GAINESVILLE, Fla. – UF Health Shands announced Oct. 19 Parker Gibbs will serve as its new chief medical officer.

Gibbs, a University of Florida orthopedic oncologist, said his new job, which began Monday, puts him in charge of the overall quality of care patients receive in the hospital, patient experience, safety, and the integration of the staff’s medical education into the functioning of the hospital.

“It’s an intimidating kind of position,” Gibbs said.

This “intimidating position” took the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Jimenez and other UF Health leadership about 6 months to fill. Gibbs said he was happy when he discovered their decision.

“For a long time I felt there was more to being a doc[tor] than the day-to-day, taking care of patients one on one,” Gibbs said. “It’s an opportunity to make a bigger impact on more people.”

Diane Skorupski, the UF Health Shands associate vice president for perioperative services, has worked with Gibbs for years, and will continue to work with him as he transitions into his new role. She said she was very pleased someone with his clinical expertise and knowledge had applied for the position.

“As a very active, academic medical center, we see patients with situations you don’t see in every other hospital,” Skorupski said. “You have to think on your feet quite often and he does that remarkably well.”

Timothy Flynn, the previous chief medical officer, held the position for about 6 years before deciding to take a step back from the hospital operations half of the job, and continue on as senior associate dean for clinical affairs, the academic side of the position.

“It’s a time-consuming and energy-consuming job,” Gibbs said. “And sometimes a thankless job, so most people don’t do it for more than five or six years.”

However long Gibbs remains at the position, he says one of his primary goals is to accomplish a friendlier environment for patients who visit the emergency room. He also wants to keep patients out of the emergency room who don’t need to be there by providing a less intensive area for the medical staff to see them in.

Skorupski said she is confident in Gibbs’s ability to make the hospital an even better medical institution.

“I think he’s the total package for us,” Skorupski said. “I think he’s going to do an outstanding job.”

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