John Couris to Lead Tampa General Hospital Into the Next Decade

Published: Jun 21, 2023

TGH Board of Directors announce that the nationally recognized president and CEO will shepherd the leading academic health system for the next ten years.


Tampa, FL (June 21, 2023) – Florida Health Sciences Center d/b/a Tampa General Hospital (TGH), one of Florida’s preeminent academic health systems, announced today that president and CEO John Couris has accepted an offer from the Board of Directors to extend the terms of his employment agreement for an additional 10 years.


“We are extremely pleased to extend John’s agreement for another 10 years,” said Phil Dingle, chairman of the Tampa General Board of Directors. “His vision, approach to innovation, people-focused leadership style, ability to deliver financial stability and growth, and steady hand since assuming the CEO role in 2017 — including leading us through a global pandemic — gives us the utmost confidence Tampa General will continue its extraordinary progress under his leadership. Today, we are in the process of designing and launching our organizational strategic plan for the next five years, and we look forward to John leading the team in this exciting next chapter.”

“Almost six years ago, we established the vision for Tampa General to become the safest and most innovative academic health system in America,” said Couris. “With the confidence the Board has placed in me and with the tireless work of our exceptional team members, physicians, and partners, we are not only well on our way to realizing that vision, but, in the process and together as a team, we have accomplished an exceptional amount along the way. I am grateful for the work of thousands of people who have brought us to this point, and I look forward to the years ahead as we continue to pursue innovation to save lives and drive breakthroughs in research, be at the forefront of adaptions in care delivery, and care for the sickest patients with the most complex conditions.” 

Since becoming president and CEO, Couris has been instrumental in shaping Tampa General into one of the country’s leading academic health systems and helping to grow the Tampa Bay region into a medical and research destination powered by innovation. During his tenure, Couris has spearheaded a wide range of strategic initiatives and partnerships at Tampa General to enhance patient care, propel next-generation research, and inspire broader health care industry innovations.


Under Couris’ leadership, the organization was the first health care provider in the state of 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. Additionally, and in response to COVID-19, Tampa General developed a comprehensive platform — the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI) — to conduct cutting-edge, emerging infectious disease research. The GEDI, the first facility of its kind in Florida, combines clinical care, research, and education to understand, combat, and prevent emerging infectious diseases. During the pandemic, Couris also collaborated with hospital systems statewide and leadership in Tallahassee to improve health outcomes related to COVID-19.


During Couris' tenure, Tampa General has significantly expanded its affiliation with the University of South Florida to drive academic medicine across the West Coast of Florida and beyond. Together, Tampa General and USF Health provide world-class clinical care for even the most complex cases, offer exceptional teaching, and support next-generation research to provide the best possible outcomes. In 2020, and under Couris’ leadership, Tampa General and USF formalized their enhanced affiliation and established USF Tampa General Physicians (USFTGP). USFTGP is the unified management umbrella for physicians employed by USF Health and TGH and facilitates collaboration and shared resources across both organizations — driving growth, quality enhancement, and increased access to world-class care. Couris and Tampa General continue to prioritize and proactively invest in academic medicine and cutting-edge research.


Since May 2020, Tampa General has been strategically creating a framework of state-of-the-art services to connect patients across Florida, allowing the organization to increase access to care, maximize organizational efficiency, drive down cost, and enhance quality while passing that value on to the health care consumer. To that end, TGH, under Couris’ leadership, has dramatically expanded its network of ambulatory services from 17 to over 130 primary and specialty medical practices, imaging centers, urgent care clinics, and ambulatory outpatient surgical centers across the Sunshine State, including the East Coast, Orlando, and Fort Myers.


To continue to invest in the development of Tampa Bay as a destination for medical innovation and to ensure that the region has access to the most advanced technology and cutting-edge care available, Couris announced a $550 million master facility plan in September 2021. As the largest expansion in the hospital’s history, the master facility plan includes a new 500,000-square-foot patient tower that includes 140 additional inpatient beds and will focus on high-acuity patients and those with complex conditions, a freestanding emergency department, a TGH Cancer Institute hub for diagnostic testing, and additional on-campus spaces to facilitate the delivery of enhanced world-class patient care.


Projects that have opened since the master facility plan was announced in 2021 include a new ICU, renovation of the regional Burn Center and Burn ICU, which is one of only two American Burn Association (ABA)-verified adult and pediatric burn centers in Florida, and a new, 2,000-space team member parking garage. When completed, Tampa General’s master facility plan is projected to infuse $967 million into the economy and create more than 5,900 jobs.


Couris has also driven the evolution of the Tampa Medical and Research District, a medical innovation ecosystem located in the heart of the city. Inspired by renowned medical districts across the country, the district houses a growing hub of world-class clinical care, academics, research, and biotechnology anchored by Tampa General and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.


This summer, construction is set to begin on the TGH Behavioral Health Hospital — the next building block in the District. In response to the increasing need for mental health and psychiatric services in our community, the new hospital, when complete, will offer a full range of inpatient and outpatient services led by psychiatrists from USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and raise the level of behavioral health care across the Tampa Bay region. With the new freestanding ED (opening in July 2023), the TGH Rehabilitation Hospital (May 2022), and the TGH Behavioral Health Hospital will cement Kennedy Boulevard as a major artery of the Medical and Research District.


With Couris at the helm, Tampa General continues to drive innovation through strategic collaborations, including those with private equity. For example, TGH partnered with Shields Health Innovations to build a new “hospital-at-home" program (TGH at Home) to increase access to top-of-the-line care in a home-based setting. TGH at Home leverages innovative patient monitoring tools and a telehealth platform to provide around-the-clock care for its patients at home.


Couris' focus on operational excellence can also be reflected in the organization’s external performance rankings. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital on Florida’s West Coast according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022-23 Best Hospitals and is the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida. Tampa General is the only hospital in Florida either in the top 50 nationally or the top 10% in the country in all 12 data-driven specialties for 2022-2023 and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. In addition, Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list.


Couris is recognized for driving organizational performance and inspiring and leading his team. He is highly regarded as a transformative leader who puts his team at the center of everything he does. His focus on team member engagement and enhancement is why Tampa General is continually recognized nationally for its impact and commitment to creating a culture of personal and professional development for all team members. Tampa General has been ranked a top workplace by both Newsweek and Glassdoor and named by Newsweek as one of “America's Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2023.”


Couris was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame in May 2023, and he was recently named a “Great Leader in Healthcare” by Becker’s Hospital Review for 2023. In January, he was named to the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2023 “Power 100” list —a recognition he also received in 2022. Couris was named to Becker’s “Great Leaders in Healthcare 2022” as well as Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Innovators” list that same year. Other honors for Couris include the 2021 Tampa Bay Chamber H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership Award; Florida Trend’s “Florida 500” list of most influential business leaders in the state; Florida Politics’ “Influence 100” list of the most influential people in Florida politics; and the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “25 People to Watch in 2022.”