Morsani College of Medicine opens new doors downtown

The M.D program at the Morsani College of Medicine in downtown Tampa officially began today. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE /USF

USF’s green and gold has sprinkled its way to Downtown Tampa — and USF Health’s fingerprints are all over it.

After five years in the making, USF Health opened its doors to the Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in Downtown Tampa where nearly 1,800 students and faculty will be operating from.

The USF and Tampa community celebrated the momentous occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 8 in the facility’s auditorium. Eleven  people including USF faculty — such as USF President Steven Currall and Board of Trustees Chair Jordan Zimmerman — snipped through the “University of South Florida” ribbon to officially open the 395,000-square-foot facility.

Other Florida representatives and speakers were in attendance, including Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Chair of the Board of Governors Syd Kitson and House of Representatives member (FL-R) Chris Sprowls.

“Resources available here will shape the minds of future doctors and empower our students to tap their full potential,” Castor said.

The M.D. program will begin today, however, there is still some work to be done down the line.

The Heart Institute researchers are expected to move to the facility in  February. Also, the Taneja College of Pharmacy will tentatively begin classes next fall and a P.A. program will open May of next year.

Soaring 13 stories high, the facility has some room to share.

USF Health has partnered with Tampa General Hospital to work together in regards to urgent care, cardiology, imaging and executive wellness.

Nearly $3 billion went into redeveloping the Water Street district. However, the start of this project began with Carol and Frank Morsani who donated $20 million in 2011. The facility was also able to be constructed with $110 million provided by the Florida Legislature.

“This college is so much more than a shiny new building,” Currall said. “It serves as an anchor of the impressive Water Street region. This Morsani College of Medicine is a human capital magnet that will attract world-class physicians, researchers, and students to carry out trailblazing discoveries and deliver creative health education.

“And let us even dream that, maybe someday in the future, research carried out in this building will be worthy of a Nobel Prize.”