Tampa General Hospital Continues to Expand Its Locations on the East Coast of Florida by Establishing TGH General Surgeons of the Palm BeachesPublished: Oct 7, 2021
Beginning with renowned West Palm Beach surgeons, Dr. Daniel R. Higgins and Dr. Itzhak Shasha, TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches will provide patients with improved access to surgical expertise and the innovation of an academic medical center within the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast communities.
Tampa, FL (Oct. 7, 2021) – In another move forward to expand the cutting-edge services and ranks of world-class physicians, Tampa General Hospital is announcing that it has established Tampa General Hospital General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches, a new surgery practice based in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches provides another layer of support for patient care. “Our goal with this affiliation is to provide east coast patients with the resources and access to a highly robust academic institution. With a general surgery office located in their own neighborhood, patients can receive care there and when needed, easily access Tampa General for highly complex care, then return to receive follow-up care on the east coast with their treating physicians,” said John Couris, Tampa General’s president and chief executive officer. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
To connect the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast communities with top-level surgical care, Tampa General has affiliated with two renowned general surgeons with deep experience caring for local patients – Dr. Daniel R. Higgins and Dr. Itzhak Shasha. Higgins and Shasha will continue to see patients in their current office located at 1201 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach.
“Both Dr. Higgins and Dr. Shasha will continue providing the same clinically excellent, compassionate care their patients have come to rely upon and expect. Through this new alliance, patients will have access to a wider variety of clinical trials and options for advanced immunotherapy procedures, enhanced personal treatment plans and a convenient path to complex surgical procedures offered by a best-in-class academic medical center like Tampa General Hospital,” said Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, chief of oncology and senior vice president of network development at Tampa General.
The formation of TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches follows Tampa General’s alliance with other South Florida physician groups, the Cancer Center of South Florida and the Gastro Group of the Palm Beaches. The Cancer Center of South Florida affiliation was announced in May of 2020 and marked the first time that Tampa General has opened a location on the east coast of Florida.
TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches patients will receive pre- and post-surgical care locally in the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast communities and many will receive their surgery in the area as well. Patients who need a higher level of care will now have a direct connection to Tampa General, one of America’s largest hospitals. The academic medical center will provide patients with access to research breakthroughs, a wider variety of clinical trials and options for
advanced immunotherapy therapy procedures, enhanced personal treatment plans and a convenient path to complex surgeries available through Tampa General Hospital. TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches’ medical records are aligned with Tampa General, making for a unified communication process.
Dr. Daniel R. Higgins
Higgins’ work in South Florida spans nearly 40 years. His areas of clinical interests include breast, bowel, hernia and robotic surgery as well as dialysis access, vein treatment and cutaneous oncology. He is currently affiliated with two hospitals on the east coast, including Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach since 1985 and JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Fla., since 1990. In addition, he served on the faculty of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as affiliate assistant professor of surgery from 2014-17 and held a wide array of leadership positions in South Florida. “We continually bring surgeons with a wealth of experience like Dr. Higgins to our world-class team,” said Couris. “His expertise speaks for itself and underscores why he is a great addition to our east coast provider network.”
Higgins is a past president and board member of the Palm Beach County Medical Society. Other service roles have included board chairperson of West Palm Hospital, medical director of the Breast Center at Columbia Hospital, and chief of staff of Intracoastal Health Systems serving Good Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary’s Health Centers.
A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the Florida Medical Association and the Palm Beach County Medical Society, Higgins will remain affiliated with Good Samaritan Medical Center and JFK Medical Center and perform surgery at both hospitals. “This association represents a wonderful opportunity to continue my life’s work with an innovative, world-class academic medical center like Tampa General,” said Higgins. “I look forward to bringing the experience and knowledge I’ve gained over my career to this new role, while providing the best possible care to patients in South Florida.”
Higgins was raised in West Palm Beach. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the oldest medical school in the United States, and completed his surgical training at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia. Over the years, he has contributed to medical literature with several articles, including the President’s Report for the Journal of the Palm Beach County Medical Society, and several other scientific publications.
Dr. Itzhak Shasha
Shasha most recently has been affiliated with Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter and Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, along with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Fla., serving as director of robotic surgery since 2010. His past hospital appointments include chief of the department of surgery and chairman of surgical quality assurance (1987-90) at Good Samaritan, and membership on the board of directors at JFK Medical Center.
As a distinguished general surgeon, Shasha – formerly a clinical instructor in surgery at New York’s prestigious Mt. Sinai School of Medicine – adds invaluable experience and depth to Tampa General’s presence beyond the Tampa Bay area.
“A physician with the high degree of knowledge and experience that Dr. Shasha possesses is a significant addition to our east coast provider network we are building to serve Palm Beach and Treasure Coast patients,” said Couris.
A former paratrooper and sergeant with the Israeli Defense Forces, Shasha earned his medical degree at Universidad Autonoma de Guerrero in Mexico. He then did clinical rotations at Duke University, the University of Michigan, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Shasha subsequently did his surgical training as an intern at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., progressing from junior resident to chief resident at Beth Israel Medical Center in the early 1980s. He received his certification from the American Board of Surgery in 1987, and the American College of Surgeons as a fellow in 1989. He has been included in the list of Best Doctors in America, Southeast Region (1996-97).
“I am so pleased to bring my experience as a surgeon to one of the nation’s top academic medical centers,” said Shasha, whose academic appointments include teaching medical students and training residents as an affiliate professor of surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at JFK Medical Center. “I am proud to be part of this new network and help provide the best care possible to the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast area.” Shasha will continue to perform surgeries at Good Samaritan Medical Center, JFK Medical Center and Jupiter Medical Center.
The fourth highest-ranking hospital in Florida in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021-22 Best Hospitals list and one of Florida’s leading academic medical centers, Tampa General is the primary teaching affiliate of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine on the forefront of providing world-class care through innovation and collaboration.
TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches provides another layer of support for patient care and is anticipated to be a seamless transition for patients not requiring them to make any changes in care. Insurance, copayments, and electronic medical records will remain the same. Patients who have questions about the new alliance and the wide array of new services are encouraged to call Dr. Higgin’s and Dr. Shasha’s office at 561-655-4334.
ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.