Administrators plan for on-campus hospital

USF administrators are working to create anon-campus research and academic hospital.

The hospital, which would focus on diabetes and neurosciences, would be built in
two and a half to four years, said Stephen Klasko, dean of the College of Medicine.

“It is important for (USF) to be part of the research of curing diseases,” said USF
spokesman Michael Hoad. “(A campus hospital) will bring that kind of research to the community — very much the same thing that Moffitt Cancer Center has done in terms of bringing cancer research to the Bay area.”

Klasko met with the USF Board of Trustees to discuss his plans to develop criteria for selecting a partner.

“USF does not have the money to just build and run a hospital,” Hoad said. “We need a partner, a non-governmental partner, who can bring both capital and experience.”

Klasko said he is working with a group of consultants, including Cain Brothers — a top banking and financial advisory firm — who will advise him during the process of evaluating partners.

USF hopes to identify a partner within the nextthree to four months, Klasko said.

He also said having a hospital on campus could help bridge the gap between basic, translational and clinical research. All three types are like different phases of research, with basic involving experiments to gain new knowledge about a fundamental life process, and translational and clinical building off of the findings of basic research.

Other medical schools have facilities that house a continuum between the three, Klasko said, but USF does not have such a facility.

“Our problem is that our basic science researchers are geographically separated from our clinical researchers,” he said. “It’s a big barrier to getting cross teamwork done.”

The specialization of the hospital will be a key factor in its creation.

Hoad said American medicine is good with acute problems — but that is not where USF’s research interests lie.

“(American medicine) is not as good with long-term, lifelong diseases, including diabetes,” he said. “And that really is where (USF’s) niche is.”

The campus hospital may also provide a place for one researcher, professor of pediatrics Jeffrey Krischer, to apply what he has learned through his diabetes research to real situations, Hoad said.

Krischer has received approximately $400 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to continue his study of juvenile diabetes using computers to analyze data sent to him by researchers around the world.

Klasko said Krischer is probably among the top three funded researchers in the country — but none of the clinical research from his lab is applied in medical facilities in Tampa.

USF’s lack of a campus hospital with a “coordinated, strategically aligned clinical partner” could account for this, Klasko said.

Schools such as the University of Miami and the University of Florida do have these advantages, he said.

Klasko said the hospital would have approximately 80 to 120 beds and be located near the Morsani Center for Advanced Health Care.