Tampa General CEO John Couris Appointed to Florida’s Health Care Innovation Council

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed Couris to advance innovative solutions to Florida’s health care challenges.

TAMPA, Fla., May 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, last month to serve as a member of the Health Care Innovation Council, a statewide volunteer organization established this year to advance innovation in health care as part of the Senate’s priority Live Healthy initiative.

Headshot of Tampa General Hospital President and CEO John Couris, photographed during February 2022.

Florida can serve as a national model in delivering high-quality health care to all Floridians. With support from Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and other leaders on the state level, we can make strategic investments in innovation that have the potential to revolutionize the way we deliver care in the Sunshine State,” said Couris. “I’m honored to be a part of the new Health Care Innovation Council, where we will focus on dynamic and strategic solutions that can increase access, cut costs and improve patient outcomes.”

The Florida Legislature established the Live Healthy Innovation Council with the passage of Senate Bill 7018, proposed by the Senate Health Policy Committee and co-sponsored by Senator Gayle Harrell. Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman sponsored the bill’s House companion. The Legislature passed SB 7018 during the 2024 legislative session with overwhelming support from both chambers. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on March 21.

John Couris was instrumental in the development of the Live Healthy initiative. His transformational vision for our health care system is increasing access, improving care and reducing costs for patients,” said President Passidomo. “I am pleased to appoint him to the Live Healthy Innovation Council.”

The goal of the legislation is to harness the innovation and creativity of entrepreneurs and businesses, in collaboration with the state’s health care system and stakeholders, to lead the discussion on innovations that will address challenges in the health care system, transform the delivery of care and strengthen the quality of health care in Florida.

The Health Care Innovation Council consists of 15 members who will lead discussions with innovators, developers and implementers of technologies, workforce pathways, service delivery models or other solutions. Based on the public input and information gathered at public meetings, the bill requires the council to create best practice recommendations and focus areas for the advancement of the delivery of health care in Florida, with an emphasis on:

  • Increasing efficiency in the delivery of health care.
  • Reducing strain on the health care workforce.
  • Increasing public access to health care.
  • Improving patient outcomes.
  • Reducing unnecessary emergency department visits; and
  • Reducing costs for patients and the state without reducing the quality of patient care.

Through a revolving loan program within the Florida Department of Health (DOH), low-interest loans will enable applicants to implement one or more innovative technologies, workforce pathways, or service delivery models to:

  • Fill a demonstrated need.
  • Obtain or upgrade necessary equipment, hardware, and materials.
  • Adopt new technologies or systems; or
  • A combination thereof to improve the quality and delivery of health care in measurable and sustainable ways that will lower costs and allow that value to be passed onto the health care consumer.

The Health Care Innovation Council will review loan applications and submit to DOH a prioritized list of proposals recommended for funding.

As president and CEO of Tampa General, Couris has led the hospital to become one of the leading academic health systems in the nation through the implementation of emerging technologies and innovations.

In partnership with University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine (USF Health), Couris and Tampa General established the Tampa Medical and Research District. Modeled after renowned medical districts in the nation’s greatest cities, the district is an ever-growing hub of world-class clinical care, academics, research and biotechnology.

Couris oversaw the creation of the CareComm command center within Tampa General nearly five years ago, which uses data and analytics to increase efficiencies and direct hospital resources to better support patients. As a result of this effort, Tampa General has improved patient outcomes and reduced the length of stay, resulting in lower risk for infection and overall health costs. Recent adaptations of the CareComm command center, which relies on GE Healthcare technologies, focuses on early warning and management of sepsis which had reduced the sepsis mortality rate at Tampa General to a quarter of the national average.

Couris also spearheaded the launch of a new, innovative program – TGH at Home – which provides access to best-in-class hospital care from health care providers in the comfort of a patient’s home. Since the program’s launch, TGH at Home has demonstrably reduced the risk of readmission for participating patients.

As part of the Health Care Innovation Council, Couris will advance innovative, science-driven, reproducible solutions, capable of meeting the state’s growing need for health care.

Tampa General Hospital, a 981-bed, not-for-profit, academic health system, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-24 Best Hospitals, with six specialties ranking among the top 50 best hospital programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic health system’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – in the top 100 nationally in the 2023 America’s Best Employers for Women and top 25 in Florida in the 2023 America’s Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2021, provided a net community benefit of approximately $240.3 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Muma Children’s Hospital at TGH, the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes TGH North which is comprised of three hospitals and several outpatient locations in Citrus and Hernando counties, 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Outpatient Center, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics. To see a medical care professional live anytime, anywhere on a smartphone, tablet or computer, visit Virtual Health | Tampa General Hospital (tgh.org).  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.

Media Contact: 
Amanda Bevis
(202) 680-9262 cell
[email protected] 

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SOURCE Tampa General Hospital