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University of South Florida College of Medicine (Tampa, Florida)

Klasko, Stephen K. MD, MBA

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3180408694
Other Features: Cover Note

Dean, College of Medicine, Vice President, USF Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Two years ago, the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine began a program of fundamental change. Founded to train physicians for a growing region, it now seeks to lead health care through creative models for patient-centered care, for emerging fields of research, and for integrated education.

The first step required the greatest cultural change—to propose that medicine, nursing, and public health form a partnership to change the fundamentals of health care. The partnership was founded on the idea that health care can only be transformed when it is understood in the context of the full spectrum of health—from the environment, to policy, to the community, to the family, to individual behavior, to acute care, to chronic care, and, lastly, to end-of-life care.

To stimulate creativity and innovation, USF Health, the partnership of the colleges of public health, nursing, and medicine, was created. USF Health facilitates interdisciplinary creativity by faculty and symbolizes USF’s commitment to co-create an optimistic future for health and health care. Students across disciplines can learn communication and clinical skills for their futures in team-based care at the Center for Advanced Clinical Learning. The development of a patient/community resource library allows for personal learning plans for one’s own health and treatment planning. USF Health was accepted into the Institute for Health Care Improvement consortium to change rates of medical error through new curriculum, because of the initiatives instituted across medicine, nursing, and public health.

Within the College of Medicine, several hundred faculty have engaged in the challenge to lead the future of health care. Teaching medical students in integrated courses begins with the very first course—the profession of medicine. Students learn basic science in integration with clinical experience, and because of this, faculty now organize clinical experiences from a patient-centered perspective rather than through traditional rotations. The college also combines basic science departments to create a flexible, focused research engine based on emerging fields of research and high-risk areas such as nanobiology that will reframe how science improves human health. USF College of Medicine has brought an entrepreneurial model to its clinical services, rebuilding cardiology and orthopedics and launching programs in high-need arenas such as fetal surgery.

Recently, construction started on new outpatient centers ($100 million plus) to use state-of-the-art technology for patient safety, service, and superior education. The community has shown its support for USF College of Medicine through multimillion-dollar gifts, including recent gifts worth $20 million by Carol and Frank Morsani for outpatient care, and gifts worth $15 million for neonatal intensive care.

The Tampa Bay area is one of the fastest growing, most beautiful regions in the country. It’s growing as a destination for creative people and for bioscience. USF has evolved into a premier research university. The College of Medicine and USF Health are proud to be major catalysts for this growth, and we are optimistic about our future.

Our goal: To decide what kind of integrated, positive model of health and health care we want in the future . . . and, using that model, to provide world-class medical education in a student-friendly, research-based culture.

My thanks to Academic Medicine for the opportunity to share our strategic blueprint.

For more information, please visit (

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA

Dean, College of Medicine

Vice President, USF Health

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

© 2007 Association of American Medical Colleges