Tampa General CEO John Couris Appointed to Florida’s Health Care Innovation Council

Published: May 21, 2024

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed Couris to advance innovative solutions to Florida’s health care challenges.

 Tampa, FL (May 21, 2024) – Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, last month to serve as a member of the Health Care Innovation Council, a statewide volunteer organization established this year to advance innovation in health care as part of the Senate’s priority Live Healthy initiative.

“Florida can serve as a national model in delivering high-quality health care to all Floridians. With support from Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and other leaders on the state level, we can make strategic investments in innovation that have the potential to revolutionize the way we deliver care in the Sunshine State,” said Couris. “I’m honored to be a part of the new Health Care Innovation Council, where we will focus on dynamic and strategic solutions that can increase access, cut costs and improve patient outcomes.”

The Florida Legislature established the Live Healthy Innovation Council with the passage of Senate Bill 7018, proposed by the Senate Health Policy Committee and co-sponsored by Senator Gayle Harrell. Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman sponsored the bill’s House companion. The Legislature passed SB 7018 during the 2024 legislative session with overwhelming support from both chambers. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on March 21.

“John Couris was instrumental in the development of the Live Healthy initiative. His transformational vision for our health care system is increasing access, improving care and reducing costs for patients,” said President Passidomo. “I am pleased to appoint him to the Live Healthy Innovation Council.”

The goal of the legislation is to harness the innovation and creativity of entrepreneurs and businesses, in collaboration with the state’s health care system and stakeholders, to lead the discussion on innovations that will address challenges in the health care system, transform the delivery of care and strengthen the quality of health care in Florida.

The Health Care Innovation Council consists of 15 members who will lead discussions with innovators, developers and implementers of technologies, workforce pathways, service delivery models or other solutions. Based on the public input and information gathered at public meetings, the bill requires the council to create best practice recommendations and focus areas for the advancement of the delivery of health care in Florida, with an emphasis on:

  • Increasing efficiency in the delivery of health care.
  • Reducing strain on the health care workforce.
  • Increasing public access to health care.
  • Improving patient outcomes.
  • Reducing unnecessary emergency department visits; and
  • Reducing costs for patients and the state without reducing the quality of patient care.

Through a revolving loan program within the Florida Department of Health (DOH), low-interest loans will enable applicants to implement one or more innovative technologies, workforce pathways, or service delivery models to:

  • Fill a demonstrated need.
  • Obtain or upgrade necessary equipment, hardware, and materials.
  • Adopt new technologies or systems; or
  • A combination thereof to improve the quality and delivery of health care in measurable and sustainable ways that will lower costs and allow that value to be passed onto the health care consumer.

The Health Care Innovation Council will review loan applications and submit to DOH a prioritized list of proposals recommended for funding.

As president and CEO of Tampa General, Couris has led the hospital to become one of the leading academic health systems in the nation through the implementation of emerging technologies and innovations.

In partnership with University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine (USF Health), Couris and Tampa General established the Tampa Medical and Research District. Modeled after renowned medical districts in the nation’s greatest cities, the district is an ever-growing hub of world-class clinical care, academics, research and biotechnology.

Couris oversaw the creation of the CareComm command center within Tampa General nearly five years ago, which uses data and analytics to increase efficiencies and direct hospital resources to better support patients. As a result of this effort, Tampa General has improved patient outcomes and reduced the length of stay, resulting in lower risk for infection and overall health costs. Recent adaptations of the CareComm command center, which relies on GE Healthcare technologies, focuses on early warning and management of sepsis which had reduced the sepsis mortality rate at Tampa General to a quarter of the national average.

Couris also spearheaded the launch of a new, innovative program – TGH at Home – which provides access to best-in-class hospital care from health care providers in the comfort of a patient’s home. Since the program’s launch, TGH at Home has demonstrably reduced the risk of readmission for participating patients.

As part of the Health Care Innovation Council, Couris will advance innovative, science-driven, reproducible solutions, capable of meeting the state’s growing need for health care.