2015: The Power of Together in action

Celebrating our 2015 accomplishments and looking ahead to 2016

It was an exhilarating year at UF Health with impressive achievements made possible by our outstanding faculty and staff that exemplify the incredible impact of the integrated academic health center.


UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital Groundbreaking.

(From left) W. Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., UF President; William Friedman, M.D., UF College of Medicine neurosurgery department chairman; Tetsuo Ashizawa, M.D., former UF College of Medicine neurology department chairman; and Thomas Beaver, M.D., M.P.H., UF College of Medicine division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery chief, held their shovels during the groundbreaking ceremony for UF Health’s new hospitals.

UF Health is an integral component of the state’s preeminent academic institution, the University of Florida, and we are focused on supporting its missions. We have had tremendous support this year from W. Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., who became UF’s 12th president in January.

The vision and guidance of our leaders make our success possible. David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president, continues to unite UF Health with a shared vision and strategic goals that harness the expertise and collaboration across the academic health center. This enables us to advance science, train the next generation of health care professionals and improve patient care and quality of life.

We also ushered in a new leader at the helm of our hospital-based clinical system. In April, Guzick named Ed Jimenez UF Health Shands CEO, following Jimenez’s service as interim CEO. Jimenez was previously our executive vice president and chief operating officer. He now guides the strategic direction and operations for UF Health Shands and partners with faculty from the UF Health College of Medicine and other Health Science Center colleges to support our patient-centered clinical endeavors.

In October, Jimenez announced James J. Kelly Jr. as senior vice president and chief financial officer on the UF Health Shands executive team, having been interim CFO and VP for finance. He oversees revenue cycle activities, including managed care contracting, as well as accounting, tax and reimbursement, financial planning and analysis, supply chain and accounts payable, and treasury functions.


We continue to pursue our goal of being among the nation’s top-tier academic health centers. In the spring, we celebrated significant accomplishments that had been outlined in our first five-year strategic plan, Forward Together. During a celebration with faculty and staff, Guzick introduced our next strategic plan, The Power of Together, which will build on the “unstoppable momentum” we’ve established and serve as our roadmap for the next five years. We heard inspiring testimonials from proud members of the UF Health family. Fuchs explained how UF Health contributes to UF’s preeminence goal to be among the nation’s top research universities. Learn more about The Power of Together at bridge.UFHealth.org/poweroftogether.

Fuchs also joined Guzick and Jimenez to lead the January groundbreaking ceremony for the new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital. The new specialty hospitals are set to open on our Archer Road south campus in 2018 with 216 beds, including 120 ICU beds; 20 state-of-the-art ORs; and a new 600-space patient/visitor parking garage. Learn more at blueprints.UFHealth.org.

In February, we opened a six-story, state-of-the-art outpatient medical complex in north Jacksonville — UF Health North. The complex houses an E.R., a birth center, general surgery and ancillary services such as advanced imaging, laboratory and outpatient rehabilitation.

Harrell Medical Education Building

Harrell Medical Education Building

A “new era” for the UF College of Medicine began when the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building opened in July.

The 95,000-square-foot facility is designed to support the new medical education curriculum, as well as the training of students from the other UF Health Science Center colleges and staff from across UF Health to ensure the highest level of patient care.

In December, we broke ground for the UF Health Shands Emergency Center at Kanapaha, our second freestanding, 911-receiving E.R., in Southwest Gainesville.


We continued to reinforce best practices, improve clinical outcomes, engage in groundbreaking research and recognize individual and team accomplishments.

In March, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health recognized the UF Health Cancer Center as a state-designated Cancer Center of Excellence. The designation focuses on quality cancer care through the health care organization, the health care team members and patients and family members. The center includes the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville and the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health.

Later in the month, UF Health Shands Hospital was awarded Baby-Friendly designation by Baby-Friendly USA, a global initiative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF that recognizes birthing facilities that implement specific breastfeeding procedures to support newborn health.

UF Health rolled out an expanded Patient Safety and Quality Week in the spring. The UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety sponsored activities including an interdisciplinary poster display and a recognition dinner to honor Great Catch Award winners who helped prevent medical errors and improve outcomes.

In September, UF Health launched No Two Alike, our new brand campaign featuring multimedia ads that will run throughout the state. Building on 2013’s Invisible Connections campaign, No Two Alike highlights four patients and their unique stories of survival. The campaign showcases how our clinical excellence, teamwork and individual attention make each patient’s experience unique. Visit bridge.UFHealth.org/no-two-alike and NoTwoAlike.org to learn more.

In October, Jonathan D. Licht, M.D., was appointed director of the UF Health Cancer Center. Licht came from Northwestern University and his vast experience in administering the clinical, research and educational missions of an academic cancer center will bolster the center’s role as a cancer leader in the state and nation.

In November, we celebrated Gatorade’s 50th anniversary. Led by J. Robert Cade, M.D., UF College of Medicine kidney disease specialist, researchers explored why football players were getting sick during practice and games. They discovered players lost valuable nutrients in the heat and created Gatorade to replenish them. Gatorade and its royalties have been used to hydrate players, rehydrate sick children and fund research across campus.

