UF Health: A new name for a big future

UF Health: A new name for a big future

On May 20, 2010, we launched an effort to bring together the Health Science Center and Shands into a single vision, through a strategic plan called “Forward Together.” As a result of that plan, “we and they” have become “us.” Our collaboration has grown and strengthened. And we are now entering a critical new stage. In recognition of that transformation, UF&Shands has become UF Health.

Our new name will have no impact on the legal status of the UF Health Science Center and Shands, which remain separate organizations.

But UF Health is much more than a new name. It’s an avowal that the partnership between our organizations has reached a new stage — and it’s a symbol that will help us shape a new future together.

Our effort to unify the Health Science Center and Shands under one vision has been incredibly successful. Today, our organizations are on the same single path. We’re better at everything we do. We’re not the University of Florida and Shands. We’re not “UF&Shands,” with the ampersand. We’re greater than the sum of our parts — and we need a new name to greet the world. That name should be, and is, UF Health.

Remarkably, for institutions founded more than a half-century ago, “Forward Together” was the first-ever strategic plan that brought together Shands and the six colleges of the Health Science Center under a single vision.

Before the plan, we often worked alongside each other rather than with each other. The idea behind the plan was that to move forward, we had to work together. It wasn’t long after we launched “Forward Together” that we began to see remarkable progress.

HSC researchers and clinicians — and Shands staff members — began carving out more of their busy schedules for important collaborative projects.

Today, collaborations are the norm.

Shands was founded as Florida’s first teaching hospital in 1958, and it has been a beacon for high-quality health care ever since. Our health science center colleges, too, have a long and proud legacy as being among the best in the nation.

Bringing them truly together these past few years, as was intended from the beginning, has been transformational.

I noted Shands’ proud historic legacy earlier. We will continue to honor that legacy in Gainesville, where Shands will keep its name preceded by UF Health. Our hospital will become, simply, “UF Health Shands Hospital.”

In Jacksonville, Shands has only recent ties, and our extensive consumer research confirms that that people feel good about the UF name — a very important strength in a highly competitive health care marketplace. As a result, our hospital there will be renamed UF Health Jacksonville.

As our UF Health name and marketing efforts bring us more attention, the unstoppable momentum behind our partnership, as expressed in the vision statement of Forward Together, will grow and strengthen us. In an era when the University of Florida is engaged in a major new push to join the top public universities, that will mean more demand from patients, better-quality care, more life-changing research and more life-saving interventions.

Our momentum as UF Health will mean a tipping point, not only for us, but most importantly for our patients.

Forward Together,

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.

UF Senior Vice President, Health Affairs

President, UF Health