New Shands CEO Talks Trauma Care, Medicaid Expansion on the First Coast

Feb 28, 2013

Russ Armistead, the new CEO of Shands Jacksonville
Credit Shands Jacksonville

He's the new CEO of Shands Jacksonville, and Russ Armistead has a full plate- dealing with everything from turf battles over trauma care in Northeast Florida to a planned Medicaid expansion in the state that will greatly impact Shands, the "safety-net" hospital for the region.

Armistead says the expansion of Medicaid for low-income patients is greatly anticipated, and he supports Governor Rick Scott's reversal on placing more than 1 million more Floridians into the Medicaid pool as part of the Affordable Care Act.

But the state legislature must still approve the expansion, which hospital CEOs like Armistead are watching closely.

Meanwhile, a recent decision to shut down the trauma unit at Orange Park Medical Center leaves Shands the only place to turn on the First Coast for trauma services.

Armistead defends the state's decision, arguing concentrating trauma resources in one location improves outcomes for patients over the long term.