Flagler Health+ and UF Health Announce Partnership Plan

Flagler Health+ has found the “like-minded health system” they were looking for – and they didn’t have to look far.

Flagler Health+ and UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center, announced earlier this month they have entered into an exclusive, non-binding letter of intent to develop plans to transform health care delivery in the region.

The move comes in the wake of the recent decision by Flagler Health+ to explore joining another health care system to enhance local services and expand access to care in the community.

According to a media release, the Flagler Health+ Board of Trustees and leadership team selected UF Health “because the nationally renowned health system offers the strengths of a top 5 public research institution coupled with innovative, high-quality, leading-edge care that will benefit the residents of Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Clay and Duval counties. “

The two organizations will now move forward with detailed due diligence toward the goal of Flagler Health+ becoming part of UF Health later this year.

“We envision a future where the services provided by Flagler Health+ meet all our community members’ needs. We are pleased with how our exploration is progressing and look forward to the possibility of making this vision a reality with the University of Florida,” said Flagler Health+ Board of Trustees Chairman Todd Neville, in the release. “Moving forward with UF Health is the right next step because of our shared commitment to those we serve.”

Mori Hosseini, chair of the UF Board of Trustees, said university and health system leaders are looking forward to magnifying opportunities to offer hope and healing for patients and their families through the delivery of world-class, compassionate care.

“UF and UF Health are re-energizing health care delivery throughout the state of Florida,” Hosseini said in the release. “We seek to transform lives, and plans like these are a step toward tackling patients’ greatest challenges and improving the health of our communities. Collaboration and a keen commitment to solutions is in our DNA. We are up to the task and intend to lead the way.”

Flagler Health+ explored options from some of the most respected health care organizations in the country, with a focus on continued enhancement of quality and patient satisfaction, supporting key community-focused service lines, enhancing their ability to provide healthcare to underserved populations, strengthening recruitment and retention of team members, add ing technology resources and expertise, and gaining enhanced access to capital to support future investments, the release states.

“Everything we do is driven by our longstanding commitment to our community and our dedication to our team members, providers and patients,” said Flagler Health+ CEO Carlton DeVooght, in the release. “We are excited about this potential opportunity and our next steps with UF Health.” 

The announcement won praise from community leaders, including St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Isabelle Renault.

“We are welcoming the news that UF Health has been chosen by Flagler Health+ to partner for the full integration of UF Health services in St. Johns County,” Renault said in an email with EVOLVE St. Johns News. “The resources of a research university hospital will widely benefit our residents. We believe it will continue to place St. Johns County at the top of Florida’s counties for health outcomes. We are looking forward to engaging UF Health and Flagler Health+’s transition team to explore additional opportunities for involvement with the business community.”