Thursday, February 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Klasko leaves USF in good health

Dr. Stephen Klasko leaves Tampa Bay for his dream job in Philadelphia with a list of impressive accomplishments as dean of the University of South Florida's college of medicine and CEO of USF Health: new USF Health partnerships, an innovative simulation center in downtown Tampa, and a stronger medical school faculty. As USF president Judy Genshaft searches for his successor, she should focus on candidates who will continue to be highly visible in the community, adapt to the quickly changing health care economy, and forge a stronger partnership with Tampa General Hospital.

Klasko's enthusiastic, hard-charging nature energized his supporters and irritated others in the medical community. His nine-year run at USF is roughly twice as long as the norm in such jobs, and his departure presents opportunities as well as challenges for USF. In accepting the dual posts as president of both Thomas Jefferson University and the Philadelphia school's hospital system, Klasko achieved a goal that eluded him in Tampa — running an academic medical center in partnership with his university's medical program. The finances here never made sense for USF to build a stand-alone hospital, given the competition and the long relationship USF has had with its main teaching partner, Tampa General Hospital.

Still, Klasko's focus on excellence and his entrepreneurial spirit helped carve out a niche for Tampa Bay in the emerging fields of personalized and biomedicine and advanced medical training. Bioscience is now one of the industries the region has targeted with job development efforts. State-of-the-art training at USF's Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation in downtown Tampa has developed a global reputation. And under Klasko's leadership, the medical school has churned out programs to put physicians more in touch with their patients. These are achievements his successor should build on as USF continues to build its brand and look for new partnerships.

One key challenge for the new chief executive of USF Health, though, is to repair the ties with Tampa General. That relationship is critical for the medical residents and for the USF physicians who practice there (and their patients). Tampa General has just hired a new chief executive officer, and there is an opportunity to start fresh with new leaders at both the hospital and USF. The two sides need to come together on building the business and improving the clinical setting while ensuring that the hospital continues as a social safety net. Negotiations over a long-term affiliation agreement create an opportunity for both sides to move beyond the acrimony and work together for their common benefit.

Klasko told the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board Thursday that while he wanted a standalone USF medical center in 2005, shifting health care economics make one less attractive now and USF can be more nimble in forging relationships. He predicted his successor will face challenges presented by too little state money, increased competition in the health care industry, and recruitment of talented USF staff by other universities seeking to bring in more money in an era of declining research grants.

Genshaft pledged Thursday that she will seek to hire someone to build on Klasko's successes, continue an entrepreneurial spirit, forge partnerships and nurture ongoing projects such as the simulation center. Those are smart goals, because this will be a particularly important hire for USF and the entire Tampa Bay region.

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Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nationís 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18