Klasko to leave USF to preside over TJU, hospital system

USF Health CEO and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine Dr. Stephen Klasko will leave the university in September to serve as President of Thomas Jefferson University and President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital System in his hometown, Philadelphia.

The private medical college operates three hospitals, including one housed on the campus that is home to 717 beds, a state-of-the-art emergency room and trauma center and 28 operating rooms. Klasko had long said he wished to bring a hospital to the USF campus.

Klasko, who has been with USF since 2004, led USF Health through much of its growth, including the creation of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, USF Health’s Heart Institute, partnerships with the Villages and the PaperFree Florida initiative.

“We will miss Steve and his innovative and energetic presence at USF, and we are grateful for the work and vision he brought to us over the past nine years,” USF President Judy Genshaft said in an email sent out to members of the USF community. “Dr. Klasko did not just bring a transformative philosophy about what health care should and could be to the Tampa Bay Region, but put his ideas into action. He built research and teaching collaborations across the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health to create the overarching concept of USF Health.”

Klasko said he accepted the position with mixed feelings.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am thrilled to be able to lead such highly regarded institutions during an era of rapid change,” he said in an email sent to USF Health. “At the same time, I have truly enjoyed my nine years at USF Health, and I leave with a sense of pride in the work we have done to establish USF Health as a leader in health transformation and with great affection for the many friends and colleagues I have made here.”

The email from Genshaft said a national search would begin in September and would be chaired by Karen Holbrook, senior adviser to the president, and vice-chaired by Dr. John Sinnott, chairman of the College of Medicine’s internal medicine department.

Klasko was recently named one of four finalists in the search for the chancellor position of University of Nebraska Medical Center, but withdrew last week.