Our History

Tampa General Hospital

The History of USF Emergency Medicine

In 1996 The University of South Florida College of Medicine (USF) and Tampa General Hospital (TGH) appointed a joint committee that created the Emergency Medicine Care Center (EMCC). After a national search, Dr. David Orban was recruited from the University of Florida as the Medical Director and Chief of the new EMCC. TGH was transitioning from a public county hospital to a private, not-for-profit healthcare system while USF was developing into one of the foremost academic referral centers in the state of Florida. Concomitant with the improvements in the health center, the EMCC was also growing at a rapid pace, and replacement of all moonlighters with academic EM faculty members happened quickly.

In 2000, a full academic Division of Emergency Medicine was established at USF. Dr. Kelly O’Keefe was the first Residency Program Director, and working together, the new division successfully submitted an application to start a new EM residency program at USF which was inaugurated on July 1, 2003. The original Core Faculty included David J. Orban (Chief), Kelly P. O’Keefe, (first Residency Director), Michael Omori, David H. Hackstadt, Catherine Carrubba, and Richard Paula.

The USF Emergency Medicine Residency accepted its first class in 2003. The residency program was established as a PGY 1-3 program with 6 residents per year, and over the next 4 years expanded to 10 residents per year. Over a nearly 20-year program history, our EM Program Directors include: Kelly O’Keefe and Charlotte Derr. Our Associate Program Directors include Charlotte Derr, Rachel Semmons, and Enola Okonkwo. Click here to view the Emergency Medicine team.

Important Milestones

  • 1985: Designation of TGH as a Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 1985: Designation of TGH as a State Burn Center
  • 1987: Designation of TGH as a State Poison Control Center
  • 1988: Aeromed Helicopter LifeFlight program based at TGH is inaugurated
  • 1996: USF and TGH establish the Emergency Medical Care Center
  • 2000: USF Establishes a full academic Division of Emergency Medicine
  • 2002: USF Application for a new residency program approved by the RRC-EM
  • 2002: State Designation as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center
  • 2003: USF Emergency Medicine Residency begins
  • 2005: Founding of the Emergency Medicine Administrative Fellowship by Dr. Orban
  • 2006: Founding of the Division of Emergency Ultasound by Dr. Charlotte Derr
  • 2007: USF EM Residency expands to 10 residents per year 2012
  • 2007: Founding of the USF EMS Fellowship by Dr. Catherine Carrubba
  • 2007: Move to the new TGH Emergency Center located in the West Pavilion
  • 2008: Designation as a STEMI Receiving Center
  • 2010: Designation as a Primary Stroke Center
  • 2010: Founding of the Ultrasound Fellowship by Dr. Charlotte Derr
  • 2012: Founding of the USF EMS Fellowship by Dr. Catherine Carrubba
  • 2013: Founding of the USF EM Division of Research by Dr. Jason Wilson
  • 2015: Dr. Jason Wilson named Director of TGH Office of Clinical Research
  • 2015: Founding of the USF EM Division of EMS by Dr. Rachel Semmons
  • 2015: Founding of the USF Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
  • 2016: Opening of the TGH Brandon Healthplex – Freestanding ED
  • 2017: Dr. Charlotte Derr named EM Residency Program Director
  • 2019: Founding of the USF EM Division of Toxicology by Dr. Justin Arnold
  • 2020: Founding of the USF EM Simulation Fellowship by Dr. Ryan McKenna

Dr. Orban continues as the academic head of USF Emergency Medicine but divested the TGH ED operations to Dr. David Wein who continues as Facility Medical Director and hospital chief at TGH. USF EM now includes over 50 emergency medicine faculty at two sites: Tampa General Hospital main ED on Davis Island in downtown Tampa and TGH Brandon Healthplex in Brandon, FL. USF EM is an ACGME-approved emergency medicine residency training program with a total of 30 emergency medicine residents and five fellowships. The program has trained almost 160 emergency physicians. A significant number of graduates have chosen careers in academic medicine at some of the country’s most prestigious medical schools.

National Leadership

A number of USF EM faculty have served on editorial boards of emergency medicine peer-reviewed journals worldwide.