Working together for better health

Everywhere that Dr. Darrell Kirch goes, he sees the billboards.

Dr. Kirch is president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and USF Health had the privilege of hosting a visit from Dr. Kirch just a few weeks ago.

One of the points that Dr. Kirch made while he was here was that in every city he visits, he sees the billboard wars from local hospitals and physicians’ groups, all claiming their health services are better than anyone else’s. Sadly, Tampa was no different – Dr. Kirch called us out on our billboard rivalries.

Wouldn’t it be nice, he said, if health systems worked together more, investing those competitive energies in trying to improve the health of their communities?

Well, I’m happy to say that this is one area where Tampa Bay is making some positive strides.

Today the One Bay initiative – a project of the Tampa Bay Partnership – is hosting a Healthy Communities Regional Forum. And yes, this is a project where everyone has signed on board. Several of Tampa Bay’s hospitals are sponsors, as is USF Health.  One Bay is rolling out a new website,, which will provide health news, health indicators and other health data for the region.

That’s something we can be proud to put on a billboard.