of academic medicine, curriculum development, student recruitment and advisement, health policy and practice.

“USF will tap Dr. Brooks’ distinctive and well proven academic talents. He will play a directive role in the medical student admissions process as we seek to bring diversity, competence and exceptional quality to our student body. Dr. Brooks will also be responsible for building the health leadership program at USF Health,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of medicine and CEO of USF Health. “We are exceptionally fortunate to bring Bob Brooks’ talents, knowledge and experience to USF Health.”

A former secretary of health for the state of Florida and a former Florida state legislator, Dr. Brooks has played a significant role in formulating and administering health policy.

“Dr. Brooks brings the rare combination of real scholarship and pragmatic, national leadership to our students and faculty. He will be designing and participating in health policy and leadership research and courses that will provide our public health, medical, nursing and graduate students with insight, knowledge and skills that will benefit them throughout their careers,” said Donna Petersen, ScD, dean of public health at USF.

“Bob is a gifted and dedicated teacher, a highly productive researcher, and a policy architect who has made vital contributions to health improvement in Florida. He has been a singular force in advancing patient safety, health informatics research and data-driven health policy decisions,” said Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, USF professor of public health and medicine.

Dr. Brooks will also work with USF’s clinical and research team to design a new system of care to more effectively manage diabetes and other chronic disorders, and to build upon the program of patient safety research with which he has previously collaborated.

USF’s recently announced partnership with the Lehigh Valley Health Network is expected to benefit from Dr. Brooks’ leadership training for medical students. In that program, students from Pennsylvania will attend USF for their first two years of medical school, then return to Lehigh Valley for their third and fourth years of clinical medical education.

At USF Health, Dr. Brooks also will serve as a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases (Department of Internal Medicine) in the College of Medicine and as a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to join the already outstanding executive team assembled by Dean Klasko and to assist USF in its mission to train and equip world-class physicians and other health care professionals to be leaders in the 21st century,” Dr. Brooks said.

Dr. Brooks has served as the associate dean for health affairs at Florida State University, where he helped establish the first new allopathic medical school in the United States in more than 20 years. Since joining FSU in 2001, he has started five separate Centers of Excellence on Terrorism, Public Health, Patient Safety, Rural Health and Global Health.

Dr. Brooks was appointed Florida’s secretary of health in 1999. He had previously served in the Florida House of Representatives and as chief of infectious diseases at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

A Michigan native, Dr. Brooks received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Wayne State University. He is board certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and preventive medicine and general public health. He also holds an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, an MBA from Auburn University and an MA in theology from the Reformed Theological Seminary.

– USF Health –

USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $360 million in research grants and contracts last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

– News release by Lisa Greene, USF Health Communications