Under the orange ampersand

Under the orange ampersand

UF&Shands names new chief quality officer, chief communications officer

By John Pastor

Randy Harmatz/Photo by Jesse S. Jones

Randy Harmatz

Randy Harmatz, M.B.A., formerly the vice president of the quality program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, has been named the chief quality officer for UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center.

As part of her role, she will oversee the Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety at UF&Shands. The quality and safety programs implemented through this new office, named in honor of 3-year-old Sebastian, will benefit all patients, not just children.

“Ms. Harmatz is a results-oriented health care leader with a proven track record for facilitating change and sustaining improvement,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “The addition of Ms. Harmatz to our team is an extremely important step. Job 1 for UF&Shands is to ensure safe, high-quality care for our patients. She will galvanize our efforts to establish a culture of quality and safety that extends to every member of our academic health center community.”

Since 2004, Harmatz has been responsible for all aspects of the quality program, including clinical performance improvement, for the 947-bed UH CMC. During her tenure, the institution’s ranking rose from 74th to ninth in the University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of 114 academic medical centers and 255 of their affiliated hospitals.

At UF&Shands, Harmatz will develop and implement the vision and strategy for academic and clinical programs in quality and patient safety, working collaboratively with Shands HealthCare Chief Executive Officer Timothy Goldfarb, College of Medicine Dean Michael Good, M.D., Shands at UF Chief Medical Officer Timothy Flynn, M.D., and UF Physicians Chief Executive Officer/Chief Medical Officer Marvin Dewar, M.D.

“We are extremely proud of the commitment and great strides UF&Shands has made, under Dr. Guzick’s leadership, to ensure safe, high-quality care for all patients,” said Horst Ferrero, founder of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation.


Melanie Fridl Ross/Photo by Sarah Kiewel

Melanie Fridl Ross

A nationally recognized medical writer and public relations practitioner has been named chief communications officer for UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center.

Melanie Fridl Ross, M.S.J., E.L.S., formerly the director of the UF Health Science Center Office of News & Communications, will oversee integrated strategic marketing, communications, public relations and public affairs efforts for UF&Shands across the two academic health center campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, six health-related colleges, various UF research centers and institutes, Shands at UF, Shands Jacksonville and UF faculty practices.

“Ms. Ross is extremely well-qualified to serve as chief communications officer,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “For the past two years, she has increased integration and cooperation in communications across the academic health center, and she has helped with the strategy and promotion of a number of efforts, beginning with ‘Forward Together,’ the strategic plan we announced in May 2010 to more closely align the university and the health system.”

Ross’ duties include oversight of internal and external communications programs, media relations, news and publications, public information, donor and alumni communications, issues management and crisis communications, public affairs, communications-related web strategy efforts, and a variety of other outreach activities.

She joined UF in 1992 after working as a reporter for The Tampa Tribune. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and is a board-certified editor in the life sciences. She is president of the American Medical Writers Association.