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Published: Jan 2, 2013

By Tampa General Hospital


January 2, 2013 (Tampa, FL) - James R. Burkhart will become the president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, the hospital’s governing board announced today. He will start March 4 and replace the retiring CEO Ron Hytoff. Burkhart, 58, is currently president and CEO of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, a private, not-for-profit teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Florida Health Science Center–Jacksonville. Shands has 695 licensed beds and is the only Level I trauma center in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Burkhart has held the position since 2010. He joined the organization as president and administrator in 2003 after serving there as a consultant beginning in 2001. David A. Straz Jr., chairman of the Florida Health Sciences Center Inc, the governing board for Tampa General Hospital, said Burkhart was the choice of the board’s search committee, consisting of members of the hospital board, and representatives of the TGH medical staff, and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Mr. Burkhart has the skill set and experience we wanted,” Straz said. “He works closely with a medical school and has a sharp focus on quality patient care. He has managed a safety net hospital that has faced financial challenges due to state cuts to reimbursements. I think the transition will be very smooth and he will build upon the success Tampa General already has achieved.” Burkhart is familiar with Tampa General since both hospitals are members of the Safety Net Alliance of Florida, an organization representing 15 safety net hospitals in Florida. Safety net hospitals like TGH and Shands Jacksonville provide a significant level of care to low-income, uninsured, and vulnerable patients compared to other hospitals. “Tampa General is an outstanding hospital with a strong reputation for quality patient care,” Burkhart said. “It has a wonderful management team and strong relationships with the community and university physicians who practice there. I’m looking forward to working with the leadership group to further develop our strategies for the future.” Shands Jacksonville has a staff of more than 3,800 employees and is affiliated with the University of Florida. Tampa General has a staff of more than 6,400 employees and is affiliated with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. In addition, both hospitals train about 300 medical residents, have earned national recognition from a variety of professional organizations and publications for quality patient care, and have the Epic electronic medical record. Both hospitals are designated Magnet Hospitals, the highest ranking for quality nursing care recognized by the American Nurses Association. Prior to moving to Shands Jacksonville, Burkhart served as president and principal of Endeavor Health Group, an executive healthcare management consulting firm based in Ft. Lauderdale. The firm specialized in performance improvement in an array of healthcare facilities. He also worked for 12 years as president of Fort Sanders Park West and Regional Medical Centers in Knoxville, TN. In that role, Burkhart operated two medical centers of 900 beds and a staff of 3,000 employees. Burkhart holds a Doctorate of Science, Administration–Health Services, and a Master of Hospital and Healthcare Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BA in Psychology and Biology. Burkhart is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Hytoff, 67, announced his retirement in June, but has remained as president and CEO while the search for his replacement has been underway. He served as Tampa General’s CEO since February 2000 after a three-year stint as the hospital’s chief operating officer. The announcement prompted a national search by the hospital’s governing board with the help of a national executive search firm, which drew about 200 applicants for the position. Tampa General is a 1,018-bed academic medical center on the west coast of Florida that serves as the region’s only center for Level I trauma care, comprehensive burn care and adult solid organ transplants. It is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.