Sacred Heart Health System and UF Health form affiliation to train resident physicians

Officials at Sacred Heart Health System and the University of Florida College of Medicine announced today (March 22) a collaboration to operate physician residency programs in Pensacola to train medical school graduates specializing in pediatrics as well as in obstetrics and gynecology.

“The affiliation between the University of Florida and Sacred Heart will enhance the level of advanced medical education available in our region and give our resident physicians new opportunities to participate in clinical care and research within the university system,” said Susan Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. “UF Health includes the state’s premier teaching hospital, and its world-class physicians are recognized regionally and nationally for their expertise.”

“The partnership between UF and Sacred Heart helps us train the physicians needed to care for the citizens of our state and especially our local communities such as Pensacola, and combines the best attributes of university-based and community-based residency training into a single program,” said Michael Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine.

The residency training program builds on the existing relationship between UF Health and Sacred Heart Health, according to UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez.

“We have a long tradition of working with Sacred Heart Health System to improve residents’ access to high quality clinical care and service. This is a continuation of our positive teamwork and collaboration,” Jimenez said.

Sacred Heart has operated residency programs in pediatrics as well as obstetrics and gynecology since the 1970s. Its pediatric residency program currently includes 26 physicians in a three-year education and training program, while the obstetrics and gynecology residency program has enrolled 15 physicians in a four-year program. Under the new agreement, the residents and the board-certified physicians who serve as program faculty will be employed by UF. 

“Many of the residents who train at Sacred Heart remain in this area as pediatricians and obstetricians,” said Doug Ross, M.D., senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Sacred Heart Health System. “The community benefits because we are able to attract top medical talent to our region.”

The agreement sets the stage for further collaboration between the two organizations that can extend the medical expertise and research experience of UF to northwest Florida.

About UF Health

UF Health, the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast, is a collaboration of the University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands. The colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine, various research centers and institutes, a network of faculty practices and the Shands family of hospitals fall under the UF Health umbrella, which extends to a regional campus in Jacksonville. UF Health also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals and through affiliations with community-based health care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle. For more information, visit

About Sacred Heart Health System

Sacred Heart Health System is Northwest Florida’s leading provider of high-quality health care to children and adults. The hub of the Sacred Heart system is its 566-bed Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.  The facilities in Pensacola include The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, a Level II Trauma Center, a Cancer Center affiliated with MD Anderson Cancer Network, the area’s only program specializing in maternal-fetal medicine, and a cardiovascular program ranked as one of the top 50 in the nation by Truven Analytics. The Health System also includes Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, a 58-bed community hospital near Destin, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, a 19-bed hospital, in Port St. Joe, and Sacred Heart Medical Group, a large regional network of primary care and specialty physicians with offices across seven coastal counties between Gulf Shores, Ala. and Apalachicola, Fla.

Sacred Heart has been recognized for 16 straight years by National Research Corporation as winner of the Consumer Choice Award as the most preferred health care system in Northwest Florida. For more information, call 850-416-7000 or visit online at

About Ascension

Sacred Heart is a member of Ascension (, a healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care – including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

About the Author

Rossana Passaniti's picture

Rossana Passaniti

Media Relations Coordinator/UF Health

Rossana Passaniti, CMP, serves as the primary media contact for all news outlets, and identifies sources, arranges interviews, obtains patient consent and provides patient condition reports to the media as...Read More