Five Tampa Bay health care facilities getting new CEOs

Published March 12, 2013

Talk about turnover at the top. This time it's a new crop of recently arrived or incoming CEOs of some of Tampa Bay's major hospitals and health care facilities.

To some, new blood promises a time of opportunity for regional health care just as the medical world is about to go through even more rapid change from new federal laws, technology and a new wave of attempts to control costs. And, in some cases, new ownership.

The turnover of a quintet of hospital and health care facility chiefs was recently pointed out to me by Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of the University of South Florida's Morsani School of Medicine. To those titles should be added: health care change agent. Klasko, among other industry leaders, is eager to stir the regional pot to inspire a more innovative health care scene. He sees new blood at the top of some major hospitals as a first step in that direction.

At least five chief executives have retired or moved aside to make room for new leaders at major health institutions, including All Children's Hospital and Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and Tampa General, St. Joseph's-Baptist Health Care and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

Combined, those five health organizations represent thousands of hospital beds and hundreds of millions of dollars in research funding. And they form a formidable chunk of core health care services for this metro region.

Gone or going via retirement or by taking on other responsibilities are Gary Carnes, who retired as All Children's chief early last year, and Sue Brody, who last month announced she was stepping down after two decades as head of Bayfront Medical Center.

Also leaving: Ron Hytoff, CEO of Tampa General, who left this month after 12 years, and St. Joseph's Isaac Mallah, who steps down next month after a nearly 37-year career at the hospital. And at Moffitt, longtime chief Dr. Bill Dalton last summer gave up his CEO job to run Moffitt's M2Gen, a for-profit startup specializing in personalized cancer research.

So let's welcome those recently arrived and newcomers to be:

• All Children's is now run by Dr. Jonathan Ellen, a longtime pediatrician and dean at Johns Hopkins University. The addition of All Children's under the prestigious Johns Hopkins umbrella organization remains a great curiosity in regional health care. What will the Hopkins affiliation mean in the long run?

• Succeeding Sue Brody at Bayfront as of April 1 is Kathryn Gillette. She leaves HCA-owned, 257-bed Osceola Regional Medical Center to lead the 480-bed Bayfront just as the St. Petersburg nonprofit becomes part of the for-profit Health Management Associates chain.

• Jim Burkhart, former CEO of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, became Tampa General CEO this month, succeeding Hytoff. The well-regarded hospital remains an oddity — unaffiliated with a major chain.

• At St. Joseph's, part of the BayCare Health System, Mallah gets a big send-off on March 23 but will stay at least into April. There's still no word on his replacement.

• And at Moffitt, the CEO's job is now held by Dr. Alan List. He was originally recruited by Dalton to the cancer research and treatment organization.

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Hospital CEOs tend to stay in their jobs for years. So these five new chiefs (once the last one arrives) may represent a new medical guard well into the fast changing future.

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen.

Contact Robert Trigaux at