Wednesday, April 25, 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: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

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Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Writing a new law that phases out separate accreditation for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and folds it back into the major research university was the easy part. The hard work starts today when a new consolidation task force holds i...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Correction

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Published: 04/23/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18