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Tuesday, August 8th, 2017


Tampa General Ranked No. 1 Hospital in Metro Area

Tampa General Hospital | Health and Medicine | Hospitals

The ranking, by U.S. News & World Report, places Tampa General in the top 50 hospitals nationwide.

TAMPA – Tampa General Hospital has been named the top hospital in the Tampa Metro Area for 2017-18, and one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals in six medical specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News ranked TGH second among all hospitals in Florida. The national publication ranked TGH third in the state last year.

It marks the second consecutive year TGH received the top ranking for the Tampa Metro Area, which includes Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties.


Tampa General was ranked as one of the top 50 hospitals nationally in these six medical specialties:

  • Cardiology and Heart Surgery
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology and GI Surgery
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

In addition, TGH received “High Performing” ratings in three medical specialties: geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, and orthopedics.

“Our hospital achieved this recognition because everyone in the organization worked as a team,” said Steve Short, acting president and CEO. “It’s not only our community physicians working with our USF faculty doctors, but also the clinical and support staff who are guided by the value of putting our patients first in everything we do.”

The annual Best Hospitals rankings, now in its 28th year, are part of U.S. News’ patient portal, designed to help patients make informed decisions about where to receive care for life-threatening conditions or for common elective procedures.

For the 2017-18 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures, and conditions. In the 16 specialty areas, 152 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.

“For nearly three decades, we’ve strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “By providing the most comprehensive data available, we hope to give patients the information they need to find the best care across a range of specialties.”

The U.S. News methodologies include risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care and other care-related indicators.

Best Hospitals was produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Tampa General is a 1011-bed Level 1 trauma center on the west coast of Florida that serves as the region’s only center for comprehensive burn care. It the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers, and a nationally designated magnet hospital for quality nursing care. TGH is the only nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center in Hillsborough County and is also a state-certified spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation center.

For information, go to

Photo courtesy of Tampa General Hospital.

Tampa General Hospital | Best Hospital Ranking | U.S. News & World Report | Health | Medicine | Hospitals | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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James Museum Appoints Interim Director

James Museum | Art Museum | Special Interest

The James Museum will be the new, permanent home of about 400 premier works of art selected from the more than 3,000 pieces acquired by Tom and Mary James over their 50 years of collecting. It is schedule to open in early 2018.

ST. PETERSBURG – Bernice Chu has been named the interim director of the Tom and Mary James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

She began her new role Monday (Aug. 7) and reports directly to museum Chairman Tom James.

Chu has comprehensive working experience in design, construction and operations management, most recently with the MCA Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She has additional project management experience with financial institutions on Wall Street and ran her own facilities management, design and construction companies in New York. She has a BS degree in Architecture from the City College of New York and has studied Urban Planning at New York University.

“Bernice’s experience is a great fit for what we need right now, which is to plan for the opening, hire the staff, develop the systems and organize for the ongoing operations of the Museum,” James said. “Her background in design, facilities management, budgeting, operations and visitor services, particularly her experience with the Met in New York transitioning from being open six to seven days, will be invaluable as we finish construction and look forward to opening and successfully operating this wonderful new cultural attraction in downtown St. Petersburg.”

Bernice Chu | James Museum | Interim Director

Bernice Chu

Chu said, “I am very interested in the growth of downtown St. Petersburg as an arts and cultural district, which makes the launching of the James Museum even more exciting. Besides being a partner to the other museums in the area – particularly the Dali, which benefited so much from Tom’s involvement – I believe we can offer the public exciting programs and events that will add exponentially to the neighborhood dynamic.

“I am convinced that The James can be both a rival to the other museums and a partner in terms of the stories the collection tells and the offerings that will enhance the visitor experience. My previous experience in helping reorganize museums to make them more functionally efficient will be most valuable in building The James organization from the ground up, and I look forward to the opportunity to create an enterprising team that will be both creative and synergetic.”

Emily Kapes, curator of art at the James Museum, will continue to oversee the installation of the selected works from the Tom and Mary James Art Collection into the new galleries, as well as the selection of items for the Native American jewelry exhibition.

The announcements of a director of education and director of facilities are anticipated within a few weeks.

The James Museum will be the new, permanent home of about 400 premier works of art selected from the more than 3,000 pieces acquired by Tom and Mary James over their 50 years of collecting.

The 84,000 square foot museum at 150 Central Ave. will include more than 30,000 square feet of gallery space; a double height lobby with water feature; Native American Jewelry collection, 6,000 square feet of rental event space, supporting both large events and break-out sessions; a commercial catering kitchen; a museum store and café; as well as all of the spaces required to support and operate a 21st Century museum of this scale.

Planned programming includes special exhibitions in a variety of genres, artist talks and demonstrations, art classes, docent tours and children’s activities.

In addition to the museum space, the development of the James Museum building will include almost 35,000 square feet of leasable space, owned by James R.E., situated on the east and west sides of the project. The Sembler Co. is leasing the ground floor retail units and Echelon Real Estate Services is leasing the Class A Office space located on the second floor.

Construction of the museum is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, with a grand opening planned for early 2018.

