Collaborations abound with All Children's
Date: January 3, 2012
When Florida’s All Children’s Hospital went looking for an academic partner to raise its international reputation as a leading children’s medical center, Johns Hopkins was high on its list. The St. Petersburg facility became a fully integrated member of Johns Hopkins Medicine in April 2011, and pediatric leaders say this offers exciting opportunities for clinical care, teaching and research.
All Children’s (ACH), with outreach facilities in eight west-central Florida counties, is the only hospital on Florida’s west coast totally devoted to children’s care—a leader in pediatric treatment, education, research and advocacy. ACH’s million-square-foot campus comprises a 259-bed, 10-story hospital and adjacent Outpatient Care Center. Its specialty programs include heart transplantation, blood and marrow transplantation, pediatric trauma services and one of the largest neonatal intensive care programs in the Southeast.
George Dover, pediatrician in chief of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, says the incorporation of ACH advances Hopkins’ mission on all three levels. Academically, it provides an opportunity to start a new Hopkins pediatrics residency at ACH and become more innovative in training. “Pediatrics residencies haven’t changed in 20 years,” he says, “and medicine has.”
Research-wise, says Dover, ACH has devoted a considerable amount of profits and philanthropy dollars to establish a research campus. Ten thousand feet of bench space is now available, and ACH has committed to constructing an additional 20,000 to 40,000 square feet of research space. The plan is to develop new pediatric centers of excellence, in collaboration with basic science, public health and other missions.
On the medicine side, it gives “opportunities to learn from an organization that completely concentrates on clinical care,” Dover says. “We can teach them to develop clinical models, and they can show us what else we can do clinically.”
In addition, the integration offers opportunities to train fellows and physicians who can move to the St. Petersburg campus and stay within the Hopkins system; to leverage Hopkins’ name in the Southeast; and to serve as a hub for referral patients from Central and South America, Dover says.
Jonathan Ellen, former director of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, has been named the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine vice dean for All Children’s Hospital and its physician in chief. Dover says he selected Ellen for his “tremendous skills” in administration, guiding young faculty, building a department and building bridges with other departments.
Seven months in, Ellen says they are starting to build an academic infrastructure that includes residency and research programs, increase physician decision-making tools, and draw on Hopkins expertise for broader market issues, including Medicaid and health care reform.
Ellen says his goal is to make All Children’s a top 10 children’s hospital: “I expect we will see the early winds of that in 18 months to two years.”
The objective of the 84-year-old hospital “has always been to become a national leader, not only in clinical care, but also in teaching and research to benefit future generations of children in Florida and beyond,” says Gary Carnes, president and CEO of All Children’s Health System. “As part of JHM, All Children’s value as a key community asset will increase exponentially. All Children’s top-notch clinical care will evolve with the addition of world-class teaching and research opportunities for which JHM is renowned. Our area and the state of Florida stand to benefit from the economic impact such growth entails.”