Tampa General's CEO on going global

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"We want to be disruptors," Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital CEO John Couris told Becker's Aug. 3. "We want to invest in our physician scientists, and we want to invest in businesses nationally and globally."  

In April, the 1,007-bed hospital embarked on a three-year collaboration with Israel's Sheba Medical Center. The organizations are working together to expand research and developments in healthcare services, education, training and innovation.

The idea for a partnership first sparked in June 2020, when the two came together to present a webinar focused on shared experiences and insights related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A lot of the things they were doing and they were sharing with us early on was how they were supporting their doctors and their nurses from a mind-body-spirit perspective," Mr. Couris recalled. "So whether it was having psychosocial support around [their] nurses and doctors for resiliency purposes, whether it was having actual gym equipment, things to keep them exercising, to keep them engaged, to keep them healthy because of the stress they were under — the sheer approach they took in taking care of their people. I also think that how they took care of the dying in their country, and letting families come into the hospital and grieve — early on in the pandemic, we struggled with that a lot. We had very strict visitation guidelines. We still have pretty strict visitation guidelines, but how they dealt with the grieving process with families was very important to them and sharing all of that with us was extremely important."

Mr. Couris said similar collaborations with other health systems outside of the U.S. are in the works. 

"We want to basically not just disrupt health care, but we want to solve real problems that have plagued healthcare for decades," he said. "Our focus and our thesis is if we're having problems inside the walls of our health system, who can we be engaging with proactively in an innovative, collaborative way that can help us solve these problems?"

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