Nationally known orthopaedic surgeon to lead UF Health cancer care initiatives
Gibbs also serves as the Eugene L. Jewett professor of orthopaedic surgery and chief of the University of Florida College of Medicine division of musculoskeletal oncology. His new appointment begins Oct. 10.
“Dr. Gibbs will play a key role in continuing to position the UF Health Cancer Center as a prominent leader in patient care, education and research within the state and nation,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “He has an outstanding record in all three critical missions, and he is the right person to bring all of them together to move the Cancer Center forward. His deputy director role is a new position here at UF Health, reflective of our commitment to leading-edge cancer care and to our vision for providing our patients with an unparalleled experience.”
Gibbs will report to senior UF Health administrators including Paul Okunieff, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center, Edward Jimenez, interim chief executive officer for UF Health Shands Hospital, and Timothy Flynn, M.D., senior associate dean for clinical affairs in the UF College of Medicine and chief medical officer for UF Health Shands Hospital.
“Dr. Gibbs will be responsible for creating, communicating and advancing a common vision for excellence in cancer care at UF Health that will direct every aspect of how we serve our cancer patients, here in Gainesville and at partner institutions statewide,” Jimenez said. “As UF Health Cancer Center’s deputy director of medical affairs, his job is to build on UF Health’s already high-quality, multidisciplinary cancer programs as the foundation for continual improvement of clinical services, continuing our world-class cancer care and the best possible outcomes for our cancer patients.
“Dr. Gibbs is a natural choice to serve in this role,” Jimenez continued. “He actively participates in several hospital committees, including service as chairman for the UF Health Shands Hospital Perioperative Patient and Family Experience Committee, and his clinical background and expertise speak for themselves.”
In this new role, Gibbs is charged with establishing a collaborative environment that engages multiple facets of the organization, including cancer faculty, clinical staff and researchers. He is also responsible for improving patient care through integration of multidisciplinary cancer clinical services, instilling a culture of continuous quality improvement and expanding clinical and translational cancer research — which ensures the UF Health Cancer Center will continue to make a robust selection of leading-edge, new cancer drugs and therapies available to UF Health’s cancer patients.
“We’re extraordinarily excited to have Dr. Gibbs join the cancer center’s leadership,” said Okunieff. “He’s both a cancer surgeon and a clinical researcher, which gives him a unique and extremely valuable perspective necessary to the effective execution of his new position. His challenge will be to apply that understanding to improve clinical care for our cancer patients through quality initiatives and in the provision of clinical research to meet patient needs.”
Gibbs is one of fewer than 200 surgeons nationwide who are considered experts at limb-salvage surgery to treat bone and soft tissue sarcomas. He earned his medical degree from UF in 1989 and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Colorado and his fellowships in orthopaedic oncology and orthopaedic oncology research at the University of Chicago. He served as the director of musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Colorado for five years before his appointment to the UF department of orthopaedics in 2003. Gibbs is a National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute-funded investigator who has published nearly 60 scientific papers. He also directs the NIH-funded Musculoskeletal Oncology and Stem Cell Laboratory at the University of Florida.
“My responsibility as the UF Health Cancer Center deputy director of medical affairs is to position UF Health as the destination of choice for cancer patients and their physicians in Florida and throughout the region by providing compassionate, leading-edge, coordinated and patient-centric cancer care,” said Gibbs.
In this new role, Gibbs will also serve as chairman for UF Health’s Cancer Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program, which seeks to implement common and optimal standards for quality cancer care across all of UF Health’s campuses in Gainesville, Jacksonville and Orlando. He also will oversee the integration of cancer research in UF Health’s clinical enterprises in support of the UF Health Cancer Center’s quest for National Cancer Institute cancer center designation.
“Our patients should know that UF Health is an outstanding academic medical center that provides the best cancer care available anywhere,” Gibbs said. “But we recognize even the best can have room for improvement.”