For information about the James Museum, go to

Photo of museum rendering courtesy of the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

The James Museum | Tom James | Bernice Chu | Arts | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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Former Pinellas Sheriff Endorses Kriseman

Rick Kriseman | St. Petersburg Mayor | Politics

Jim Coats was Pinellas County sheriff from 2004 to 2011.

ST. PETERSBURG – Jim Coats, who served as Pinellas County sheriff from 2004 to 2011, has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman for re-election.

“I am proud to endorse Mayor Rick Kriseman’s candidacy for Mayor of St. Petersburg. I had the privilege of working with the mayor during his time in the Florida Legislature and always found him to be accessible, thoughtful and open-minded. I can attest he is an outstanding public servant with remarkable character. I’ve been impressed by the improvements the mayor has made in the police department including re-branding the department, empowering his police chief and command staff, and making the agency attractive to new employee applicants. A community’s public safety is a quality of life issue which ranks at the top of most citizens’ priorities. The residents of St. Petersburg will be best served under Mayor Kriseman’s leadership for another term,” Coats said.

Jim Coats | Pinellas Sheriff | Politics

Jim Coats

Coats, who served during the majority of former Mayor Rick Baker’s two terms, joins the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association in endorsing Kriseman for re-election.

“I have tremendous admiration for Sheriff Coats and his four decades of service to Pinellas County and our community. He always put people and public safety ahead of politics, which helped to make him one of our state’s most respected law enforcement leaders. His praise for our police department is more proof that we are on the right track, and is yet another reason why Tony Holloway’s future as chief is secure for as long as I am mayor,” Kriseman said.

Although municipal races are non-partisan, Coats’ endorsement is especially noteworthy because it crosses party lines. Coats is a Republican; Kriseman, a Democrat.

Kriseman is running for his second term as St. Petersburg mayor. He is facing challenges from Baker, Jesse Nevel, Paul Congemi, Anthony Cates, and Theresa Lassiter.

The primary is Aug. 29. If no candidate gets at least 50 percent plus one vote, the two top votegetters will move on to the general election on Nov. 7. The St. Petersburg mayor serves four years and earns $180,895 a year.

For information about Kriseman, go to

Photo of Jim Coats courtesy of Pinellas County.

Rick Kriseman | Jim Coats | Politics | Elections | St Pete Election | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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Motorcyclist Dies in Pinellas Crash

Florida Highway Patrol | Car | Traffic

He was thrown from his motorcycle.

PINELLAS COUNTY – A Palm Harbor man died Monday (Aug. 7) night in a traffic crash on Ulmerton Road.

Rodney Thomas Hydorn, 19, of Palm Harbor, died at the scene. Jessie Sue Leonard, 29, of Largo, the driver of the other vehicle, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with minor injuries. It is unclear if alcohol was involved.

The crash happened about 11:36 p.m. at the intersection of Ulmerton and Coral Way. Troopers said Leonard was driving a 1998 Jeep SUV east on Ulmerton. When she reached Coral Way, Leonard turned left into the path of the 2005 Suzuki Catana that Mr. Hydorn was riding.

The SUV and motorcycle collided. The force threw Mr. Hydorn from the bike.

For information about the Florida Highway Patrol, go to

Florida Highway Patrol | Fatal Crash | Rodney Thomas Hydorn | Traffic Crash | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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Tampa, St. Pete Rank High on Pet-Friendly Cities List

Pets | Animals | Cats and Dogs

Tampa landed in the No. 3 spot; St. Pete was 13th on the list, which compared the 100 most populated cities.

TAMPA BAY – It’s good to be a dog, cat, or other pet if you live in Tampa or St. Petersburg, according to a an in-depth look by WalletHub at at 2017’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 21 pet-related items ranging from the cost of veterinary care per visit to the number of pet businesses per capita to walkability.

Tampa was listed as the No. 3 overall pet-friendly city. St. Pete came in 13th. Two other Florida cities cracked the top 20 – Orlando, which was ranked No. 5 overall and Miami, which was ranked 20th.

When it came to ranking pet budgets, which costs such as veterinary care, pet insurance and other pet-care providers, Tampa came in 10th and St. Pete was 21st.

Tampa remained in the top 10 with a 9 ranking for pet health and wellness while St. Pete dropped to 34. The ranking for pet health and wellness includes such factors as the number of veterinarians per capita, the pet-friendliness of the rental market, pet-friendly restaurants per capita, pet businesses per capita, the number of animal shelters per capita, and the strength of animal protection laws.

Tampa dropped out of the top 10 when it came to outdoor pet friendliness, ranking in the 19th spot. St. Pete ranked 23rd for outdoor pet friendliness. Components of outdoor pet friendliness include the number of dog parks per capita, walkability, the number of dog shows per capita, and the number of pet-friendly trails per capita.

Pet friendly chart | WalletHub | Pets and Animals

Courtesy of WalletHub


For information about the survey and a full listing, go to

Pet-Friendly Cities | Tampa | St Petersburg | Cat | Dog | Pets | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

#PetFriendlyCities #Tampa #StPetersburg #Cat #Dog #Pets #TampaBayNews #TB Reporter