UF Health welcomes Flagler Health+ to the family, renames hospital UF Health Flagler Hospital

UF Health and Flagler Health+ celebrated Wednesday after the completion of the merger agreement between the two health systems.

The St. Johns County-based Flagler Health+ officially became part of UF Health’s academic health system on Sept. 1 and will now be known as UF Health St. Johns, officials said.

The hospital will now be named UF Health Flagler Hospital.

“We’re just really excited to have these two great organizations come together,” said Dr. David Nelson, president of UF Health and senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida.

Nelson said UF Health will bring money, human capital, innovation and intellectual capital to the new partnership as they focus on the research, education and innovation missions of the academic health system.

That includes technologically advanced care focused on world-class outcomes, research opportunities — including access to new clinical trials — and training programs for the next generation of care providers, Nelson said.

“Together, we have the resources and the community relationships to deliver outstanding care to everyone in what is one of the state’s fastest-growing regions,” Nelson said. “We will be able to bring innovative, high-quality, leading-edge care that builds on the Flagler Health+ legacy of supporting the health care needs of the residents of Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Clay and Duval counties.”

UF Health anticipates adding an integrated enterprisewide technology strategy, including an electronic health record system and new clinical equipment to support current and future health care professionals, Nelson said. In addition, the system will enhance access to capital to support future investments in facilities, infrastructure, technology and growth.

According to UF Health, The Wall Street Journal named the University of Florida the No. 1 public institution in the country in its “2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.” report, and UF Health Shands is the only health system in Florida consistently ranked in the top 3 Florida hospitals 10 years in a row.

UF President Ben Sasse called the integration good news for the region.

“UF Health is committed to working collaboratively with the community to best meet the needs of patients and their families, and our health care providers will do that with the compassion, heart and tireless drive they are known for,” Sasse said.

In February, the Flagler Health+ Board of Trustees and leadership team selected UF Health as the like-minded organization it wanted to move forward with to enhance local health care services and expand access to care in the community.

Flagler Health+ CEO Carlton DeVooght said the future looks bright.

“Throughout our entire selection process and then in discussions about moving forward, all of us at Flagler Health+ understood that UF Health was the right choice so that we could continue our tradition of caring for our community and our commitment to our team,” DeVooght said. “This relationship brings the latest medical breakthroughs to the people we have served for more than a century, while greatly enhancing the services available.”

The FlaglerHealthForward.org website offers answers to questions and more details about the merging of the two health organizations.

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