David R. Nelson, M.D., has been named senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, UF President W. Kent Fuchs announced on April 30. For nearly a year, Nelson — also a professor of medicine, assistant vice president for research at UF and director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute — served as the interim in this important role for our academic health center, and has impressed faculty, staff and students alike with his ability to ensure our research, teaching and patient care missions have continued to move forward.
Nelson has successfully guided operations for all components of UF Health, with campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville. This includes six health science colleges, nine interdisciplinary research centers, two hospital systems and more than 100 physician practices.
In recent months, he has already begun to hold important and collaborative conversations with key leaders at the health system and the university aimed at strategically positioning the system for smart growth; enhancing operations; supporting faculty, staff and students; and fostering a diverse, inclusive and equitable community. He also has continued to explore ways to optimize the speed of the translation of research, bringing science to the bedside and to the community to improve patient care for individuals and populations.
At the same time, Nelson continued to direct the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which he has led since 2010. The CTSI has served as a catalytic hub for translational science at UF, throughout the state and across the country.