Investor Spotlight: BayCare

January 30, 2024

BayCare is the leading, not-for-profit health system in Tampa Bay and West Central Florida area with more than 30,000 employees and a network of 16 not-for-profit hospitals and hundreds of locations connecting patients with a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services. BayCare is the area’s largest provider of behavioral health and pediatric services, and its provider group, BayCare Medical Group, is one of the largest in the region. BayCare’s diverse network of ambulatory services includes laboratories, imaging, surgical centers, BayCare Urgent Care locations, wellness centers and one of Florida’s largest home care agencies, BayCare HomeCare. Its Medicare Advantage insurance plan, BayCarePlus, serves more than 13,000 people.

Kimberly Guy, Co-Chief Operating Officer

Before being promoted to the expanded role of Co-Chief Operating Officer, Guy was president of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and had been senior vice president and market leader for Hillsborough, East Pasco and Bartow. She and her fellow Co-Chief Operating Officer work collaboratively to lead the operations, strategic planning and clinical integration of BayCare’s 16 hospitals, dozens of ambulatory care locations and behavioral health services.

An independent report just found that BayCare hospitals contribute $2.8 billion to Hillsborough County’s economy. What findings from the report do you feel are most impactful to our local community?

I think it is important to note that BayCare is one of the region’s largest employers. Our workforce was more than 32,000 team members strong in December of 2023 — but economists say BayCare’s investments and spending also contribute to the employment of roughly 63,500 in our region. And many of those jobs, along with some of ours, are in non-healthcare industries – 14,565.

This means in Hillsborough County, 16,577 people are employed either directly with BayCare or because BayCare’s activities create economic need for their job, according to the Washington Economics Group.

What’s exciting to me is that we’re not only big, but we also prioritize the importance of taking good care of our team members. BayCare has been named a top employer as a Great Place to Work by Fortune Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times and recognized as one of 100 PEOPLE Companies that care.

Another key point is BayCare’s commitment to support underserved areas by addressing food insecurity, behavioral health needs, and access to health care. In 2022, BayCare channeled $492 million, about 10% of net operating revenue, into community benefit programs. This number included $429 million in health services to uninsured or under-insured patients and $63 million in health education and wellness in the community, which reduces the burden on government services. You can see the full report here.

We’ve been hearing about nursing shortages and other talent needs for the healthcare industry. How is BayCare collaborating with local partners to address these talent pipeline needs?

Hillsborough County is growing fast, and our healthcare industry must keep pace to meet the needs of our communities. That means teaching, training, and equipping students with valuable certifications so they can hit the ground running as EKG technicians, medical assistants, nurses, and other in-demand medical careers.

For many years BayCare has been working in collaboration with schools from local elementary to major state universities to ignite interest in health care careers, provide educational opportunities and support workforce development. Programs like Future Career Academy, Volunteens and Medical Pathfinders connect high school students with those working in the medical field.  Our partnerships with colleges – including Hillsborough County Community College, the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Ultimate Medical Academy – expand classroom learning to include experiences in our facilities.

BayCare is addressing the physician workforce by expanding its graduate medical education programs.  We offer postgraduate residency programs in Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Family Medicine, Sports Medicine, Pharmacy and Respiratory Therapy, with more specialties on the horizon.

Existing team members can also learn and grow with tuition reimbursement, scholarships, and internships. Other community partnerships include job training opportunities with Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries and Project REACH through Hillsborough Schools.

What in your view are BayCare’s greatest opportunities for growth in the short term, and the longer term?

BayCare is powered by an extraordinary team focused on providing clinical excellence that is easily accessible to the communities we serve. In the short term, we are embracing innovations and automation that make work easier like the Virtual Nurse program that assists in the discharge of patients from the hospital, Alexa technology for better patient experience, and automation using robotics in our centralized warehouse.  And in the second quarter of 2024, we are opening the new South Florida Baptist Hospital just off of I-4 in southern Hillsborough County.  This will replace the existing hospital in Plant City, which has become too small to best serve the growing community. We also have announced plans to build a new, specially designed facility for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa by 2030 as part of a strategic effort to increase the region’s access to high-quality, state-of-the-art pediatric care.

Our long-range plans recognize the shift in health care as more people are treated outside of hospitals and in more affordable ambulatory, or outpatient and home settings. We’re also addressing long-term workforce issues and working with business partners who are excited to team up with one of the area’s largest employers.

What community issues are you most looking forward to the EDC tackling over the next couple of years?

Our Community Health Needs Assessment is conducted every three years to gain a better understanding of our counties’ health needs so we can address healthcare inequities. The most recent study showed that the greatest needs in Hillsborough County are behavioral health; access to health and social services; and exercise, nutrition and weight. We’re excited that the EDC is also working to support underserved areas of Hillsborough County, which will help more families meet their basic needs.  Beyond strengthening our own existing communities, we’re excited about the area’s growth and the EDC’s efforts to attract and retain new residents by teaming up with corporate and educational partners to promote in-demand jobs for those without baccalaureate degrees and others seeking meaningful career opportunities.

What do you personally love about the Tampa Bay area?

There are so many things to love about the Tampa Bay area – great food, events, culture, and weather! With our diversity, the growth of our community and the fabulous climate, I have found this is a phenomenal place to raise a family, feel connected and engage directly in our community’s success and well-being.