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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.

Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay in action: downtown Winter Haven

March 21, 2012

Special post from Stuart L. Rogel, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership

CSX Intermodal facility in Winter Haven

CSX Intermodal facility under construction in Winter Haven

Last week, I visited downtown Winter Haven in Polk County. The town is brimming with newly renovated buildings filled with technology companies located right on top of Verizon’s telecomm switch and Internet fiber backbone. Restaurants and shops are taking root and the city’s parks are alive with lunchtime workers surrounded by public art and shady tree-lined gathering spots. All-in-all it is a very pleasant, energetic and up-and-coming locale.

This month’s Site Selection magazine highlights the role that 6-10 companies have had in developing this tech center in downtown Winter Haven. What is happening in Winter Haven is a perfect example of how a fast-growing segment of our Business, Financial and Data Services industry cluster, one of four clusters identified in the Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay for high-wage sustainable job growth, can take advantage of world-class telecommunications infrastructure to grow jobs and business, and ultimately lead an urban renaissance that results in a quality community.

For example, the long-planned CSX logistics center, one of Polk County’s largest economic development projects in its history, along with projected surrounding warehouse and mixed-use development could create 8,500 jobs according to Polk State College professor as quoted in Site Selection. The Inland Fiber & Data Center being developed by the 6/10 Corporation is projected to eventually have a $100 million economic impact and create 1,200 high-wage jobs, he says.

I urge you to look at the following websites to see what is happening. The Six/Ten Corporation at; the Inland Fiber and Data Technology Park at; and the Florida Business Continuity Center at

Combined with LEGOLAND which is just down the road, groundbreaking on the CSX Intermodal freight facility in Winter Haven and the Blue Sky incubators at USF Poly there is much to see and tell about Winter Haven. I encourage us to learn more and promote these successes that are happening in Winter Haven. These types of stories can really bring our Regional Business Plan to life.

Advancing the region means developing strong leadership

March 14, 2012

Investing in the Partnership means investing in its team. Our investors see us as a vehicle for taking action on the issues most important to the region; our staff is the well-oiled engine that keeps the vehicle running smoothly. Because our economic environment is continuously changing, our staff and leadership must be transformative and innovative; it must think strategically and be able to move the important issues forward. With that, I’m proud to announce that earlier this month, two of the Partnership’s senior leaders, Elisa Degregorio and Kelly Kavanaugh, graduated from The Leadership Institute Executive Transformation Program held by USF Center for Transformation and Innovation.

Kelly found value in gaining a better understanding of her leadership style; learning what works and what doesn’t. Her number one key take-away was that a successful leader really knows their self, understands the environment they’re working in, is passionate about what they do and can instill that passion in their team; effective communication is crucial in this process.

As a new senior leader in the organization and in stepping up to oversee several team members, Elisa focused on improving her coaching and management skills. In assuming a more strategic role for the organization, she learned a great deal about strategy formulation, value proposition, and how to communicate the purpose and vision of the organization. Elisa looks forward to implementing many of these ideas over the next year, and I look forward to observing the results.

Meet the newest Tampa Bay Partnership Investors

March 6, 2012

Special note from Stuart L. Rogel, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership:

I’m excited to welcome a number of new faces to the Tampa Bay Partnership since the start of our 2012 fiscal year. These business leaders bring time, talent and treasure to the Partnership’s efforts and the Tampa Bay region. I would like to extend a special welcome and thank you to our newest investors:

Florida Hospital Tampa Bay DivisionJohn Harding, Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division has joined at the Council of Governors level and is serving on our Republican National Convention (RNC) Committee. 

WellCareAlec Cunningham, WellCare has also joined at the Council of Governors level. A member of the WellCare team will be participating in our seventh CEO Direct Leadership Program, kicking off next month. His organization has plugged into our ONE BAY Healthy Communities initiative with the WellCare Community Foundation sponsoring and last week’s ONE BAY Healthy Communities Forum. 

ChappellRobertsColleen Chappell, ChappellRoberts has joined at the Board of Directors level and is very involved with ONE BAY: Lifelong Learning’s Graduate Tampa Bay initiative, our Tampa Bay Shines campaign, and more.

