Aug 10, 2023 - News

Axios Q&A: Tampa General Hospital's John Couris

Photo illustration collage of John Couris surrounded by abstract shapes.

Photo illustration: Maura Losch/Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Tampa General Hospital.

Tampa General Hospital CEO John Couris says the future of health care should be community-based.

Driving the news: Couris accepted an offer from the board of directors in June for a 10-year contract extension after six years leading the hospital.

  • His tenure coincided with the COVID pandemic and a spate of laws from Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature restricting access to health care for women and the LGBTQ+ community.

State of play: Tampa General is already one of the region's largest health systems, and the hospital is expanding its "geographic footprint" into Hernando and Citrus counties.

We spoke to Couris about his time as Tampa General's chief executive and what residents should expect from the hospital in the next decade.

  • This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

Q: How will Florida's legislative efforts to reform health care impact Tampa General's ability to provide medical services for women, immigrants, and transgender patients?

A: Everyone who gets cared for by our organization deserves to feel like they belong. So, anybody that comes through our doors that needs health care will receive that care in a world-class way. But we do have to abide by the law. We stay very neutral because our job is not to be political.

Q: What are the biggest health care issues Tampa Bay residents face?

A: The biggest problem at the moment is not access or convenience, it's cost. We must lower the cost for consumers, and people like me need to be in front of that conversation.

Q: What do you want Tampa General to accomplish in the next 10 years?

A: The health care industry has to coordinate care better, advocate for our patients, and connect the points for our patients from the ambulatory world to the impatient world to the post-acute care world. So, this pivot toward care coordination is a big part of Tampa General's future.


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