The Medical Complex
Even though plans for an opening of a Medical school on campus began in 1964, the school of Medicine held its first year of classes in 1972. Later that year, plans to construct a College of Medicine building were drafted and the plan included a medical library, laboratories, and a cafeteria. In 1989, it was announced nationally that USF’s medical school was ranked first in the state. USF’s College of Medicine has always had innovative programs and physicians. Dr. Michael Sweeney, who was in charge of Cardiac Surgery and an assistant professor at USF’s Medical school, performed the first heart transplant in Tampa in 1985. In 1986, the director of hematology of the College of Medicine at the time, discovered a new blood disease. Dr. Hussain I. Saba named the illness Type IIB Tampa von Willebrand disease. Also, USF opened the Master’s Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities in 2003, the first program of its kind in the Nation.
USF took advantage of being located in the middle of a city and built relationships with hospitals in Tampa, as well as hospitals in surrounding cities. In 1985, All Children’s became a teaching and research hospital for USF Medical students and faculty.
Construction on USF’s Cancer Research and Treatment Center began in early 1983 and opened its doors in the spring of 1986. It was named the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute for Lee Moffitt, a USF Alumna and the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives who was instrumental in gaining funding for this hospital. USF hoped that this new center would “lead a new fight against cancer as its medical staff tackles the disease on both clinical and scientific levels.” It operates as a non-profit and it continues lead the way in cancer research to this day. In 1994, Moffitt extended its research programs to include: cancer cell biology, immunology, cancer control, and molecular oncology. In 1999, 2000, and 2001 Moffitt was named one of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
The Florida Mental Health Institute was founded in 1967 and was originally supposed to serve as an extension of state hospitals and community mental health centers. However, by 1974, FMHI provided inpatient care, outpatient care, partial hospitalization, emergency care, community education, and clinical and diagnostic services. FMHI was placed entirely in USF’s hands seven years later and quickly became an academic college. Today, FMHI has become a national leader in behavior health research and its work has even contributed to the President’s Commission on Mental Health.
Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children opened at USF in 1986. This new hospital treated children at no cost for “orthopedic deformities, disease and injuries.” Shriners also treats children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions and their mission is to provide the highest quality care for the child and for the family. They also conduct research and teaching activities, as well as provide inpatient and outpatient care.
The College of Public Health opened on the Tampa campus in 1984 and became USF’s 11th college. It is the first college of its kind in Florida, offering classes that informed the community on health issues such as AIDS. Also, the College of Public Health frequently partners with outside offices. In 1998, C.O.P.H. partnered with Hillsborough County to launch a program called “Healthy Start” that benefited babies in the community. Its mission was to reduce infant mortality and the incidence of low birth weight in babies.