TAMPA — The University of South Florida’s medical school faculty and students have a long-term deal to remain at Tampa General Hospital, according to a three-year contract announced today.
The agreement with the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine replaces a contract that was in its final year. It had become the victim of tensions partly involving former dean Stephen Klasko and his brokering of deals with other medical centers.
Since 1970, the hospital and USF have worked together and built a residency program that now numbers 300. USF Health also operates its South Tampa Center for Advanced Health Care adjacent to the downtown Tampa hospital.
Harry van Loveren, interim dean of the USF Morsani College of Medicine, said both sides wanted an “evergreen” contract to avoid last-minute negotiations. Now the contract will automatically renew each year.
“We will never again walk to the cliff,” he said.
Coincidentally, Tuesday’s statement came as Tampa General announced a partnership with the Florida Hospital Network. Since 2012, USF medical students and professors have practiced at Florida Hospital facilities, including the Pepin Heart Institute in Tampa.
David Straz, chairman of the Tampa General board, said leadership changes at the hospital and the College of Medicine allowed him to work directly with USF President Judy Genshaft, a longtime friend.
“We were able to work things out in an amicable way,” he said.
This announcement can eliminate the “dynamic tension” between USF and its partner hospitals, vanLoveren said. He said he can see USF playing a significant role in the partnership between the local hospitals, and in the area’s future health care opportunities.
“I think you are seeing the system emerge,” he said. “USF is the glue that is going to unify these players in the marketplace.”