UF Health names chief medical officer for Central Florida division

Kevin E. Behrns, M.D., will oversee medical care within the UF Health Central Florida hospitals.Kevin E. Behrns, M.D., has been appointed chief medical officer for University of Florida Health Central Florida. 

In his new role, Behrns will work to ensure the provision of the highest-quality care within the UF Health Central Florida hospitals while promoting a strong culture of safety. Toward these ends, he will seek to foster close and positive working relationships with all medical providers across the campuses. Additionally, he will play a key role in developing medical policies and procedures in support of innovative patient care programs and will promote continuing medical education.

“Dr. Behrns has an impressive track record of successful leadership and a thorough knowledge of UF Health’s unique culture of innovation and medical excellence,” said Ed Jimenez, UF Health Shands CEO. “That unique background will aid him in his new role as he works with medical staff members to develop best practice policies and procedures while representing UF Health Central Florida in a number of initiatives related to physician recruitment and continuing medical education.”

Behrns attended the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency training at the Mayo Clinic in 1995. He spent his early career at the University of North Carolina before coming to the University of Florida in 2005, where he subsequently served as the Edward R. Woodward Professor and chair of the UF Department of Surgery from 2009 to 2016. In January 2017, he assumed the position of vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at Saint Louis University.

A general surgeon with expertise in pancreatobiliary and liver surgery, Behrns has served several national organizations, including a six-year term on the American Board of Surgery. In addition, he served on the executive committee of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors. Nationally, Behrns has been the president of the Halsted Society and the Southeastern Surgical Congress. He is editor-in-chief of Surgery, and an editorial board member of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and the American Journal of Surgery.

Throughout his career, Behrns has been dedicated to delivering leading-edge care, conducting innovative research and educating the next generation of surgeons. He has received numerous awards for teaching and mentorship and scholarship.

“I could not be more excited and honored to return to the UF Health family with its newest member — UF Health Central Florida,” said Behrns. “This is an important step forward for our organization and represents a tremendous opportunity for me to play a role in shaping the future of health care delivery for the residents of Lake, Sumter and Marion counties.”

About UF Health

UF Health is a world-class academic health center that combines leading-edge research at campuses around Florida with outstanding clinical care at a network of hospitals around the state. The flagship is UF Health Shands Hospital, ranked the No. 1 hospital in Florida in the 2020-21 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey, with nine adult and three pediatric specialties in the top 50 in the nation, more than any other hospital in Florida.

With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville as well as satellite sites in Central Florida and several other locations, UF Health provides exemplary health care to patients across the third-most populous state in the nation. UF Health consists of six health colleges, nine research centers and institutes,10 hospitals — including two teaching hospitals and five specialty hospitals — and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services.

The backbone of UF Health is a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 33,000 people who provide lifesaving care and research breakthroughs for more than 3 million patients who come to UF Health each year from around the U.S. and more than 30 countries.

UF Health is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. As part of the state’s “safety-net’’ hospital system, caring for people who have little or no medical coverage, UF Health provided more than $254.9 million in unsupported charity care and social responsibility across its Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses in fiscal year 2019. Annually, UF Health contributes more than $4.6 billion to Florida’s overall economy.

Our 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. Visit www.UFHealth.org to learn more.

About UF Health Central Florida

UF Health Central Florida, formerly known as Central Florida Health and acquired by UF Health in 2020, is an award-winning, not-for-profit health care system and the largest, most comprehensive provider of health care services in the region. We care for patients in Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties through inpatient acute hospital services at UF Health The Villages® Hospital and UF Health Leesburg Hospital, inpatient rehabilitation services at UF Health The Villages® Rehabilitation Hospital, adult inpatient psychiatric services at the UF Health Leesburg Hospital Senior Behavioral Health Center and diagnostic laboratory services at several locations. As a premier health care provider, UF Health Central Florida takes pride in providing progressive, innovative technology, along with building strong relationships with patients, families, physicians and residents of the communities it serves. To learn more, visit www.CentralFloridaHealth.org.
Media contact: Frank Faust at ffaust@centflhealth.org or 352-323-3278.