Premier BeverageChris Nicolas, Premier Beverage joined at the Market Makers level last week and looks forward to finding where his contributions will have the biggest impact at the Partnership.

BMO Harris BankGus Hernandez, M&I Bank, a part of BMO Financial Group, has joined as an Advisor and is excited to be participating in the upcoming CEO Direct Leadership Program.

NielsenIn addition, I announce with great pleasure that Bob McCann, Executive Vice President of Nielsen, has increased their investment to the Board of Directors level. Bob is a critical asset to our organization and our region. Having a truly Super Regional presence with Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, Bob has played an important role in strengthening the relationship with our Central Florida partners as Chair of our Super Region initiatives. He also sits on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and as Chair of the Regional Business Plan Foundational Working Group.

Please join me in welcoming these new investors and thanking them for their involvement.

Help Tampa Bay walk to the moon!

March 5, 2012

Tampa Bay Walk to the Moon ChallengeAs part of its vision and agenda to create a healthier Tampa Bay region by year 2050, ONE BAY: Healthy Communities invites all Tampa Bay area companies, nonprofits and informal groups to participate in the Tampa Bay Walk to the Moon Challenge.

With Tampa Bay’s health rankings landing at the middle to bottom of state and national rankings, and falling below in areas of critical concern, collaboration and concerted action is imperative if we want a healthier Tampa Bay by 2050. Small, simple changes in lifestyle can make a positive difference in the health and wellness of our citizens. By challenging citizens from across Tampa Bay to get up and get moving just 30 minutes each day, the ONE BAY team estimates we can collectively “Walk to the Moon” (or at least the equivalent in land-based terms; that’s 238,857 miles) in seven weeks. The challenge starts April 4, 2012. Sign up today!

Because ONE BAY: Healthy Communities – an initiative of the Tampa Bay Partnership’s ONE BAY regional visioning efforts – is already fostering collaboration throughout all of Tampa Bay’s business, government and community sectors to improve the health of the region, Tampa Bay was selected to launch the Race for a Healthy America, a national health initiative. It is hoped that other regional communities will follow Tampa Bay’s lead and participate in the Race for a Healthy America.

Jonathan Fleece, Co-Author of “The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America” explains why he and his Co-Author, David Houle, chose Tampa Bay for the launch of “The Race to a Healthy America” at the the ONE BAY Healthy Communities Regional Visioning Forum in Tampa Bay on February 24, 2012:


The initiative seeks optimal community health. Not just the healthcare that is delivered to us as citizens, but healthy citizens…with healthy behaviors, and the infrastructure  and environment around us to encourage a healthier environment to live work and play.

Health matters to businesses. Why?

Research shows that healthier employees and healthier communities lead to greater economic prosperity and increased global competitiveness. Health costs for employers and employees continue to skyrocket – and 75% of those dollars are going to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

According to authors of The New Health Age, healthier employees have reduced absenteeism, resulting in increased days at work and increased productivity while on the job. Healthier employees also use less expensive health care services, which can help companies better manage their bottom line, create new jobs that benefit all Americans and increase global competitiveness.

The Tampa Bay Partnership’s ONE BAY regional visioning initiative explores the issues that are most critical to the region’s future – not only the most urgent or pressing, but those issues that can only be successfully addressed with a long-term view and commitment in mind. Learn more at

ONE BAY: Links We Love

March 1, 2012

Healthy Communities

Leaders equate healthy bodies, strong economy
The Tampa Tribune
The new website details how the eight-county region rates in 100 different health categories compared with national standards.

Leaders urge ‘walk to the moon’ to improve community health
Tampa Bay Business Journal
The “Walk to the Moon” challenge is a way to ignite enthusiasm for a healthier lifestyle, said Steve Mason, president and chief executive officer of BayCare Health System and chair of One Bay: Healthy Communities, an effort to unite the area around a culture of health.

