By Caitlyn Finnegan
In anticipation of upcoming growth, UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, is trading in its name for a new one. The brand will now be known as University of Florida Health, university officials announced today.
Moving forward, UF&Shands-affiliated health centers in Jacksonville and other cities will remove Shands from their names, switching their names to the UF Health brand.
Shands will continue to be used in the names of its Gainesville-based hospitals and programs, just paired jointly with UF Health. Most of the UF health-focused colleges and institutes will also retain their current names, with exceptions including the UF Shands Cancer Center, which will transition to the UF Health Cancer Center.
The need for rebranding comes as the health center is at a “tipping point of growth,” and is the culmination of a three-year strategic plan to encourage collaboration among departments known as “Forward Together.” UF Health’s brand grew out of extensive research conducted over the past year and will help position the organization as a respected regional and national health care resource, said Dr. David Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health.
“We are confident that this will help us tell our story here in the state and across the nation,” Dr. Guzick said.
The new name will have no legal impact on the entities; both UF and Shands will remain legally separate organizations whose leadership structures will remain the same.
The main promoter behind this transition has been Timothy Goldfarb, the CEO of Shands HealthCare. Over the past few months, he has traveled from Ocala to Live Oak to Jacksonville spreading the idea of a new brand for UF&Shands.
“The further away from Gainesville you get, the more enthusiastic people get about it,” Goldfarb said. “The Shands name is not known very widely; UF is well-known internationally. We want to bring the power of the UF Nation to the health center.”
Goldfarb said the rebranding will help the organizations work “hand and glove” to move towards UF’s goal of becoming one of the top 10 research universities in the nation. The strong partnership and collaborative approach to health care will lead to a better overall experience for patients as well as match the momentum of recognition the center hopes to see going forward, said Dr. Michael Good, dean of the College of Medicine.
“The college is poised to become the leader in so many areas,” said Dr. Good. “This is a brand that will carry our reputation as we become more known nationally and internationally.”
Faculty and staff will work to implement the transition into their communications systems throughout the day, with a full adoption of the brand rolling out on May 21.
“I have always been proud to say I work with the University of Florida,” said Pam Clevenger, a surgery triage nurse who has worked with Shands for 12 years. “We’ve always seen the organizations as a sum of all the parts, and now this name is like the umbrella that draws everything together.”