By: Jeremy Daniel, Regenerative Medicine Solutions
LT ’15 enjoyed a great day last Wednesday on Health Sciences Day as the class was introduced to a few of the leading medical facilities that make Tampa such a unique and innovative medical community. After another early 7 a.m. start, we grabbed our bus buddies and headed over to Moffitt Cancer Center to learn about the innovative and holistic approach that Moffitt uses in the treatment of cancer. After a brief introduction by Dr. Dan Sullivan we broke off into groups and each experienced different departments of the Moffitt machine that help keep them on the cutting edge of cancer research and treatment. My group was assigned to the Analytical Microscopy tour where I was able to see what a $1,000,000 will buy in terms of a microscope.
After Moffitt, we loaded back up on the LT ’15 buses and headed down south to Apollo Beach to visit St. Joseph’s Hospital – South which was scheduled to open the following Monday. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of patient-centric care that was integrated into the design of the building. The facility did not feel like a hospital which was an integral goal of the design according to President Scott Smith. The class was able to tour the hospital freely without the concern of interrupting patients and their care. Throughout the tour we learned about the advanced technology and design that will make St. Joseph’s South one of the top hospitals in Tampa Bay.
Our final stop of the day was at CAMLS in downtown Tampa. After lunch, it is always somewhat challenging to re-engage in the day when listening to speakers that is until Dr. Harry Van Loveren the Chair of Neurosurgery at TGH took the podium. Tampa General Hospital is a nationally designated comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the west coast of Florida. TGH is home to one of the leading organ transplant centers in the country, having performed more than 6,000 adult solid organ transplants, including the state’s first successful heart transplant in 1985. I honestly could not have been more impressed and in awe of Dr. Van Loveren as he took us through what it takes to be a neurosurgeon and how difficult and competitive the selection process is to be accepted into his program. He told us that if you want to be accepted into the program not only do you have to be at the top in all academic programs and community involvement but for 7 years you need to be prepared to work for 80 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, and basically not irritate him to complete his program. Although we are all leaders and the Best Class Ever, I didn’t see any of us ask to sign up for that brutal process.
We ended the day by touring CAMLS and simulated treating wounded soldiers, practiced using the same techniques as Dr. Van Loveren (to no avail) and even saw one of my classmates become a doctor and deliver a baby! He literally started to sweat and freeze up when the simulation began and the baby started to be born. I think we were all shocked with the reality of the simulation which is what makes CAMLS so unique in the medical community.
Overall, Health Sciences Day was one of my favorite days so far in Leadership Tampa. I believe that it opened up the eyes of our class on how lucky we are to have such great medical institutions right here in Tampa that are literally changing how medicine is practiced throughout the world.