Livable Communities

Panel suggests better planning will help downtown
Tampa Tampa Bay Business Journal
A panel of real estate and land planning experts found that downtown Tampa needs carefully designed processes for planning and development review in order to reach the full potential of the city’s urban core.

What a Bunch of Legos Can Teach Us about Civic Participation
Prototyping and “showing” new behaviors, expertise, and relationships is essential to best meeting the substantial needs of society today. We need more places and generative opportunities, like Lego rooms, to fundamentally rethink how people might engage with one another to make our cities great.

Tampa riverfront’s future lies in redevelopment, study suggests
Tampa Bay Times
Recommendations from Urban Land Institute regarding Tampa’s downtown waterfront: Move the tenants, demolish the 682 apartments, and that would create a 40-acre site near the Hillsborough River ripe for mixed-use, mixed-income development.

Why Downtowns Fail and How They Can Come Back
New Geography 
The exciting prospect of turning downtowns into neighborhoods may be the hard work of the next generation of urban residents. Achieving true neighborhoods again in the once-thriving cores of Florida’s cities means that the older building stock, mixed with the new, will begin to have meaning once again.

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House 
According to a new survey, more than three quarters of us consider having sidewalks and places to take a walk one of our top priorities when deciding where to live. Six in 10 people also said they would sacrifice a bigger house to live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk.

New bicycle advisory committee hopes to make biking safer in Manatee
Bradenton Herald
Taking steps to make those routes safer for bikers is a goal of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bicycle/Pedestrian/Trails Advisory Committee, which meets for the first time today.

See the latest on Tampa Bay transit from Tampa Bay on Track:

Lifelong Learning

Young Innovators Present Winning Inventions At USF
83 Degrees
A few Tampa Bay area students have created household gadgets meant to make life a little easier.

Mote Marine and USF pursue degree program
By the fall of 2013, through the partnership with Mote, the university will begin to offer science classes at Mote with the aim of establishing a four-year undergraduate degree program in science.

Study: State University System degree can mean huge boost in lifetime earnings
University of Florida news
A new economic study suggests that having a degree from one of Florida’s 11 state universities can be a financial lifesaver — equivalent to more than $1 million in a worker’s lifetime earnings.

Three Tampa Bay counties among nation’s top ten supporters of public education 
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Three of Tampa Bay’s eight counties ranked in the top ten among the 50 largest school districts in supporting public education by a national study of education foundations and funds. Pinellas Education Foundation ranked 1st; Hillsborough Education Foundation 4th; and Polk Education Foundation 6th.


Support higher education and transportation in Tallahassee

February 29, 2012

Higher Education

The Partnership wants to thank everyone who called House and Senate members and asked them to support the University of South Florida in the face of devastating budget cuts.

A series of budget amendments allocated $46 million for the USF College of Pharmacy, the “teach-out” of USF Polytechnic students towards USF degrees, and the USF Tampa campus.

While the USF budget situation has improved, the state’s budget is being held up by a debate over funding higher education.

The House has proposed a $300 million recurring cut, spread out across the state universities. The Senate proposed a $400 million cut, which pulls reserves from universities.

While we expect all universities to face cuts, take this opportunity to remind our Bay Area Legislative Delegation members that supporting higher education is essential to our ability to create jobs and economic development. If our legislators are serious about improving Florida’s economy, they must be serious about supporting our universities, colleges and technical schools that will build the workforce our businesses need to compete in the future.


Transportation has been a focus of the Partnership for the ability of transportation projects to create jobs and attract and support economic development. With that in mind, we ask you to support the Senate’s transportation bill (SB 1866), which would save transportation trust fund revenues for transportation projects.

The House proposes sweeping $120 million out of the transportation trust fund. The Senate proposes using motor vehicle fees to boost the trust fund by $130 million. Should motor vehicle fees remain in the trust fund, the cumulative impact on the Florida Department of Transportation’s five-year work plan could be about $2.8 billion, when bonding impact is considered.

Higher education and transportation are two of the essential needs for a region to be economically viable. We hope that you are able to reach out to the Bay Area Legislative Delegation and let them know your thoughts about the importance of funding higher education and saving transportation dollars for the transportation trust fund.

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