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Meet the New Boss of USF Health

USF Health

Since becoming the new senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine in early May, Dr. Charles Lockwood has sat down with every department he oversees at the University of South Florida.

The former Dean of the Ohio State University's College of Medicine is plotting a course for one of USF's flagship divisions as he takes over from Dr. Stephen Klasko, who led USF Health for nine years before leaving last June to become the president of Thomas Jefferson University and president/CEO of the Jefferson University Hospital System.

In a wide-ranging interview with WUSF's University Beat, Lockwood talked about how his vision for USF Health differs from Klasko, who expanded the program with offerings like the $38 million CAMLS Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation in downtown Tampa, a Specialty Care Center in the Villages, and an office in Panama.

"We are very, very different leaders - probably my focus, which is much more traditional and focused primarily on outstanding clinical care, really terrific teaching, and research, research, research, is perhaps a little less focused on the very innovative strategies that he (Klasko) undertook," Lockwood says.

"Although I really appreciate the innovative things he did, I think it's time to consolidate and to begin to ensure that we're taking full advantage of what we've got here before we spread out any further," he adds.

Lockwood also brought up a number of other points during the interview:

  1. USF Health is "poised for change."
    "Because of the likely change in the way we reimburse healthcare, we've got to be more efficient, we have to reduce our cost, we have to improve our patient satisfaction, improve the efficiency of our clinical operation, we have to be much better stewards of the patients' money and practice evidence-based medicine.
    "Fortunately, we do a lot of this already, but we've got to be better and better at it, and we have to partner with  our hospital partners to help allow companies and payers and insurers and patients to stretch their dollars and get their value."
  2. Speaking of hospitals, don't expect USF to have one on the Tampa campus anytime soon (not counting the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center already there).
    "Given the latest Moody report that downgraded a number of medical schools because they owned hospitals, I'm very thankful not to own a hospital. Having said that, I do think that we have an incredible opportunity to partner with Tampa General (Hospital) to create a vibrant, integrated healthcare delivery  system that will be able to provide absolutely the very best care and most sophisticated care to our patient population, and I'm happy to do that with them and not have a hospital on our campus."
  3. The cost of obtaining a medical degree is probably his single biggest concern.
    "We have to do everything imaginable to reduce the amount of debt that our students generate and that means holding the line on tuition and it also means dramatically increasing the availability of scholarships."
Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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