John Couris of Tampa General Hospital Named to Modern Healthcare Top 25 Innovators ListPublished: Apr 4, 2022
Hospital President and CEO receives national recognition for driving innovation and transformation across his organization, the region and state.
Tampa, FL (April 4, 2022) – John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, is among Modern Healthcare’s 2022 class of Top Innovators. Modern Healthcare, the leader in health care business news, research and data, annually recognizes leaders who are instituting innovation and leading transformative programs that improve care by achieving measurable results and contributing to the clinical and financial goals of their organization.
Couris, a nationally recognized, visionary leader in the health care space, took the helm of TGH in 2017 and, since that time, has championed innovation and transformation throughout the organization’s operations, its care for the community it serves and its organizational culture. This can be seen from his leadership in creating the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI), the first facility of its kind in Florida devoted to clinical care, cutting-edge research, and education for emerging infectious diseases—from COVID-19 and beyond—to his hands-on and front-line work in developing an organizational culture grounded in leading with authenticity, kindness, vulnerability and transparency to support the well-being and professional development of every team member. This national award recognizes Couris’ achievements at TGH, with particular attention to his innovation in public health.
During his tenure, Couris has been at the forefront of developing new operational innovation and expansion models—all with the end goal of providing world-class, accessible, affordable care in a leading academic health system. Under his leadership, and in 2019, Tampa General was the first health care provider in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare to launch CareComm, a care coordination center using artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and industrial engineering to improve safety, quality, and cost. In addition, Couris launched Tampa General Innoventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to driving a culture of innovation within the organization, supporting early-stage startups, direct investments and incubating businesses.
Couris has spent most of his time the last two years focused on leading TGH, the region and the state through the COVID-19 pandemic and developing innovative and scalable programs to treat and help curb the spread of the most significant public health crisis in our lifetime. Under Couris' leadership, the TGH team developed innovative data-sharing capabilities among regional health systems and early warning hotspot detection by leveraging CareComm, allowing for more effective patient management and coordination of care across the region. In addition to establishing the Global Emerging Diseases Institute, TGH, in collaboration with USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, became the first health system in Florida to offer monoclonal antibody infusion treatment to minimize the severity of the symptoms of COVID patients and eliminate long hospital stays. Finally, Couris’ team led the development and implementation of the TGH Prevention Response Outreach (TPRO) program, which provides COVID-19 expertise and recommendations to organizations looking to protect their team members and patrons as well as helping them to manage their operations with strict safety protocols. Couris’ innovative approach to the pandemic was recognized by Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, as he was hand-selected to participate in his pandemic re-opening task force.
Today, Couris is in the midst of executing TGH’s largest master facilities plan in the hospital’s history, a $550 million capital commitment to bring the most advanced technology and innovative care to patients through the creation of a growing medical district in downtown Tampa. Under his leadership and in partnership with Shields Capital, the team is also launching TGH at Home, which provides patients with hospital-level care in the comfortable setting of their own home. Hospital at home programs, such as TGH at Home, have been shown to reduce costs, improve health outcomes and enhance the patient experience.
While Couris is driving innovation on an operational level, he remains laser-focused on developing and supporting his team by creating and implementing innovative leadership and professional development programs. For Couris, there is nothing more important than his team and he recognizes that their level of engagement directly correlates to the quality and level of care TGH provides. Two key opportunities for team member development that TGH established under Couris’ leadership include the TGH-USF People Development Institute (PDI) and LEAD (Leadership Enrichment and Development) TGH. In collaboration with the University of South Florida Muma College of Business and the University of Tampa, PDI offers a broad range of courses, at no cost, to all team members at Tampa General Hospital to support career aspirations and equip team members with the skills needed to drive their development. LEAD (Leadership Enrichment and Development) TGH provides team members with a platform to grow and develop fundamental leadership skills through a structured, 12-month program. These skills include mentorship, professional development, community involvement and business acumen.
“John is a true innovator in every sense of the word—not only in the work he does to transform the health and wellness of our community, our region and our state, but in the way he cares for and fosters the growth of his TGH team,” stated Phillip S. Dingle, chairman of the board of Tampa General. “Today, Tampa General is not only a nationally recognized academic medical center providing world-class care but is a key developer of top talent. Under John’s leadership, the team provides ongoing opportunities for professional and personal growth to every member of the organization, all while working tirelessly to drive Tampa General forward. In my eyes, this is true, meaningful innovation. John’s commitment to this organization and its people is unmatched, for which our entire community is grateful.”
As an academic health system, Tampa General emphasizes continued learning for all team members—from career laddering to tuition support to programs like PDI and LEAD TGH. Tampa General leads the region with educational benefits it provides to support team members in providing world-class patient care. It is these types of investments that have allowed TGH to recruit and retain top talent like Steven Chew, vice president, Service Lines, who just last month was named among Modern Healthcare’s 2022 class of Top Emerging Leaders and is a primary reason TGH has been named one of the "150 top places to work in healthcare" by Becker's Hospital Review and one of Forbes Magazine’s America’s Best Employers by State and America’s Best Employers for Women. These rankings place TGH among the best U.S. hospitals for professional growth opportunities, work/life balance, a positive, team-focused environment, and a complete program of benefits enjoyed by its team members.
“I am truly humbled by this award and honored to be included in such a dynamic group who are transforming the future of health care. Every bit of this work would not be possible without the support of my Board of Directors and my world-class team who continually strive to propel the transformational growth of Tampa General,” stated Couris. “While innovation can take place in all shapes and forms, I am most proud of the work we do to make a positive impact on the lives of our team members and the health and well-being of our community.”
Not only a nationally recognized leader in the health care industry, Couris also devotes significant time to serving his community and professional organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Hospital Association, Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, Valspar PGA Championship, and The Florida Aquarium. In addition, he is a member of the Florida Council of 100, the Young Presidents’ Organization and many national health care associations.
This recognition by Modern Healthcare comes on the heels of several recent accolades for Couris. He was honored with the 2021 Tampa Bay Chamber H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award and named to Becker’s Hospital Review 113 Great Leaders in Healthcare 2022. Couris has also been named to Florida Trend’s “Florida 500” list of most influential business leaders in the state, Florida Politics’ “Influence 100” list of most influential people in Florida politics, Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Power 100” list of Tampa Bay’s most influential leaders and “25 People to Watch in 2022.”
Couris, a graduate of Boston University, holds a Master of Science in Management from Lesley University and a doctorate in business administration, management sciences from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. Couris and the rest of this year’s honorees are profiled in the April 4 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine and online at Modernhealthcare.com/awards/top-25-innovators-2022.
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 four 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 the 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.