April 16, 2024
Hospital upheaval in Southwest Florida

Photo: Chris Urso\Tampa Bay Times

Jonathan Ellen is among six senior executives to leave the hospital.

Southwest Florida Roundup

Hospital upheaval in Southwest Florida

Art Levy | 1/25/2019


Hospital Upheaval

Jonathan Ellen, president, CEO and physician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, resigned in December, less than two weeks after a Tampa Bay Times investigation revealed that the mortality rate at the hospital’s heart institute tripled between 2015 and 2017. In all, 11 children died during the 18-month period, even as some hospital staffers reported quality-control concerns to their supervisors.

In addition to Ellen, Jackie Crain, the hospital’s vice president, and Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs, deputy director of the hospital’s heart institute, resigned. Dr. Paul Colombani stepped down as chair of the hospital’s department of surgery, but will stay on in a clinical capacity. The hospital’s chief patient safety officer, its chief spokesperson and the new director of the Heart Institute also resigned.

Ellen also resigned as chairman of a state Board of Governor’s task force that is helping the University of South Florida consolidate campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota- Manatee. Ellen also left board positions at the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the St. Pete Innovation District and the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

  • BayCare Health System has appointed Lou Galdieri as Morton Plant Hospital’s new president. Galdieri had been president of both Mease Dunedin Hospital and Mease Countryside Hospital.
  • Last September, Tampa General Hospital performed its 10,000th organ transplant, making TGH one of only two dozen hospitals in the nation to reach the 10,000 milestone.


  • The Tampa Downtown Partnership has named Lynda Remund president and CEO. Remund had been the organization’s acting leader since the retirement of Christine Burdick a year ago.
  • Law firm Baker Mc-Kenzie plans to open a Tampa location. The center will house finance, IT, operations, knowledge management, business development and marketing departments.
  • A 1-million-sq.-ft. warehouse is planned for a former golf course in Lakeland, near I-4.
  • The Polk County Planning Commission approved plans for a 1.4-millionsq.- ft. logistics park near Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Door manufacturer Masonite is building a $14-million, 56,000-sq.-ft. headquarters in Tampa’s Ybor City.
  • S.S. White Technologies has moved its headquarters from New Jersey to Seminole, bringing 125 jobs.


The Florida Orchestra has named Mark Cantrell, formerly CEO of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, as president and CEO. Cantrell is a former dog sled racer and pilot.


The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau posted a record $4.1 million in tourist development tax revenue last year, up 4.8% over the year before.

The Belleview Inn, a 35-room hotel created from the restored lobby of the historic, 120-year-old Belleview Biltmore Hotel, has opened after a $13-million restoration. The 83-room Fenway Hotel opened in a renovated 1927 building in Dunedin.


  • Suncoast Credit Union has moved into a new 107,176-sq.-ft. headquarters, where it employs 250.
  • UPC Insurance will buy a city block near its headquarters in St. Petersburg for $5 million. The company eventually plans to build a new headquarters on the property and add 300 jobs.


  • USF ranked 25th among public universities in the U.S. for research spending last year, according to the National Science Foundation. Last year, USF’s research expenditures totaled $558 million.
  • USF St. Petersburg plans to build a 375-bed, $33-million dormitory.


Construction is underway on the Crest of Bonita Springs, a 264-unit apartment complex.


Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida has a new president and CEO: John Nadeau, who had been vice president of operations. He replaced Rick Evanchyk, who stepped down after 15 years with the organization, including the last four as president and CEO.


  • Matt Beall has been appointed president of Bradenton-based Bealls Stores. Beall, previously a senior vice president, is the great-grandson of Robert M. Beall, the department store chain’s founder.
  • Publix has opened a supermarket on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida. The store is its first on a college campus.


  • Tampa International Airport’s next expansion phase includes $66-million worth of infrastructure work to pave the way for a planned office tower and other projects, including a multi-story atrium and a pedestrian walkway to the airport’s new rental car center.
  • St. Petersburg is planning $9 million in road improvements along a two-mile-plus stretch of Central Avenue west of downtown. The work will include improved sidewalks, crosswalks and curbs. A bike lane will also be added.
  • Cosco Shipping Lines of China has started once-a-week arrivals of container ships at Port Tampa Bay.
  • Frontier Airlines has started direct flights between Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona.


Murf Klauber Murf Klauber, who created the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, died Nov. 22, 2018, at age 91. Klauber helped transform Longboat Key from a sleepy beach town to an international tourist destination thanks to his tennis resort, which was once named the top tennis resort in the nation by Tennis Magazine. The resort closed in 2010.


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