Two USF Health physicians add to expertise for Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

USF Health is adding to the extensive expertise offered by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay with two recent additions to the Center’s administration.

Kaley Tash, MD, second-year fellow in USF Health’s Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine, was named to the Center’s Board of Directors, and Charurut Somboonwit, MD, was named the Center’s medical director.

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Dr. Charurut Somboonwit (left) and Dr. Kaley Tash. Photo by Eric Younghans.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay offers crisis and trauma services to residents throughout Hillsborough County, responding to more than 160,000 requests for help each year. Both Dr. Tash’s and Dr. Somboonwit’s positions will benefit clients seeking services from the Crisis Center.

“USF Health, as an education and research institution, can help make significant differences to Tampa area residents connecting with the Crisis Center,” Dr. Tash said. “For many (Crisis Center) clients, health problems usually follow a crisis because they become a secondary concern. Clients may be more likely to forget to take medications, for example, or not properly manage their diabetes. This is a wonderful opportunity to have greater input on protocols and programs for those in need.”

“It’s our honor to have Dr. Kaley Tash join the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s board of directors,” said Gary Weisman, chair of the Board of Directors for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. “Our board is comprised of community leaders that bring amazing energy, resources, and a range of professional expertise to the Crisis Center. USF Health and the Crisis Center are both valuable community resources. We look forward to developing our relationship with USF Health and working together to make our great community even better.”

As medical director, Dr. Somboonwit will oversee practitioners who care for Crisis Center clients and be the liaison to USF Health and the expertise found in multi-specialty USF Physicians Group.

“The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is here to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone,” said Clara Reynolds, president and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. “Dr. Charurut Somboonwit is an outstanding medical professional who will provide additional leadership and guidance to the Crisis Center’s client services team. The addition of Dr. Somboonwit as our medical director lays the foundation for a long-term, strategic relationship with USF Health that will help both organizations fulfill their commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the Tampa Bay area.”

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Among the many ways USF Health is providing expertise to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: Dr. Kaley Tash, through the USF Health Department of Internal Medicine and the Hillsborough County Health Department, helped coordinate the donation of a PCR machine to the Crisis Center’s ambulance service TransCare. The pilot project is placing the PCR machine in one of the Crisis Center’s ambulance so EMT first responders can diagnose influenza in patients who have flu-like symptoms ahead of taking them to the emergency room. The test not only confirms whether someone has the flu or not, but also which strain, helping health care providers know which course of treatment to provide and if the incoming patient should be isolated. Pictured here getting training on the PCR test machine are, from left, the EMT crew Mike Price and Daniel Silva for the ambulance carrying the PCR, Alere manufacturer tech consultant Edwina Szelag, Crisis Center President and CEO Clara Reynolds, and Dr. Kaley Tash. Photo by Katy Hennig.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization that provides a range of evidenced-based programs designed to meet community needs for help with devastating trauma of sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, financial distress, substance abuse, medical emergency, suicidal thoughts, emotional or situational problems. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, access to these services include:

  • 2-1-1 Contact Center (suicide prevention, crisis counseling and over 4,600 other community resources services)
  • Corbett Trauma Center (individual, family and group trauma counseling and research)
  • Sexual Assault Services (forensic exams, advocacy, empowerment and prevention services)
  • Family Stabilization (financial education and case management for working families)
  • TransCare (9-1-1 emergency and mental health ambulance services, medical van transportation)
  • Community Outreach and Training (community response and training)