North campus expansion and academic excellence

Dr. Haley reflects on the opening of our new hospital, graduation and other on-campus academic activity.

By: Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, C.P.E., FACEP

Greetings Colleagues,

Welcome to the summer 2017 edition of Academic Matters, the e-newsletter of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. There’s been a lot of activity and excitement over the past few weeks and months, and I want to take a moment to touch on a few bright spots. 

UF Health North

We had an exciting ribbon-cutting ceremony May 10 for the bed tower at UF Health North. This beautiful five-story building helps expand our footprint and brings more high-quality care to North Jacksonville. Residents in nearby Nassau County and parts of Southeast Georgia will greatly benefit, too.

The hospital features 92 all-private rooms, including 48 medical/surgical suites and 24 intensive care suites, as well as 12 labor and delivery suites and eight beds for women’s services. From a medical, practical and aesthetic standpoint, it complements the existing medical office building quite well and is something all of us can be proud of.

The hospital officially opened for business May 23 and is already proving to be a great environment for patients. The intensive care unit will open in July and labor and delivery services will begin in August. We should be fully operational in September.

This is the culmination of much hard work, coordination and collaboration among hundreds of people. Thanks to everyone who’s been part of the project.


Celebration of Research 2017 was a delight. Still being relatively new to the campus, this day was a chance for me to learn about a lot of the research and innovation happening on our campus. The various poster and platform presentations were impressive, and special congratulations to our residents who really shined while demonstrating their academic interests.

We were thrilled to have Dr. H. Gilbert Welch from Dartmouth as the keynote speaker. He focused on data and research tied to cancer overdiagnosis. We all walked away from that presentation with much to think about when it comes to cancer incidence and treatment in America.

And special congratulations to Dr. Leighton James for winning this year’s Robert C. Nuss Researcher/Scholar Award. Intermediary metabolism, diabetes and kidney disease have been cornerstones of his research activity, and we look forward to more great things from him.


By the time you read this article, we will have held our on-campus graduation ceremony for residents and fellows.

Congratulations to everyone who completed training programs at UF COMJ. We wish you the best on your next move — whether that’s pursuing more training or transitioning into practice. What’s great is that many of the recent graduates intend to remain on campus and become faculty.

Along those lines, we are excited to welcome those who will soon begin training on our campus. Our infrastructure, complete with esteemed faculty and quality resources, ensures residents and fellows receive an educational experience second to none. The same can be said for the medical students who will complete third- and fourth-year rotations on our campus.

Strategic alliances

I continue to work with Russ Armistead and Dr. David Guzick on developing key alliances in Jacksonville and across Florida to help strengthen our enterprise. I have met with many city officials, members of the philanthropic community and other leaders throughout the region and state. I am telling them about the wonderful things happening on this campus, especially what each and every one of you do daily to care for our patients.

I remain very happy and excited to be at UF Health and look forward to working with all of you to achieve our mission and vision.


Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., M.H.S.A., CPE, FACEP