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UF Health Plans For Future

If two heads are better than one, then 22,000 minds can lead to exceptional progress.

Officials from University of Florida Health met Wednesday afternoon to reveal a five-year plan that will improve facilities, bring the healthcare community together and enhance the overall mission of achieving a national leadership position in research and quality patient care.​

In May 2010, UF Health published a strategic plan called Forward Together. The new plan, Power of Together, will build on the success of its forerunner by having more than 150 research experts and faculty members come together to provide area-specific contributions.

The plan will focus on space, infrastructure, global health, research training, metrics, cross-campus research, IFAS - UF Health collaboration and public-private partnerships. It will use state funds to advance clinical research, discovery and technology in the commercialization of healthcare.

The plan will also improve educational and community outreach programs while training future leaders and expanding the overall impact of UF Health.

Preeminence is a principal target, but providing the highest standard of patient care remains at the top of the list.

The original operation was led by Dr. David Guzick, the senior vice president for Health Affairs at UF and the president of UF Health. Guzick spoke at the conference.

“From a clinical standpoint, we believe we are the destination hospital for Florida, but now we’ve become the destination hospital for the Southeast,” he said.

“So we really want to be prominent as a go-to place if you have a serious condition, in addition to serving our local community.”

Voncea Brusha, a registered nurse in the mother baby unit and one of the speakers at the announcement ceremony, has worked at UF Health for 45 years.

Brusha said her fondest memory was when she ran into a woman whose baby she delivered many years ago. The woman recognized her as the nurse who had also delivered her granddaughter.

That day, the woman was in the hospital for the delivery of her great-granddaughter.

“I take pride in working for an organization where patients and our community are the focus,” she said. “So many things have changed during my time here, but not the depth of care that we provide to our patients.”

Forward Together facilitated the creation of new facilities, such as UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital, the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital and UF Health North in Jacksonville.

The first strategic plan was meant to bring professionals together to move medicine forward. But now that a foundation has been built and momentum has been created, Guzick plans to accelerate it.

UF Health includes six different medical colleges, and the plan will focus on having enrolled students work as a team during the learning process.

“We want to actually become a national model for interprofessional education,” Guzick said.

“During the first five years, we made some steps in that direction, but we haven’t gotten there yet, and that’s something we really want to work on in the next five years.”

David Casey, an employee at UF Health for 23 years and one of its patients, illustrated an unique outlook on the center’s breakthroughs.

Although Casey continues to fight cancer, he was treated at UF Health for Hepatitis C and cured.

“I went for many, many years without a cure,” Casey said. “Our researchers and doctors here kept their hearts and minds open and took advantage of international opportunities and brought them to our campus.”

Guzick said he is proud of how far UF Health has come. He knows all goals are connected and the culture of the community will lead to the optimization of resources that UF Health has been given.

“It’s been a great five years,” he said, closing the ceremony. “Here’s to the next five years. ”


Ashley is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.