Update: USF in Water Street Tampa
Construction moves forward on future home of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute
Building has begun on the state-of-the-art USF facility that will help transform medical education, research, and heart disease treatment and prevention in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. Completion of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, expected in late 2019, will bring students, faculty and staff to study, work and live within a vibrant urban waterfront district promoting a walkable, sustainable and healthy environment.
In June, Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture between Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment, LLC, formally announced a name for the downtown district that will house its $3 billion real estate development project: Water Street Tampa. The new USF medical school and cardiovascular institute will be a key anchor for SPP's project and the larger downtown community.
Named for an existing street that has played roles in Tampa waterfront history, Water Street Tampa is a nod to the past and a glimpse of the future – offering a way to connect people from the core of downtown to the newly designed waterfront.
The downtown site will position the medical school in close proximity to USF Health's primary teaching and clinical affiliate, Tampa General Hospital (TGH), as well as its world-class simulation center, the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) and other surrounding facilities.
But USF Health's expansion into downtown Tampa is about more than a physical building – USF is creating a future that will attract the brightest students and National Institutes of Health-funded cardiovascular scientists at the forefront of interdisciplinary biomedical research. It will be a key anchor in Water Street Tampa, one of the nation's largest redevelopment projects and world's first WELL-Certified district pursued by SPP.
The announcement of the Morsani College of Medicine's move into the downtown district is already impacting the recruitment of top-tier students. USF has become the most selective medical school in Florida, with applications rising 60 percent since the 2014 announcement of the downtown move. With more than 30 applicants vying for each seat in the MD program, incoming student credentials have skyrocketed, and the average MCAT score of the 2017 entering class was the highest in Florida.
The facility will offer an advanced educational environment to prepare doctors, and open space on USF's Tampa campus to grow other quality health programs to address critical workforce shortages in Florida.
Relocating the Morsani College of Medicine downtown will also place cardiovascular researchers and clinicians close to both CAMLS and one of the country's busiest centers for cardiac surgery, heart transplant and medical cardiology services at TGH. By uniting bench scientists and clinical researchers under one roof in its Heart Institute, this facility is designed to help more quickly translate discoveries into practical personalized treatments to improve the lives of those with cardiovascular disease.
Plans for the future:
What: A conceptual view of plans for the future of medical education and research at the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in Water Street Tampa.
Corner of Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive, part of Strategic Property Partners' $3 billion Water Street Tampa, a connected, urban multi-use project on the waterfront, destined to become a WELL-certified city district.
Opening late 2019 (construction has started)
The downtown site will position the medical school in close proximity to USF Health's primary teaching and clinical affiliate, Tampa General Hospital, as well as its world-class simulation center, the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation and other surrounding facilities.
Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange: more than a library
Florida Blue has provided a $1 million gift to the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building in Water Street Tampa, offering a name for the facility's advanced health sciences library.
"We are thrilled to see Florida Blue support the Morsani College of Medicine's move to downtown Tampa as a million-dollar investor," says USF System President Judy Genshaft. "Florida Blue stands as a strong advocate for USF and the health of Floridians, and we value their partnership."
More than a library, the Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange will serve as a hub in the new USF facility for connecting people and ideas. As libraries depart from housing stacks of printed collections, the Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange will instead host the research librarians who can help students, researchers and patients access an ever-expanding trove of digital information.
"Medical knowledge is expected to double every 73 days by the year 2020, which greatly affects the way we need to train tomorrow's doctors," says Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. "The Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange will become a central resource in helping our students learn how to navigate these emerging discoveries to serve their future patients."
The 5,000-square-foot Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange will be open to the public and feature a large-scale video wall for multimedia presentations, an executive-style reading room, a reference desk, and a space for technology demonstrations and recording lectures for online learning.
"Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving world of health data and technology is critical in today's health care environment. The Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange is aptly named, as it will serve that goal by facilitating information sharing and collaboration among students, health professionals and entrepreneurs," says Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty. "USF and the Tampa Bay community are well positioned to be a center of health knowledge and learning. We are very proud to be a part of this public facility, which aligns so closely with our own mission of helping people and communities achieve better health."
In addition to the USF Water Street expansion, the Florida Blue Foundation has supported other areas of USF Health and the Muma College of Business, and is a corporate member of USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy.
Find out more about USF Water Street Tampa.