University of South Florida

USF Health’s new leadership board to strengthen interprofessional clinical collaboration

The USF Physicians Group has a new governance structure, called USF Health Care, to better reflect a faculty practice group incorporating professionals from across health care disciplines, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, public health professionals, physical therapists and physician assistants.

“USF Health Care recognizes the value added when all USF Health practitioners work together as one to improve the health and quality of life of our patients and the greater community,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “It is another important step in the coordination of effort among all our health science colleges and schools.”

Dr. Lockwood recently approved the creation of the new clinical leadership board for the practice plan, which includes the deans of USF Health’s four colleges and the director of its School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences.  This board will help advise Dr. Lockwood on issues related to USF Health’s clinical service mission.

From left, Donna Petersen, ScD, dean of the USF College of Public Health; Victoria Rich, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing, Kevin Sneed, PharmD, dean of the College of Public Health; and Laura Lee (Dolly) Swisher, PT, PhD, interim director of the USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences. 

The recent change in clinical governance structure is a testament to USF Health’s dedication to creating the best team-based care available, said Kevin Sneed, PharmD, dean of the USF College of Pharmacy.

“We are delighted and prepared to contribute to outstanding quality of care and health outcomes for USF Health patients,” Dr. Sneed said. “The evolution to USF Health Care confirms our collective commitment to train the most advanced health care workforce for the future, ultimately resulting in optimal health for people in our communities.”

Health care today is a team profession, with no single health professional or specialization able to meet all the complex needs of patients, said Victoria Rich, PhD, dean of the USF College of Nursing.

“USF Health Care brings together exceptional teams of clinical experts skilled at collaborating and contributing their expertise,” Dr. Rich said. “Our teams of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physical  therapists and community and family health faculty are at the forefront of 21st century health care.”

“The evolution of what had been an outstanding physician group to what will be an outstanding integrated health care group reflects our continued commitment to interprofessional approaches to care delivery and the promotion of health for patients and their families,” said Donna Petersen, ScD, dean of the USF College of Public Health.

“It is about being relevant, but also forward thinking.  We want all our clinical faculty to be up to date on the latest in clinical practice, so that they can share the latest advancements with our students and inform and translate their research studies for more rapid adoption.”

The new governance structure demonstrates that USF Health is serious about taking interprofessional practice to a higher level, said Laura Lee (Dolly) Swisher, PT, PhD, interim director of the USF School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences.

“Transforming interprofessional education into collaborative practice can be organizationally challenging,” Dr. Swisher said. “The new structure for USF Health creates an environment to foster interprofessional teaching, research and clinical care, and a framework to facilitate interprofessional planning to promote health.”


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