The Board of Trustees approved the lease agreement between USF Health and Tampa General Hospital (TGH) for the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute during its June 6 meeting.
TGH will make a payment of $20 million in advance to lease approximately 25,000 square feet of the new Water Street building, including 6,501 square feet of the first floor, 8,933 square feet on the ninth floor and 9,679 square feet of the 12th floor.
The first floor will be used to create a co-branded imaging center and a TGH urgent care clinic while the ninth floor will include a heart health co-location. In addition, TGH will create an executive wellness area on the 12th floor that will increase the number of partnerships, as stated in the BOT agenda.
Charles Lockwood, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, said the joint venture partnership will consist of recruiting top-notch researchers and investing in primary-care doctors to ultimately increase the market share and take steps toward becoming Florida’s leading Academic Medical Center (AMC).
“We need to invest in clinical practice, recruit top-notch researchers that are doing innovative things in the clinical space so they can provide the cutting-edge service that our patients demand and invest heavily in primary care network,” Lockwood said. “If we work together, we will line our interests in a way that will accelerate the growth of this academic health center.
“We need to take bold risks, but we can’t risk USF’s finance.”
TGH CEO John Couris said that one of his goals with the partnership is to engage the community and find more partners around the Tampa Bay area.
“The idea is to engage other partners throughout the community and not make this something just about us, but about everybody else,” Couris said. “We want to engage those people that are committing the same things that we are committed to quality, academic, excellence in medicine and research.”
Besides making Tampa a medical district, the partnership will create the first AMC on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Couris said money is the “operation’s fertilizer,” however it is not TGH’s primary focus.
“Our mission is to be there for everyone regardless of their ability to pay and their socioeconomic status,” Couris said. “Every man, woman and child deserve the right for world-class health care. This partnership with USF Health only helps us grow this mission.”
The AMC is set to be completed in 18 months, according to Lockwood.
Couris said the center will bring a historic moment for the Tampa Bay area, as it will be fundamental to make the city a regional center in medicine.
“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to create something between USF and TGH that has never been created before, which consists of world-class quality and research,” Couris said. “That is the path and journey that we are all doing together, which is critically important for all of us.”