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A sneak peek into USF Health’s CAMLS

March 21, 2012

Earlier this week, Tampa Bay Partnership investors were invited for a sneak peek tour of the University of South Florida Health’s new Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) facility in downtown Tampa before its Grand Opening on March 30th. The tour followed our monthly Chair’s Leadership Breakfast where Steve Mason, President & CEO of BayCare Health System and Chair of ONE BAY: Healthy Communities, led a discussion on what the future of healthcare looks like for our region, how the community can work together to become a healthier Tampa Bay and the economic impact that could have.

As the only research, training and education facility of its kind in the world, CAMLS is leading a renaissance in healthcare from right here in Tampa Bay. The $38 million facility was built within fourteen months and integrates an innovative simulation experience with education and research excellence. Program attendees were awestruck by features such as the ability to adjust sights, sounds and temperatures to simulate different environments – like battlefields, urban hospital settings, jungles and natural disaster zones.

CAMLS is transforming healthcare. Health professionals at all levels are now being tested for cognitive, behavioral and technical competence as individuals and teams at the center. “It’s the only place in the country that will start to assess ‘Is the doctor competent,’” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health in USF Magazine. Every procedure and activity is recorded and played back for analysis. Team learners are assessed for individual competencies as well as how they perform as part of a team.

CAMLS also supports innovation and entrepreneurship. At the Tampa Bay Research and Innovation Center (TBRIC) on the third floor, scientists, engineers, doctors and industry partners work together to develop new, better and safer devices, procedures and instruments for patient care. Available at the facility is a rapid prototyper – a three-dimensional printer that produces silicone models such as pediatric teeth and gums complete with muscles and bones. Each model is produced to scale and has rigid and flexible parts. According to USF Magazine, “the real-life innovation zone puts everything under one roof – from research to market. That means new and innovative medical technologies and products get to market faster.”

That’s not all. Projected to have a $5.7 million annual impact on the Tampa Bay economy with an increase of at least fiver percent yearly, CAMLS is expected to bring 30,000 visitors to the region each year.  The Partnership’s ONE BAY: Healthy Communities initiative believes that institutions such as CAMLS are paving the way towards increased health among the region’s residents. “As an economic development strategy, health needs to be much higher on the agenda,” said Steve Mason, Chair of ONE BAY: Healthy Communities. “Organizations working to improve health must collectively work together to make enough noise and have a real impact on the region as a whole.”

“Chronic diseases make up 75% of health-related expenditures; the business community must take control of healthcare expenditures and shift the healthcare focus from treatment to prevention,” Mason added. Learn more about how ONE BAY: Healthy Communities is rallying the community to become a healthier Tampa Bay by 2050 at

CAMLS is a perfect example of building upon the region’s strengths in innovation and research to advance it towards greater economic diversity, resiliency and sustainability as outlined in the Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay.

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