Shands hospital system restructures governance of Gainesville and Jacksonville sites

The Shands boards of directors have voted to restructure governance of two components of the hospital system — Shands Jacksonville and Shands at the University of Florida — so they become closely collaborating “sister” entities with parallel roles, each with a direct relationship to UF leadership.

The decision is an important step in the evolution of the UF Academic Health Center and the Shands family of hospitals, officials said.

“This action allows a natural evolution of our Jacksonville campus as a mature institution under the UF umbrella, and allows the leadership at the Gainesville campus to focus on our academic and clinical activities there, while still ensuring overall governance and strategic direction from the University of Florida,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF, president of the UF&Shands Health System at UF, and chair of both Shands entities’ boards.

Both hospitals will operate independently, each with its own board. They will benefit from a shared mission focused on the academic health center’s goals for patients, students and research programs. Timothy M. Goldfarb, CEO of Shands HealthCare, and James R. Burkhart, CEO of Shands Jacksonville, will report to their respective boards, and to Guzick as chair of each board.

UF President Bernie Machen and Guzick in his role as chair of the Shands boards are convening a new Shands HealthCare Strategic Cabinet, through which all Shands entities will work closely with the UF Health Science Center as part of the UF Academic Health Center. The Cabinet will provide crucial expertise and advice on major strategic and financial issues before action is taken on them.

In a highly competitive and challenging market and at a time of historic health care reform, the restructuring will support opportunities to form strategic alliances and achieve more effective operations and results, officials said.

“This change gives hospital leadership and its board the ability to address the needs of the Jacksonville community in a more nimble fashion, and to draw on its resources and those of the Jacksonville community to grow and prosper,” Burkhart said.

Working with the UF colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy in Jacksonville, goals include more efficient delivery of health-care services, improved clinical outcomes, stimulating educational programs for students, residents and fellows, and innovative research that fosters novel discoveries and economic development, he said.

“For several years, we have been attentive to Shands Jacksonville’s growth and development. Jim and the hospital’s leaders have been very successful and the hospital is a strong and vibrant resource for the community,” Goldfarb said. “Now Shands Jacksonville will have the flexibility it deserves to operate even more efficiently and effectively.”

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Melanie Fridl Ross's picture

Melanie Fridl Ross

Chief Communications Officer/ UFHealth, the University of Florida’s Academic Health Center

Chief communications officer for UF Health. She also serves as senior producer and managing editor for the public radio program Health in a Heartbeat, overseeing operations for the nationally aired...Read More