University of South Florida Health and Tampa General Hospital
USF Health (USF) and Tampa General Hospital (TGH) operate as a distinctively robust, research-based, academic medical center committed to improving the health of the Tampa Bay community through world class research, evidence-based clinical practice, and measurable quality of care. Within this enterprise, clinical research is well supported in a number of important ways. First, all USF and TGH clinical departments directly employ clinical research coordinators who can be made available to support subject recruitment and enrollment, ongoing study activities, specimen collection and data abstraction. Geographically, these teams work in close proximity to the clinicians for their home department. In addition, both USF and TGH have elected to further support clinical research by developing additional, dedicated facilities designed to support all phases of clinical trials at each of the primary sites at which USF or TGH clinicians see patients. These include a dedicated clinical research facility on the 3rd floor of the Morsani Center for Advanced Health Care on USF’s main Temple Terrace campus, the 4th floor of USF’s South Tampa Campus on Davis Islands and at the TGH HealthPark in Seminole Heights, Tampa. Each of these facilities consists of multiple fully-equipped clinical examination rooms, a dedicated phlebotomy station, -80C and -20C freezers, Sorvall table-top clinical centrifuges and 4C refrigerators dedicated to specimen processing and storage.
Additional clinical research capacity is available at TGH’s 409 Bayshore Building, immediately adjacent to the clinical workspaces for the Tampa General Transplant program, a short walk from TGH’s primary clinical campus on Davis Islands. Similar to other USF/TGH clinical research facilities, 409 Bayshore contains multiple fully equipped clinical examination rooms (n=4), dedicated facility for phlebotomy, -80C, -20C freezers and a refrigerator dedicated to specimen storage. Commercial drop boxes allowing specimens for routine clinical laboratories performed both by the TGH Clinical Laboratory and outside commercial providers (Quest, others) are available at each research site. Access to oncology-certified infusion nurses is available within TGH Cancer Center’s Infusion Center, which contains 20 bays equipped with reclining chairs and/or stretchers, reception/check-in and a patient refreshment center and a dedicated Infusion pharmacy. Lastly, space has been made available to support ongoing biorepository activities immediately adjacent to the primary operating rooms for TGH (within the Department of Pathology’s frozen section room) as well as Room H012. Of note, the space in H012 is equipped with a tabletop Sorvall centrifuge, a monitored and alarmed -80C freezer, liquid nitrogen, and ample storage space for supplies.
Most recently, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, TGH and USF have collaboratively established the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI), which has been designed as a dedicated state-of-the-art facility to support not only the care of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization but also subsequent outpatient follow-up and evaluation. Seeded by a $10 million donation by local philanthropists, GEDI facilities contain dedicated single-occupant isolation rooms equipped with negative pressure ventilation, -a dedicated outpatient clinical facility and more than 2,000 square feet of dedicated research space with fully equipped patient evaluation room, and space dedicated for the preparation of high-quality bio analytes (e.g. gDNA, RNA, whole blood, serum). Of note, GEDI has been equipped with a dedicated MiSeq Next Generation genomic sequencer which will be used, at least in part, to support ongoing community surveillance activities. It is anticipated that these latter resources will also be made available to the broader USF/TGH research community.