UF&Shands changes its name to University of Florida Health
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
UF&Shands assumed a different name Monday afternoon and will now go by the name University of Florida Health.
The change is the culmination of a strategic plan dubbed “Forward Together” that began three years ago to underline the collaboration between the University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands Hospital, said Dr. David Guzick, president of UF Health and senior vice president for health affairs, at a news conference Monday to announce the name change.
Calling the collaboration one of “unstoppable momentum,” Guzick said that the name recognizes the “tipping point” of the collaboration that now enters a new era.
“We feel that UF Health is greater than the sum of its parts ... a new name to go out and greet the world,” Guzick said.
Guzick added that the overall name change will enhance the reputation of UF’s health facilities nationally, and the university brand will help convey their missions of scientific discovery and training of the next generation of scientists, alongside the primary mission of providing patient care.
Legally and financially, the hospital and the six health sciences colleges within the university will remain separate, but the intention to work together intensifies. Guzick said that the collaboration that began under “Forward Together” has been transformative, citing that in the past two years, the College of Medicine has received a 17 percent increase in funding from the National Institutes of Health at a time when NIH funding has been flat or negative for institutions around the country.
Other colleges, such as public health, also have benefited from increased funding.
The “Dance for Life” program is one example of a collaborative effort between UF and Shands that has gained national recognition, said Dr. Michael Good, dean of the College of Medicine. The program, designed to help Parkinson’s disease patients regain balance and mobility, brings together experts from the Shands Arts in Medicine program and the schools of theater and dance, along with physicians.
The National Parkinson Foundation recently selected UF for the largest study on Parkinson’s disease patients and dance yet, Good added.
Tim Goldfarb, CEO of Shands HealthCare, said that traveling around the state talking to patients at various health facilities, it is clear that the Gainesville facility represents “the state’s true academic health center.”
“All roads lead to Gainesville. We are here for the state,” Goldfarb said.
Shands, established in 1958, was the state’s first teaching hospital. It was named after a state senator, William Shands of Gainesville, elected in 1940, who had the idea to establish a teaching hospital in Gainesville and helped obtain much of the initial funding for it.
The Gainesville-based hospitals will retain the Shands name. For example, the main hospital will become UF Health Shands Hospital, and the children’s hospital becomes UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. However, the hospital in Jacksonville becomes “UF Health Jacksonville,” Guzick said.
The UF health-focused colleges will also retain their names, such as the UF College of Medicine and the UF Institute on Aging.
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