Year in Review: Good news for USF Health in 2014

From welcoming a new leader  to gaining an unprecedented opportunity to be one of the major economic development anchors of a proposed downtown Tampa Waterfront District, 2014 was an eventful year for USF Health.  As the year comes to a close and we move into the future, let’s take time out to reflect on some highlights and our continuous push for excellence.

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Staff, faculty and students from across USF Health gathered on a brisk day in January to help open The WELL, the new hub for student support services critical to student success. The WELL integrates support for USF Health students in one place, with staff from colleges occupying the main sections of the Center but remaining connected in a cohesive way, providing a sense of unity in the shared space.

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The best of USF Health’s rising research stars presented their scholarly work in record numbers at the 2014 USF Health Research Day, with 351 scientists filling the Marshall Center Ballroom to display and discuss their research findings. This year marked the 24th time USF Health’s emerging scientists came together to present their projects, with judges scrutinizing the data and deciding the winners.

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The annual rite of passage Match Day helped 120 senior medical students find out where they will spend the next few years as a physician in resident training. This year’s event included a national push to increase residency slots with a theme to Save GME and a visit from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.

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Graduate students in the USF College of Public Health designed and implemented Edi-BULL, a campaign that aims to bring healthier food choices to students, faculty and staff at USF Health.

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The University of West Florida admitted the first class of seven students into the USF/UWF Doctor of Physical Therapy Partnership Program, which expands access to UWF students interested in pursuing a DPT degree, while meeting a state-identified need for more physical therapists in Northwest Florida, a largely rural region of the state.

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USF President Judy Genshaft hired Charles Lockwood, MD, to lead USF Health and Medicine. The former dean of Ohio State University College of Medicine and  a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Dr. Lockwood was named senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.

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The Florida Board of Governors gave the USF the green light to move ahead in implementing a PhD Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences with applied concentrations in chronic disease, veteran’s health and reintegration, and neuromusculoskeletal disability.

Best Doctors 2014

Once again, USF Health physicians are named to the Best Doctors in America list. This year the local list included 119 physicians who currently work at USF Health. Further proof that the advanced health care provided at this region’s only academic health center is practiced and taught by this area’s best.

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USF acquired the $1-million CAREN virtual reality system, a powerful simulator that integrates technologies for interdisciplinary research, rehabilitation and helps people with disabilities increase their independence and reintegrate into the community. Supported by a National Science Foundation grant, USF became the  first non-Department of Defense institution in the United States to obtain the CAREN extended model for research and rehabilitation.

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U.S. News & World Report ranked Tampa General Hospital, the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine’s major teaching hospital, as the number two hospital in Florida and the best hospital in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area for 2014-2015. USF Health physicians lead six of the 12 recognized specialty areas at TGH.

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The researchers, clinicians and staff from the USF Health Department of Neurology teamed up to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a world-wide push to raise awareness and funds for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Local media got a sneak peek of Pharmacy Plus, an on-site pharmacy of the future that goes well beyond simply filling prescriptions by offering advanced support to patients, and a hands-on setting for pharmacy student rotations. Pharmacy Dean Kevin Sneed, PharmD, gave crews from several outlets a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the unique space where patients will create a national prototype for providing patient engagement, education and monitoring.

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USF received a $5.38 million second-year Navigator grant – the largest award in the country and in Florida – to help enroll more eligible consumers and small employers in the Health Insurance Marketplace. When the marketplace opened enrollment for year two, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell paid a visit to the community outreach and enrollment event hosted on campus by USF Health navigators.

Dianne C. Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN

U.S. health agencies — the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention —  recognize the USF Nursing Dean’s health improvement project for teens, a model that reduces HIV/STIs risk, to its online resources for development of teen programs.

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A collaborative effort: A team from USF Health Radiology joins with The Florida Aquarium to celebrate recovered sea turtle’s return to the ocean.  “Freud” was taken to the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) by the aquarium’s veterinary staff in 2013 in an attempt to  locate a suspected tear in his lung. This year, Florida Aquarium staff again called upon the USF Health Radiology team, who used  their advanced imaging and 3-D modeling expertise to help diagnose Freud and confirm his recovery from a respiratory injury.

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An adorable Golden Retriever named Snitch becomes USF Health’s first canine “employee,” with an official ID badge to prove it.  Snitch, a regular visitor to the USF Health Shimberg Library, provides some welcome relief for stressed-out students studying for exams.

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The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ public health arm, designated the USF College of Public Health as a WHO Collaborating Center for Social Marketing for Social Change to address non-communicable diseases.  It is the first WHO Collaborating Center both at USF and in Florida, placing the university among a select group of centers located around the world.

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Big changes could be on the horizon for USF Health in the New Year. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s recently unveiled vision for redeveloping downtown Tampa includes the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute as economic development anchors. Tampa Bay leaders call the vision a game changer.


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