With a history that spans more than 90 years, Tampa General Hospital stands as a healthcare leader regionally as well as nationally. This track record stems from a palpable commitment to excellence from every team member, every day. For the newly appointed leader of TGH, President and CEO John Couris, the atmosphere was a recruiting tool.
What attracted me to this job was the legacy and the people I met when touring the facility,” says Couris. “I could see and feel the passion people had for what they do. Since coming on board, it’s nice to see my first impression was correct. We have some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.”
The camaraderie and dedication of the TGH teams have elevated TGH to be named the top hospital in the Tampa Metro Area for 2017-18, and one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals in six medical specialties by U.S. News & World Report.
Tampa General is a 1,011-bed Level 1 trauma center on the west coast of Florida that serves as the region’s only center for comprehensive burn care. It is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers, and a nationally designated magnet hospital for quality nursing care. TGH is the only nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center in Hillsborough County and is also a state-certified spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation center.
Couris says three key traits in the DNA of TGH will turn today’s standard excellence to the world-class facility in its future.
Innovation TGH leaders are constantly looking for innovative ways to approach quality care that makes fiscal sense and is better for the patient. “Only the sickest patients need to be admitted to the hospital,” says Couris. “Our innovative delivery system provides appropriate levels of care in less intimidating outpatient centers and even virtual office visits. Keeping patients in settings that are as comfortable as possible promotes quicker healing.”
Collaboration TGH works closely with the community to focus on preventative care clinics and a wellness mentality that keeps people living healthier lives. “Such a high percentage of chronic diseases are linked to behavior,” says Couris. “The more we can partner to improve community health, the less intensive and expensive healthcare costs are in the long run.”
Transformation TGH leaders are not afraid of change. It takes courage and confidence to look beyond the way things have always been done to see what changes could transform the facility -— and industry — to improve quality, access and delivery of healthcare while improving patient outcomes. “Transformation is never easy,” says Couris. “But the end results are usually worth it.”
TGH defies the clouds of uncertainty experienced by many communities. In an age when nonprofit hospital are looking for community support to keep the doors open, TGH stands as an economic driver for the region.
Leading TGH to World-Class Status
John Couris launched his professional hospital career in 1990 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, one of the premier academic medical centers in the country. During his nearly ten years at Mass General, he served in various leadership positions.
He joined the BayCare system in August 2000 as a vice president at Morton Plant Mease Health Care in Clearwater. In September 2006, he was named Morton Plant Mease North Bay Hospital’s chief operating officer.
In 2010, he became the CEO and president of Jupiter Medical Center, where he forged partnerships with such notable providers as Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.
Dr. Ravi Bukkapatnam, the chief of staff at Tampa General and a member of the selection committee, said Couris was the first choice of the medical staff leadership. “He showed us a deep understanding of the rich history and culture of TGH,” Dr. Bukkapatnam said. “He understands the importance of patient quality and patient satisfaction in a way that will benefit Tampa General moving forward.”