In 2015, UF Health researchers received several prestigious grants that will help advance discovery. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute received notice that its Clinical and Translational Science Award was renewed for $17.5 million over four years. Other notable grants include: a five-year grant to establish a muscular dystrophy research center; a multisite grant to establish an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Florida; several awards from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; and a Grand Challenges grant from the Gates Foundation to improve health in Haiti.


2015 marked several accreditation milestones. UF Health Shands received reaccreditation from The Joint Commission; the Liaison Committee on Medical Education awarded the UF College of Medicine continued accreditation; and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Hospital received accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association.

UF and UF Health were included in the first-ever listing of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes. Out of 500 employers in 25 industries, UF was ranked ninth among public universities and UF Health was ranked 25th among health care providers.


Hospitality and Service training was rolled out to faculty and staff who provide and support patient care at UF Health. Standards of Behavior in hospitality, teamwork, communication and professionalism and responsibility help us ensure we provide the best experience for our patients, visitors and colleagues. Monthly Hospitality Huddles were tested in several clinical areas and will expand to more staff in the New Year to help promote positive behaviors.

UFH-Shands-Hospital_First-Floor-Wayfinding-Upright crop

We introduced new wayfinding signs and maps at UF Health Shands Hospital to help visitors and staff navigate the north campus facility.


After years of research, development and staff input, the UF Health IT and Communications Web Services team launched the UF Health Bridge in January. This integrated intranet offers group collaboration, a resources library, dynamic internal websites, system-focused news and social elements. The Bridge gives faculty, staff and students in departments across UF Health the opportunity to better connect with one another.

In July, patient communication improved when UF Health Shands Hospital introduced a new wayfinding tool to help visitors and staff navigate the north campus facility. Based on popular “metro maps,” color-coded directional paths mark the routes, and numerical stops mark the destinations.


In 2015, UF Health formed affiliations with Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, to launch a collaborative heart and vascular surgery network; and with CareSpot, expanding community access to urgent care held to the same quality standards as all of our UF Health practices.

Through varied and extensive community outreach and charitable support, faculty and staff at UF Health exemplify how The Power of Together impacts those who need us most. In 2015, UF Health provided more than $210 million in community benefits, including unsponsored charity care, regional health services, donations and in-kind services, education for health professionals and scientific and clinical research. Learn more on UFHealth.org/about under “Social Mission & Community.”

“We take great pride in our accomplishments. They are a testament to the hard work of thousands of talented people in all corners of our organization,” Jimenez said. “They show we are committed to taking care of our patients and employees and that we never lose sight that, first and foremost, we are a pillar in our communities.”


“Thanks to your dedication and commitment, UF Health has created unstoppable momentum in patient-centered, innovative and high-quality health care,” Guzick said. “2015 was indeed an extraordinary year, and by harnessing The Power of Together, our success will continue in 2016 and beyond.”

In spring 2016, the UF Health Children’s Surgical Center will relocate from the Ayers Building to a new 17,500-square-foot space connected to the UF Health Florida Surgical Center on Hull Road. The new facility will be much larger, and its location next to adult surgical services will enable our teams to be more efficient and share resources.

Due to the increasing demand for specialized neonatal care, the Neonatal ICU at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital will undergo expansion starting in January to provide infants and their loved ones with more space, privacy and support. Renovations through spring 2017 will expand the NICU II and III from a combined 12,632 square feet to 20,844 square feet. There will be 16 new care pods, four private rooms and new resources for patients and families.

Beginning in February, the UF Health Shands Hospital Core Laboratories will undergo renovations to become fully automated — leading to improved patient satisfaction and care.

A redesigned new employee orientation will debut in 2016 for UF Health Shands and College of Medicine staff who serve our hospitals and programs. The updated format will highlight the patient and staff experience — including an emphasis on quality care, hospitality and service. It will focus on interactive discussion and learning to increase collaboration and interaction. Orientation will also will feature a new staff welcome video, which outlines UF Health’s vision and strategic priorities and highlights our patient care, education, research and community health missions. Find the Staff Welcome Video on the Bridge under “Education,” then “Faculty/Staff Development.”

Construction of the UF Health Shands Emergency Center at Kanapaha is underway, and the facility will open in the fall of 2016. The10,000-square-foot freestanding E.R. will feature 11 exam rooms and three fast-track rooms. Providers will be linked closely to the hospital-based critical care teams and will provide direct and immediate access to comprehensive services at UF Health Shands Hospital.


These stills, taken from drone footage, show the construction progress on the new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital.

UF Health North will be enhanced by a 92-bed hospital wing, providing greater access to more health care services for north Jacksonville’s growing population. Groundbreaking took place in November and construction is expected to be completed in mid-2017.

Within a year of breaking ground, the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital are quickly taking shape, and we are excited for the construction advancements to come in 2016. “We expect this to be a fast-paced, dynamic year,” said Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities Development vice president. This spring, the structure will top out and crews will start on internal infrastructure.