ST. PETERSBURG — All Children's Hospital and the University of South Florida said Wednesday that they have signed an eight-year agreement to extend a long-standing training program for new pediatricians and to expand their research collaborations.
The move formalizes the university's relationship with the St. Petersburg children's hospital, which is now part of Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine. Just how the institutions would work together into the future has been under discussion since Hopkins announced plans to create its own residency program at the hospital.
"It accelerates the academic vision for All Children's," said Dr. Jonathan Ellen, president and vice dean at All Children's, noting that USF has been involved with the hospital since the 1970s.
USF will continue to train pediatricians at All Children's, although the size of its residency program will shrink to accommodate the Hopkins-affiliated group, said Dr. Patricia Emmanuel, USF's chair of pediatrics, explaining that funding limits the total number of residents at All Children's.
Right now, USF has 51 residents in pediatrics medicine and the surgical subspecialities, Emmanuel said. Starting in 2014, when the Hopkins residents arrive, she expects the USF program to go down to about 41 residents.
In the future, she expects that USF and Hopkins will each accept about 12 residents per year into their respective programs, which will operate independently at All Children's. While details remain under discussion, the programs will interact at times.
On an infectious disease rotation, for example, residents from both programs could train together, Ellen noted. But in other hospital situations, they may work separately.
USF residents also train at Tampa General Hospital and at clinics in Tampa.
All Children's and USF also plan to continue working together at the Children's Research Institute, a university-owned facility next to the hospital. Several researchers there already are affiliated with both USF and All Children's.
To advance joint research, USF and All Children's plan to redirect about $8 million in funding for endowed chairs, which are currently unfilled. These endowments will support new initiatives in health service sciences and pediatric cardiology.
In cardiology, Ellen expects the initiative to foster research opportunities for residents and to advance care for children with congenital heart conditions.