The Joy McCann Culverhouse Center for Swallowing Disorders started as a dream—Dr. Worth Boyce was the dreamer.
H. Worth Boyce, MD came to the University of South Florida in 1975 when he retired from the Army as a Colonel after 20 years of active duty. He received his medical training as an officer at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu and Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX. He served five years as Chief of Gastroenterology at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA. He completed the last nine years of his military career at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service as Chief of Gastroenterology and Consultant in Gastroenterology to the Army Surgeon General.
After arrival at USF in 1975 Dr. Boyce established the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. The following year Dr. Boyce met the late Tampa business man and philanthropist, Hugh Culverhouse. Mr. Culverhouse was referred as a patient, and they became very good friends. Nearly 10 years later, Mr. Culverhouse decided to support the university and wanted to know if Dr. Boyce had any ideas. He certainly did.
Dr. Boyce always had specialized interest in esophageal disorders. His vision was to create a comprehensive center to which local physicians could refer their most complex esophageal and swallowing cases. For the patients affected by these conditions, he wanted to offer hope.
In 1987, Boyce and Culverhouse took the first step and the center opened with support salary for a staff nurse and an assistant. In 1997 Joy Culverhouse made a very generous donation to allow expansion of the Center to ensure its performance as a comprehensive specialty operation. In 2011, Dr. Boyce retired from USF as the Hugh Culverhouse Chair in Esophageal Disorders and founding director of The Joy McCann Culverhouse Center for Swallowing Disorders.
Today it is the largest fully staffed swallowing center in the country with 2 gastroenterologists, two speech pathologists, registered nurse and 4 support staff. The center’s referral base includes over 1500 physicians referring patients from around the state, nation and Central and South America.
In his 57 years as a physician, Dr. Boyce served as president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the 4th World Congress of Endoscopy. He authored over 200 medical articles, co-authored two textbooks on Endoscopy, and directed 52 postgraduate courses. He leaves a legacy of compassionate medical care of his patients, exceptional training of future medical professionals, and a premier swallowing center that will continue to serve the needs of our citizens for years to come.