UF Health, Halifax Health aim to transform regional health care through expanded affiliation

University of Florida Health and Halifax Health are in conversations to expand an already successful collaboration that is poised to transform the health care landscape in Volusia County and the surrounding region through high-tech, high-touch quality care backed by the expertise of leading UF physicians and scientists.

UF Health and Volusia-based Halifax Health recently signed a letter of intent to continue exclusive talks on a “broad affiliation.” The next step to build on their existing relationship includes negotiations to forge a new hospital in Deltona, northeast of Orlando. The facility is expected to open by early 2020.

Halifax has commenced construction on the hospital on land adjacent to Interstate 4 at State Road 472.

Terms and conditions of the proposed agreement are confidential pending continued conversations, according to the letter of intent. The two organizations would work together to complete construction of the hospital, when an agreement is finalized. Management, operations, staffing and quality will be overseen by a team appointed by UF Health and Halifax Health.

Any agreement must ultimately be approved by each group’s board of directors. UF Health and Halifax Health said they hope to present the boards with a finalized agreement in the spring.

The two health systems have had a tight working relationship for several years. They already collaborate on heart and vascular surgery, pediatric care, neurosurgery and kidney transplantation, and UF Health surgeons and other physicians are based in Daytona Beach.

“What we’ve learned from each other is that we have a lot of compatibilities,” said Ed Jimenez, CEO of UF Health Shands Hospital. “We aspire to great patient care. We are both trauma centers. We view ourselves as being regionally supportive of our neighborhoods and communities. And then we hit the one compatibility that transcends everything else, which is that we have this unending commitment to quality and patient safety. So, we’re really excited about the possibility of collaborating further.”

Halifax Health leaders said the collaboration would provide patients in Volusia and surrounding communities with greater access to care, including access to more specialty services, more advanced technology and increased access to clinical trials, among numerous benefits.

“As the medical landscape changes, it is becoming more important to partner with like organizations to provide a greater depth of critically needed health care services,” said Jeff Feasel, president and CEO of Halifax Health. “This partnership speaks to the need for collaboration to reduce health care costs while continuing to elevate the quality care the two organizations provide.”

Jimenez said the collaboration with Halifax has worked so well that working together on the new hospital is unlikely to be the last project between the two.

“Tomorrow becomes limitless,” he said. “What else do we want to do together? The future holds great opportunity because we’re focused on the right thing — patient care and patient quality.”

About Halifax Health

Recognized by The Joint Commission as a top performer on key quality measures, Halifax Health serves Volusia and Flagler counties, providing a continuum of health care services. Those include a tertiary and community hospital, an emergency department, urgent care, psychiatric services, a cancer treatment center with five outreach locations, the area’s largest hospice, an inpatient rehabilitation center, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, primary care walk-in clinics, a women’s health clinic, a pediatric care community clinic, three children’s medical practices, a home health-care agency and an exclusive provider organization, among other services. For more information, visit halifaxhealth.org.

About UF Health

University of Florida Health — the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center — encompasses the University of Florida Health Science Center and the UF Health Shands and UF Health Jacksonville family of hospitals and services. With campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health includes six health colleges, eight research institutes and centers, two teaching hospitals, two specialty hospitals and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services throughout North Central and Northeast Florida. Its mission is to promote health through outstanding and high-quality patient care; innovative and rigorous education in the health professions and biomedical sciences; and high-impact research across the spectrum of basic, translational and clinical investigation.

For more information, please contact Rossana Passaniti at PASSAR@shands.ufl.edu or 352-273-8569. 

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Bill Levesque

Science Writer

Bill Levesque joined the UF Health staff in May 2017 as a science writer covering the Institute on Aging and research of faculty physicians in the College of Medicine. He...Read More