Thursday, November 23, 2017
Business

Robert Trigaux: Can ambitious Tampa Bay lay claim to health care innovation capital?

RECOMMENDED READING


What if Tampa Bay thought it could become the innovative leader in health care?

What if this region tossed out the old school, overpriced health care playbook and tapped its growing expertise in personal medicine, drug development, robotic surgery, electronic health records, advanced medical devices, local clinics, hospital chains and medical education?

That's the bold and brassy multiyear ambition of an initiative by area economic development and health care leaders. The project officially kicks off May 13 with a one-day Tampa conference dubbed MediFuture 2023 (medifuture2023.com). It envisions a transformed and patient-centered health care system, 10 years in the future, delivering higher levels of care and access, at lower cost. And it seeks to position Tampa Bay as the "epicenter of disruptive innovation" in health care.

So says Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. CEO Rick Homans.

"As a community, we have a choice to make," he says. "Are we prepared to marshal our resources to plant a flag and say we want to be the center of this change? Or do we want to stand on the sidelines and watch as other communities around the globe carve out their opportunity while we scratch our heads and say, 'How did that happen?' "

Homans, who was recruited here just over a year ago, is eager to push the development envelope. He previously ran Spaceport America, New Mexico's commercial spaceport, where innovative thinking is mandatory.

Now he's looking years ahead to a day when Tampa Bay could be the place for innovative health care, just as the Paris Air Show showcases the world's aerospace industry or Austin's South by Southwest or "SXSW" celebrates film, music and creative technology.

The regional ingredients are already here, Homans argues, and just need to start connecting. Tampa Bay Partnership CEO Stuart Rogel is also backing this initiative.

A key ally is Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of USF's Morsani College of Medicine. "Tampa Bay has a chance to become the Silicon Valley for health care transformation," he said.

Klasko has outlined five areas to reimagine the future of health care: quality and safety; personalized medicine; electronic health records; medical devices; and the "Ipadization" of health education.

"This creates an opportunity to defragment our health care industry here," he said. "We believe that in a couple of years, folks will look at us and say, 'Holy moly, what's going on in Tampa Bay?' "

Klasko stressed this project is not a USF or Moffitt Cancer Center or Tampa General effort. "It is a Tampa Bay initiative."

Says Homans: "I consider myself a novice at this point. But I can smell opportunity. And this is an opportunity."

He reels off the potential building blocks here: USF, its medical school, its Center for Advanced Learning and Simulation, Moffitt, Johns Hopkins-affiliated All Children's Hospital, M2Gen, Draper Lab, SRI, hospital chains, medical device makers, entrepreneurs and health record specialists.

Sounds wild? You bet. Remember, this is a decade-ahead vision. This is the kind of thinking — from health care to mass transit to education — that Tampa Bay needs to embrace much more often.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]

Comments
Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Associated PressSome smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.Store owners are going well beyond the usual holiday dec...
Published: 11/22/17
Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

ST. PETERSBURG — After six years of negotiations, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and its flight attendants union reached a tentative contract to improve worker pay and benefits and solidify airline policies."We feel like it’s an agreement that is cert...
Published: 11/22/17
Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly three dozen workers at ONE St. Petersburg, a luxury condo tower under construction in the heart of downtown, haven’t been paid in weeks and are owed thousands of dollars.With the holidays nearing, some of the men say they are ...
Published: 11/22/17
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Published: 11/22/17
More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

TAMPA — Here’s some travel math for this traditionally heavy day for long trips: More people carrying guns plus more people flying equals more guns going to the airport.The numbers bear this out. The federal Transportation Security Administration has...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17

Florida Supreme Court suspends two Hillsborough lawyers

Times Staff WriterTwo Hillsborough County lawyers have been suspended from practice because of professional misconduct.The Florida Supreme Court ordered a 91-day suspension for Richard Luther Bradford of Brandon after he was found in contempt for fai...
Published: 11/22/17
Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

The Tampa Bay Times Thanksgiving Early Bird edition, with all of the Black Friday ads and sales circulars, is available today.That’s right. You don’t have to wait until Thursday to check out the savings. Weighing nearly five pounds, the Early Bird Ed...
Published: 11/22/17
U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

WASHINGTON — When the Trump administration announced new Cuba regulations, it sparked a new round of hand-wringing in Washington over a return to a posture not seen since the Cold War. But now, the American business community is quietly spreading the...
Published: 11/22/17
Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Although the crowds might still be unruly and the lines long, Black Friday as "The Day" is slowly waning. Steve Kirn, a University of Florida professor and executive director for the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education & Research, said the...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17