As 2020 comes to an end, it will be remembered as a challenging year for our enterprise. It will forever serve as proof of our ability to adapt and evolve even in the most difficult circumstances. COVID-19 took us by storm, but one day at a time, we found ways to address obstacles in our path. Never before have the words of our mission — to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover — been so true.
While 2020 may be marked as the “Year of the Pandemic,” we cannot forget that it was also UF Health Jacksonville’s 150th anniversary.
For most of our history, UF Health Jacksonville existed in the urban core of Jacksonville, starting in the Oakland neighborhood before moving to 10th and Jefferson Streets until finally we settled in our current location on 8th Street in 1971. The initial campus was Duval Hospital and Asylum, which was made up of only three small buildings and a cemetery. In the present day, we’ve expanded out of the inner city, throughout Jacksonville, across Northeast Florida and beyond.
The leaders before me tackled challenges that changed the face of health care, such as segregation, natural disasters, smallpox and yellow fever epidemics, and more. In the midst of these obstacles, and for the past 150 years, three things remained constant and ring true to our mission today: serving the community, advancing the academic mission and providing high-quality patient care.
Looking to the future
As we reflect on our history, we must also look toward the future. Our vision is to be the region’s most valued health care asset. This means patients know and trust us beyond Jacksonville city limits, providers from around the globe want to work here, groundbreaking research that advances patient care is conducted here, and we improve the well-being of the community by tackling social determinants of health.
There are four strategic pillars in place that serve as the core of the work we do every day to help us achieve this vision.
Advancing Health Care Excellence
Develop a unique regional, integrated health care system for the future that is nimble and provides high-quality patient care.
- Construct leading-edge campuses, including renovations and significant new construction to the 8th Street campus so we become the northern anchor for a new science and technology corridor that is part of downtown Jacksonville.
- Build a second bed tower at UF Health North to meet the growing need for patient care in the surrounding area.
- Enhance strategic health care alliances at Wildlight.
- Develop and implement an emergency care network to augment market presence, increase access to care and reach more patients.
- Partner with Flagler+ Health to expand the network in St. Johns County, creating a strong UF Health presence along the I-95 corridor.
Accelerating Discovery and Reimagining Education
Be a recognized leader in academic excellence.
- Establish a “true” regional medical school campus with dedicated medical students for the third and fourth year of medical school.
- Pursue and conduct groundbreaking studies to help advance patient care. Currently, we are conducting more than 550 studies.
- Increase partnerships with the UF colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as our hospital-based allied health programs.
Improving Health through Community Connection
Improve the health and well-being of our community.
- Develop and collaborate on new programs and initiatives to help reduce gaps in health disparities.
- Establish and leverage strategic alliances to collectively reach and impact more community members.
Building Tomorrow’s Workforce
Have the very best health care workforce.
- Train and prepare the next generation of diverse and inclusive health leaders.
- Offer top internal training and education programs and leadership opportunities.
The vision lies with you and the work you do every day. The successes and advancements of this organization over the past 150 years have set us up to move medicine forward with every patient we serve.
We will work to achieve this vision together as One UF.
Thank you for all you do.
Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA
CEO, UF Health Jacksonville
Dean, UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville