UF Health Shands and Central Florida Health enter into affiliation agreement

The University of Florida Health Shands hospital system and Central Florida Health have entered into an affiliation agreement to collaborate on new health initiatives that will expand access to leading-edge patient care programs and clinical studies for residents of Lake, Sumter and Marion counties.

Together, hospital officials will be exploring the creation of primary care physician training opportunities at Central Florida Health’s Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital. The demand for primary care physicians is increasing as the region’s population quickly grows, and doctors tend to establish their practices close to where they complete their training. Growing the physician workforce also provides added economic benefits to the local community — and throughout the state.

“We share a common set of values across our missions,” said Ed Jimenez, chief executive officer of UF Health Shands, part of UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center. “We are looking forward to working together as we collectively seek to provide the highest-quality, most compassionate care possible, with superior outcomes for the patients we both serve. We also are excited about exploring new opportunities related to our community service, medical education and research activities.”

UF Health already works with Central Florida Health to provide comprehensive stroke care to their patients when needed, offering timely access to the latest technology and the most advanced treatments available. UF Health physicians accept transfer patients from Central Florida Health facilities 24/7 and provide around-the-clock access to consults with a vascular neurologist regarding treatment plans and decisions related to administration of the clot-busting drug tPA for patients who remain in the local area. UF Health also provides educational opportunities, including continuing medical education about the latest in stroke care.

“This affiliation is an acknowledgment of the great care we already offer, and a means to find ways of coordinating care for patients from our local community who have especially complex medical problems we don’t typically treat,” said Don Henderson, president and CEO of Central Florida Health. “It is important for us to work with a comprehensive academic health center like UF Health, because it affords us the ability to continually offer our patients the latest medical breakthroughs.”

UF Health and Central Florida Health will work to further define their relationship over the next several months, and will meet regularly to define agreements on a variety of clinical, research and educational services that will benefit the local community. Officials also will discuss establishing common approaches to quality of care and safety initiatives.

“Each of our organizations has a well-deserved reputation as a health resource for the region. This relationship is about adding health care treatment options for the area’s residents,” Jimenez added. “Our discussions are centering on how we can combine our talents and resources to better address challenges facing the health care industry and improve the coordination of care to overcome barriers patients face in accessing the help they need.”

About Central Florida Health

Central Florida Health is a locally owned and governed 626-bed not-for-profit health care system and is the largest, most comprehensive provider of health care services in its region. Central Florida Health provides services to Lake, Sumter and Marion counties through inpatient acute hospital services at Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital (TVRH), as well as inpatient rehabilitation services at TVRH Rehabilitation Hospital. Other components of Central Florida Health include: ambulatory surgical care through the Day Surgery Center at Leesburg Regional Medical Center (located in the medical plaza across the street from the hospital’s campus) and The Villages® Regional Hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center (located in the East Campus); urgent care services at the Leesburg Regional Medical Center Urgent Care Center (located on the hospital’s campus); and outpatient laboratory services through Alliance Labs at six locations throughout Lake and Sumter counties.

 About University of Florida Health

The University of Florida Health Shands hospital system provides the full spectrum of patient-care services through UF Health Shands Hospital and UF Health Jacksonville, UF’s private, not-for-profit affiliates. UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville includes UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital. Four additional specialty hospitals — the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital, the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital, the UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital and the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital — are also in Gainesville. UF Health Jacksonville and UF Health North Hospital are the system’s Northeast Florida hospitals.

UF Health is the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center. With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health includes six health colleges, nine research institutes and centers, the UF Health hospitals referenced above, 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.

UF Health includes the UF colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine, which has both a large animal hospital and a small animal hospital. The system also encompasses several UF research institutes and centers. UF Health offers a network of outpatient rehabilitation centers, two home health agencies in Gainesville and Jacksonville, and more than 100 UF physician outpatient practices throughout North Central and Northeast Florida.


About the Author

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