The below is the news release and video from UF Health regarding the merger with Flagler Health+.
Looking to improve the health of the St. Johns region by combining innovative health care opportunities with a longstanding legacy of supporting the community, University of Florida Health officials today announced that Flagler Health+ has become part of the University of Florida’s academic health center and will be renamed UF Health St. Johns.
Mori Hosseini, chair of the UF Board of Trustees, said the deal brings the best minds together to reimagine the delivery of health care to address patients’ biggest challenges, and will introduce UF Health’s unique brand of problem-solving care into the local health system.
“This is a win-win-win situation — for UF Health, for Flagler Health+ and — most importantly — for the patients we all serve throughout St. Johns and Flagler counties and beyond,” Hosseini said. “We are a university and a health system on the rise, and this is a community on the rise, one we are very proud to be a part of. This is a huge step forward.”
Last week The Wall Street Journal named the university the No. 1 public institution in the country in its “2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.” report, and UF Health Shands is the only health system in Florida consistently ranked in the top 3 Florida hospitals 10 years in a row.
UF President Ben Sasse called the integration good news for the region.
“UF Health is committed to working collaboratively with the community to best meet the needs of patients and their families, and our health care providers will do that with the compassion, heart and tireless drive they are known for,” Sasse said.
UF Health will infuse additional resources into one of the state’s fastest-growing regions — not just financial resources, but human resources and intellectual capital. That includes technologically advanced care focused on world-class outcomes, research opportunities — including access to new clinical trials — and training programs for the next generation of care providers, said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health.
“All of us at UF Health are excited about our colleagues from Flagler Health+ joining our organization,” Nelson said. “Together, we have the resources and the community relationships to deliver outstanding care to everyone in what is one of the state’s fastest-growing regions. We will be able to bring innovative, high-quality, leading-edge care that builds on the Flagler Health+ legacy of supporting the health care needs of the residents of Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Clay and Duval counties.”
UF Health anticipates adding an integrated enterprisewide technology strategy, including an electronic health record system and new clinical equipment to support current and future health care professionals, Nelson said. In addition, the system will enhance access to capital to support future investments in facilities, infrastructure, technology and growth.
As part of the agreement, which closed Sept. 1, and in tribute to Flagler’s more than centurylong commitment to residents in the region, the hospital in St. Augustine will be renamed UF Health Flagler Hospital.
In February, the Flagler Health+ Board of Trustees and leadership team selected UF Health as the like-minded organization it wanted to move forward with to enhance local health care services and expand access to innovative, advanced care in the community.
“Throughout our entire selection process and then in discussions about moving forward, all of us at Flagler Health+ understood that UF Health was the right choice so that we could continue our tradition of caring for our community and our commitment to our team,” said Flagler Health+ CEO Carlton DeVooght. “This relationship brings the latest medical breakthroughs to the people we have served for more than a century, while greatly enhancing the services available.”
Before choosing UF Health, Flagler Health+ explored options with some of the most respected health care organizations in the country, with a specific focus on:
- Continued enhancement of quality and patient satisfaction through the sharing of best practices
- Supporting key community-focused service lines (e.g., behavioral health, women’s health, etc.) while expanding the breadth and depth of services provided locally
- Enhancing Flagler Health+’s ability to provide high-quality health care services to underserved populations
- Strengthening recruitment and retention of team members, physicians and advanced practice providers to enhance the community’s access to local quality health care
- Adding technology resources and expertise, including an integrated enterprisewide technology strategy, electronic health record implementation and new clinical technology and equipment to support health care professionals
- Enhanced access to capital to support future investments in facilities, infrastructure, technology and growth initiatives.
“Improving the health of our communities is why we exist,” Nelson said. “Bringing together the expertise of both organizations will create the environment to make that happen.”
About UF Health
UF Health is a world-class academic health center that combines leading-edge research at campuses around Florida with outstanding clinical care at a network of hospitals throughout the state. The flagship is UF Health Shands Hospital, part of Florida’s preeminent health system, with nine adult and pediatric specialties ranked among the nation’s elite top 50 programs in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals and Best Children’s Hospitals surveys.
With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville as well as satellite sites in Central Florida and several other locations, UF Health provides quality health care to patients across the nation’s third-most populous state. UF Health consists of six health colleges, 10 research centers and institutes,11 hospitals — including two teaching hospitals and five specialty hospitals — and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services.
About UF Health St. Johns
UF Health St. Johns is a regional campus for UF Health, serving Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Clay and Duval counties. UF Health Flagler Hospital has a 130-year legacy of caring for the community. UF Health Flagler Hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for primary stroke care centers, national accreditation for its total hip and total knee replacement programs, accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, and Center of Excellence designation for its bariatric surgery center.