Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF suggests diabetes hospital

TAMPA — Leaders at the University of South Florida got nowhere this year when they asked for legislative help to build a hospital on campus.

But they haven't given up. Now they're bringing the proposal back, with a twist. They're tying the hospital idea to USF's biggest research projects, federal diabetes grants that have brought in nearly $400-million.

So, how about a diabetes hospital?

"Diabetes makes a whole lot of sense, because we are the research epicenter right now," USF president Judy Genshaft said Friday.

The project is in the earliest stages, but USF officials clearly hope it will draw less opposition from other Tampa Bay hospitals, which saw the original proposal as competition.

"There's a legitimate concern that we have a lot of hospitals in this area, and whether just having another hospital is something we need right now," said Dr. Stephen Klasko, vice president of USF Health and dean of USF's medical school. "We can articulate why (a USF research hospital) is different, but I can understand that argument."

Whether focusing on a diabetes hospital would mute opposition remains to be seen. Officials at Tampa General Hospital, USF's primary teaching hospital, wouldn't comment Friday.

At this point, there aren't any definite plans, feasibility studies or model legislation. Genshaft said she's started talking to potential donors but has no funding for the idea yet.

There are only a few such centers around the nation. The Joslin Clinic, affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, probably is the best known.

For USF, focusing on diabetes would have advantages on two fronts. First, USF leaders want to capitalize on the grant money already won by a researcher, Dr. Jeffrey Krischer.

Krischer, a biostatistics expert, is coordinating worldwide research studies on how to prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes. But Krischer's research power is in computers. Patients for the studies come from other sites.

"Let's say he was at a place like U. Penn," Klasko said. "He would say, the majority of the clinical work I do is at the (university) hospital. We're missing that piece because we don't have an academic medical center on our campus."

The other draw for USF is that diabetes attacks so many parts of the body. It can affect the eyes, the kidneys, the nerves and the cardiovascular system. A hospital specializing in treating diabetics would draw on a broad variety of specialties, allowing for a wide spectrum of research.

Which raises another possibility: Would USF keep its focus on diabetes, or eventually expand the hospital into a more general facility? Klasko left that possibility open.

"We could potentially expand that hospital and that becomes a diabetes wing," he said.

But Klasko also tried to forestall opposition to that idea, as well, saying that USF would consider "partnering with Tampa General or anybody else" on the project.

Lisa Greene can be reached at greene@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3322.

USF suggests diabetes hospital 09/12/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Largo company's bomb-detecting laser device shows promise in finding fentanyl

    Military

    A retired Green Beret who runs a Largo defense company that makes bomb-detecting equipment sees a new use for his laser-based technology: Detecting the dangerous opioid fentanyl from a distance to protect law enforcement personnel and help with prosecutions.

    Tim Molner with Alakai Defense Systems of Largo demonstrates how a company device uses laser technology to analyze chemical residue from a safe distance. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. Clearwater Beach driver: 'My intentions were to take my own life'

    News

    CLEARWATER — Ryan Michael Stiles stuck close to the dunes and blared his horn when he drove onto Clearwater Beach last Thursday afternoon. He didn't want to hurt anyone there, he said in an interview from the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday morning.

    Ryan Michael Stiles, 27, was arrested last Thursday after driving onto the sands of Clearwater Beach, police said. He is currently being held at the Pinellas County Jail.
  3. After Trump's partisan speech, Boy Scouts of America reiterates that it is 'wholly non-partisan'

    National

    Following President Donald Trump's campaign-style speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday evening, the Boy Scouts of America released a statement that did not comment on the president's remarks but stated that the nonprofit organization is "wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one …

    Members of the Boy Scouts of America listen as President Donald Trump addresses the 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., on Monday. [Doug Mills | New York Times]
  4. Florida Gators want a White Out in home opener

    Blogs

    At least the Florida Gators are trying to do something to spice up this season's home opener.

  5. Stop expecting Gerald McCoy to be Warren Sapp

    Bucs

    Here's the problem when it comes to Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

    Photo from National Pediatric Cancer Foundation The crowd cheered wildly for cancer survivor Joshua Fisher, left, and Tampa Bay Buc Gerald McCoy at the 14th annual Fashion Funds the Cure on May 6 to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation at Port Tampa Bay Terminal 2.