University of South Florida

Florida Hospital and USF Health Partner in Key Specialties to Expand Translational Medicine Across Tampa Bay [VIDEO]

The alliance brings the latest medical advancements to local communities


TAMPA, Fla. (March 12, 2012) — Florida Hospital and USF Health have formed a strategic alliance, combining Adventist Health System’s innovative approach to patient-centered care with the University of South Florida’s leading research, to deliver cutting-edge medical therapies in hospital and outpatient settings. Through this unique public/private partnership, Florida Hospital is making an investment of approximately $14 million in four key specialty areas to bring enhanced patient care, state-of-the-art technology and expanded services to Tampa Bay.

“Our partnership with USF Health will bring their leading-edge research right to the doorsteps of residents in communities where we have hospitals in Tampa Bay,” said Mike Schultz, President and CEO of the Florida Region for Adventist Health System, the parent company of Florida Hospital. “Patients in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties will no longer have to travel for personalized and state-of-the-art medicine in the specialties where we have affiliations with USF Health.”

Florida Hospital and USF Health partnership

In September 2011, the Florida Hospital announced that it was developing strategic health care partnerships, including one with USF Health. Today, both organizations announced how the partnership is translating medical research advancements into cutting-edge patient treatment in the following specialty areas: cardiology at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, breast health at Florida Hospital Tampa, neuroscience at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, and surgical oncology, melanoma and breast cancer at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs.

Dr. Stephen Klasko

Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine

“Through these critical specialties, we’re going to transform how patients experience health care at Florida
Hospital in our area,” said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Patients will have greater access to our world-class physicians and the new scientific discoveries at USF Health. As important, USF Health will also work with Florida Hospital and its patients to create personalized, coordinated care in cardiology, breast health and other targeted specialties.”


Cardiovascular patients at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute will benefit from research collaboration and USF Health’s exploration in genomic screening for personalized health care. Genomic screening uses an individual’s genetic profile to customize the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease to each patient.

“No other providers in Tampa Bay will be able to replicate the level of how we begin to tailor procedures to individual patients to maintain their heart health,” Dr. Klasko said.

“Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute will now combine its personalized health care delivery and clinical research with USF Health’s leading academic medicine and research,” said John Harding, President and CEO of Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division. “This innovative partnership will give health care consumers a broader range of treatment options for cardiovascular disease.”

John Harding, President & CEO, Florida Hospital Tampa Bay

John Harding, President & CEO, Florida Hospital Tampa Bay, is interviewed by local media at partnership announcement.

Breast Health

Women across Tampa Bay have been experiencing the benefit of a comprehensive diagnostics center exclusively dedicated to breast care at Florida Hospital Tampa. Recently, USF Health partnered with an existing breast program composed of Florida Hospital Tampa, Community Medical Imaging and Tampa Bay Breast Care Specialists to build an even more comprehensive breast health and cancer program. This collaboration brings together private practices, academic medicine and a hospital to form a renowned team of expert radiologists, radiation oncologists and breast surgeons. Based at Florida Hospital Tampa, this multidisciplinary approach to breast care provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic services, cancer treatments and research protocols to patients, while offering a higher level of coordinated care. One of the major patient benefits is reducing the time from screening to diagnosis to treatment. Providing rapid diagnosis — often within the same day — increases early detection, which is a critical factor in successful outcomes for breast cancer patients.

Mike Schultz, CEO of the Florida Region, Adventist Health System

Mike Schultz, CEO of the Florida Region, Adventist Health System


The new Neuroscience Institute at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills will have a team of USF Health neurosurgeons on-site who are trained in the treatment of brain, spine and acute stroke procedures. Time is an important factor with most medical issues, but especially with stroke and neurological conditions. The new 24/7 dedicated stroke team includes academic neurosurgeons from USF, neuro-interventional radiologists, board certified neurologists, emergency physicians and certified registered nurses to coordinate care from triage to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Patients will have access to the latest evidencebased treatments from USF, including brain surgery, spine surgery and minimally invasive treatment of aneurysms. Having all of these services offered in one location means patients will no longer need to travel outside Pasco County, saving precious time, which is a critical factor for neurological procedures.

Dr. Brad Bjornstad, Chief Medical Officer, Florida Hospital Tampa

Dr. Brad Bjornstad, chief medical officer of Florida Hospital Tampa, sports his USF Bulls tie.

Surgical Oncology, Melanoma and Breast Cancer

To round off the partnership, patients in Pinellas and west Pasco counties will benefit from enhanced medical expertise at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. USF Health physicians will now be available for patients – a plastics and reconstructive surgeon trained in the most advanced technologies and treatments for breast cancer and other oncological disorders, and an internationally known surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of malignant melanoma, complicated skin cancers and breast cancer. The partnership creates a comprehensive and coordinated approach to cancer care that gives patients the option to receive state-of-the-art treatment without leaving their community.

“These four affiliations are the foundation for Florida Hospital and USF Health’s plans to establish a higher standard of coordinated care throughout the market,” said John Harding. “This announcement is just the beginning of our vision to elevate health care in Tampa Bay.”

For more information, please visit

Florida Hospital and USF Health partnership

About Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division

The Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division is a not-for-profit 1,003-bed hospital system composed of Florida Hospital Tampa, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, Florida Hospital Carrollwood, Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (opens 2012) and Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. Part of the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital is a leading health network consisting of 22 hospitals throughout the state. For more information, visit

About USF Health

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 34th in federal research expenditures for public universities. For more information, visit

Photos by Eric Younghans, and video by Amy Mariani, USF Health Communications


Media contacts:
Will Darnell, Media Relations, Florida Hospital Tampa, (813) 400-8743 or
Susanna Martinez Tarokh, USF Health Communications, (813) 974-2776 or

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