Orlando Health welcomed Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and its staff with a celebration and a pay raise.
“We know that the last several months have been challenging for everyone and we look forward to supporting these amazing team members going forward,” John Moore, Bayfront’s new president, said in a statement from the hospital. “To that end, we are pleased to be able to provide team members with much deserved merit increases.”
Bayfront also can expect to see substantial physical improvements following a review of all its properties, Moore said. One of his goals is to make Bayfront a “best place to work.”
Orlando Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $6.5 billion in assets under management, bought Bayfront from Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) for an undisclosed price on Wednesday.
On Thursday, staff members were met with a celebration, including balloons, welcome signs and food, when they walked into work.
Orlando Health leaders, including Moore, were on site to introduce themselves and answer questions.
“What we bring to the table for the team members, and what we hope to bring, is earning their trust. One of our focus areas is earning back the trust of both the team members and the medical staff here at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg,” Moore said in a taped interview provided by the hospital. “We’re also just as focused on earning the trust of the community which has depended on this organization for so many years.”
Bayfront was “languishing” under its prior ownership, City Council members said when they approved a lease with Orlando Health earlier this year for the city-owned land on which the hospital is located. A major point of discussion was the organization’s commitment to charity care.
David Strong, president and CEO of Orlando Health, said because the health system is a nonprofit, its focus is on the community.
“Our objective is to care for the communities we are in. Any profits that we make go back in to our facilities, into our services. That’s what we’ll do here. We certainly want to turn around the financials of the organization to make sure we can provide more services that the community needs,” Strong said in a video provided by the hospital.
There are similarities between Bayfront and Orlando Health’s hospital in downtown Orlando.
“We are deep into academics at our downtown campus in Orlando. We’re also a Level 1 trauma center. When we look at Bayfront, some of the same things are true. They are into academics as well as the trauma center for this region and so there are skill sets that we think we can bring and help elevate those services here,” Strong said. “Also just from a size perspective a health system that has greater scale can deliver greater value to the community. One example would be with Covid-19. Because of the size of Orlando Health, we have epidemiologists and infection control physicians that actually work at the CDC that we access to that help guide us and advise us. If you are a smaller organization you don’t have access to those types of things. So together we hope that we can bring some of those resources into the community, as well as use some of the resources that are here to assist in Orlando and really build the area in between.”
In addition to Moore, other new Bayfront leaders are LaTasha Barnes, chief financial officer, and Omar Gonzalez, the new corporate director for Bayfront Health St. Petersburg’s IT and clinical engineering.
One of the immediate changes at Bayfront is a new logo that replaced the former multi-colored starburst design.
Here are some more scenes from the first-day celebration.