Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Health

USF names new medical school dean

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TAMPA — An internationally recognized researcher in obstetrics and gynecology has been named dean of the University of South Florida's Morsani School of Medicine.

Dr. Charles Lockwood, 59, is currently dean of Ohio State University College of Medicine and member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

"I can't wait to get started," Lockwood told reporters on Thursday.

He replaces former USF medical school dean Stephen Klasko, who left last year after nearly a decade at the helm to become president of Thomas Jefferson University and chief executive officer of the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital System in Philadelphia.

Lockwood, who will also serve as senior vice president for USF Health, starts his new job on May 5. His 12-month salary will be $775,000. He receives a one-time startup bonus of $80,000 and is eligible for a performance bonus of $155,000.

When Klasko left last year, he was in the midst of a five-year contract that paid him $748,000 a year and included a $100,000 signing bonus. He lost out on roughly $1.6 million in deferred retention incentives by leaving early.

Ohio State's medical school has its own hospital, something USF lacks despite Klasko's best efforts. But Lockwood said Thursday that USF's partnership with Tampa General Hospital makes the most sense in today's "tumultuous" economy for hospitals.

"There's a curse and a blessing to having your own hospital," he said. "On the whole, I think partnering with a hospital in this day and age is preferable to owning one."

When Lockwood takes the helm at USF, he'll face the ambitious legacy of his controversial predecessor. Klasko forged unlikely partnerships, such as with Lakeland Regional Medical Center, and embarked on wide-ranging ventures, from a $40 million training center in downtown Tampa to a new heart institute.

Lockwood did not speak directly on any of those projects. He said he was attracted to USF because of its emphasis on innovative research, particularly if its results can be patented and commercialized to generate revenue. Continuing to look for such opportunities, he said, is critical as federal government research funding grows more scarce.

Lockwood said he was impressed by the enthusiasm he saw at USF despite the many financial challenges present in academic medicine. "I was really stunned at how energized, enthusiast and optimistic they are," he said.

Though USF hired a search firm to help find a dean, the other candidates were internal: Dr. Charles Paidas, vice dean for clinical affairs and graduate medical education; Dr. David J. Smith Jr., chairman of the surgery department; Dr. Robert Brooks, associate vice president for health care leadership; Dr. Stephen Liggett, associate vice president for personalized medicine; and Dr. Clifton Gooch, chairman of the neurology department, who later withdrew from consideration.

Before joining Ohio State in 2011, Lockwood spent nine years as chairman of the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences department at Yale University School of Medicine. Before his Yale post, he was department chairman at New York University School of Medicine and served as acting director of NYU's Kaplan Comprehensive Cancer Center. His previous appointments include the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the faculty of Tufts University.

Lockwood earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and he has a master's degree in health care management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital and his fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Lockwood's research in obstetrics and gynecology has garnered multiple awards, particularly for his work in premature births. His clinical interests include the prevention of recurrent pregnancy loss, preterm delivery and maternal thrombosis. He was part of a research team credited with developing "fetal fibronectin," the first biochemical predictor of prematurity.

"The University of South Florida System is thrilled to welcome an individual of Dr. Lockwood's national standing to lead USF Health as we continue to provide leading-edge health education and care," USF president Judy Genshaft said in a statement.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.

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