University of Florida, Shands HealthCare announce $580M Collaboration

John Commins, May 20, 2010

The University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands HealthCare today announced a $580 million, five-year collaboration to promote quality, patient safety, community engagement, and expansion of research and education in the Gainesville area.

The collaboration, called "Forward Together," was designed by a 25-member panel of university and hospital leaders and outlines a series of one- and five-year goals.

"All our decisions will be based on the overriding principle of what is best for the patient, and this principle will guide our research, teaching, and clinical programs," David S. Guzick, MD, senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF & Shands Health System, said in a media release.

Of the $580 million, about $230 million will be spent on new research, clinical and education facilities; $200 million on new research programs; $110 million on enhancement of clinical services and their quality; and $40 million on enhanced education programs. The funding will come from transfers from the clinical enterprise, philanthropy, royalties, grant income, and UF. Initiatives include:

  • Implementation of the EPIC electronic medical record across the system to manage patient information.
  • Creating the Shands Hospital for Children and Women at Shands UF, with its own lobby, ED, inpatient and outpatient units. Ground-floor entries and inpatient space at Shands at UF will likely be reconfigured for neuromedicine and cardiovascular. Building a children's hospital in a new tower is still under consideration but would depend heavily on donations.
  • Locating primary care offices at sites throughout Gainesville, with special attention to ambulatory facilities for residents of East Gainesville.
  • Co-locating specialty offices at designated campuses, including those now on the Health Science Center campus, and expansion on the northwest Health Park Campus.

The collaboration will also try to strengthen ties with the community, analyzing factors that impact the health of populations, strengthening research methods for studying the health of individuals and of populations, and working closely with area residents. Community outreach will include strengthening affiliations with the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the creation of an Academic Partnership Council with VA leadership.

"As part of our commitment to providing outstanding patient care, we seek to work closely with the community we serve and to engage area residents, community leaders, and local agencies in our efforts to enhance access to healthcare services," said Shands CEO Tim Goldfarb.

Strategic goals for the Shands Jacksonville campus and other sites in the health system are still being refined and will be available soon.

John Commins is an editor with HealthLeaders Media. He can be reached at
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