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UF Health: New name signals new era in health care delivery

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UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, is now University of Florida Health, university officials announced today.

The new “umbrella” term reflects the health system’s strong ties to UF, a key part of what differentiates the academic health center — with its focus on excellence in research, teaching and patient care — from its competitors.

The move to UF Health grew out of extensive research conducted over the past year and represents the next stage in the organization’s evolution as one of the nation’s most successful academic health centers. The rebranding effort will help position the organization more powerfully among peers and competitors as a respected regional and national health care resource, said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health.

Broad name recognition will help attract and retain the most talented physicians, nurses, faculty, staff and students as well as secure research funding. That translates to better care, better health and better outcomes for patients.

“While our overall name is changing, our focus remains the same: to provide high-quality, patient-centered care that leads to outstanding outcomes,” Guzick said. “We will continue to build on the teamwork and collaboration that is the foundation for our strength and success.

“UF Health represents who we are today,” he continued. “As an organization that does everything from leading-edge research to urgent MRIs on people and on horses, it’s essential to unify our teaching, research and clinical care efforts under a single heading.”

The name change does not herald a merger or acquisition between UF and Shands, nor does it alter day-to-day operations. Both are legally separate organizations whose governance and leadership structures remain the same. Employees will continue to be employed either by the university or by Shands. As UF Health is a collaboration of the UF Health Science Center and Shands, employees will help support the system’s shared vision and goals, which were first outlined three years ago today when the “Forward Together” strategic plan was unveiled.

“The Shands name will continue to be front and center for our hospitals and programs in Gainesville,” said Timothy M. Goldfarb, chief executive officer of Shands HealthCare. “What’s made the Shands name so well-respected is that we are part of the University of Florida. Patients travel hours to seek care here and other quality organizations want to affiliate with us in part because of this academic foundation.”

The system’s hospitals in Gainesville will retain the Shands name paired with UF Health. Examples include UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital. However, the system’s Jacksonville-based hospital, Shands Jacksonville, will instead adopt a university-centric moniker, although it will remain a separate private hospital corporation working in close collaboration with the university.

“In Jacksonville, our hospital will transition to a new name, UF Health Jacksonville,” said Russ Armistead, chief executive officer for UF Health Jacksonville. “Research conducted in the fall of 2012 indicated that the hospital’s tie to UF has positive brand recognition in the highly competitive Jacksonville market.”

For the most part, the UF health-focused colleges and institutes will retain their current names, such as the UF College of Medicine and the UF Institute on Aging. The exception is the UF Shands Cancer Center, which will evolve to the UF Health Cancer Center. In Gainesville, the faculty group practice, UF Physicians, will change to UF Health Physicians.

“Three years ago, we put together a strategic plan that has helped us work together to better serve our patients and communities,” Guzick said. “The UF Health brand embodies the achievements we have made in that process.”

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Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620