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USF Health closer to downtown Tampa facility, but needs to pick up fundraising pace

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

An ambitious new Medical Center for the University of South Florida may be closer to reality, but school officials need to step up fundraising if they are to hold up their share of the cost.

That’s the message delivered to the USF board of trustees during a workshop update Nov. 30, as the college works toward developing its $152.6 million Morsani College of Medicine/USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa.

As reported by LobbyTools, the new complex would replace USF’s aging 40-year-old facility at its Tampa campus.

In a presentation to the state board of governors, the University plans to ask for $22.5 million in additional state funding for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, with another $33.2 million the following year. It does not include another $22.6 million in private funding needed to complete the project.

However, both money and the number of donors to USF Health have leveled off, said Charles Lockwood, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and senior vice president of USF Health. Lockwood told the board that in 2015, the program raised about $11.1 million in total commitments, compared to $12.1 million in 2014, $8.9 million for 2013, $31.1 million for 2012 and $22.6 million for 2011.

“It’s an area where I’m very disappointed,” he added. “We would like this number to be $50 million, not $11 million, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.

“We’ve recruited a lot of people and now we need them to generate dollars.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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