New leaders at 2 hospitals lead Jacksonville area's latest Healthful News


Two Jacksonville-area hospitals, Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside and HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital, have new top leaders.

Scott Kashman took over as president of St. Vincent’s on July 17, while Jeff Taylor became CEO at the Clay County hospital on Sept. 5.

Kashman has about 25 years of experience in health care administration, most recently as market president and CEO for St. Dominic Health in Jackson, Miss. Earlier he was interim system vice president for administration and governance for SSM Health in St. Louis and chief operating officer for Lee Health in Fort Myers.

"I am honored and privileged to serve this ministry," he said. "The local and national reputation that Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside has attained for its innovation and clinical excellence in the 107 years of serving Northeast Florida is remarkable."

Kashman succeeded Jon Cooper, who is now interim chief administrative officer at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside is a full-service 528-bed hospital.


Taylor at HCA Florida has about 17 years of health care administration experience, mostly in the Midwest.

During his 12-year career with HCA Healthcare, Taylor was chief operating officer at Belton Regional Medical Center in Belton, Mo., and at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas, where earlier he was administrator for the Mid-America Surgery Institute on the Menorah campus. His most recent role was as CEO at HCA Healthcare’s Summerville Medical Center in South Carolina.

The full-service Orange Park hospital, with 411 inpatient beds, "has a proud past of providing extraordinary care," Taylor said. "Whether it is celebrating new life or caring for those with life-threatening illness or injury, we proudly care for each patient no matter the circumstance. I am humbled by the opportunity to lead this organization."

Taylor succeeds Lisa Valentine, who retired in August after 31 years with HCA Healthcare and four years as CEO of the Orange Park hospital.

The two new medical center executives lead the latest news in the high-growth health care industry in Northeast Florida. Here's what else has been happening that's not already reported by the Times-Union:

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute


Stuart Klein, who led the development of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville beginning in 2005 and has been its leader since it opened a year later, will retire as executive director in November.

The University of Florida will conduct a nationwide search for his successor at the cancer treatment facility, which was the Southeast’s first proton therapy center and has treated about 11,000 cancer patients from around the world, according to UF.

Under Klein's leadership, the facility holds the record for the fastest ramp-up of any proton facility, reaching 100 patient treatments per day within the first 19 months of operation, according to UF, and negotiated international relationships with the United Kingdom, Norway and several Canadian Provinces. Also, a 10,000-square-foot expansion and equipment upgrade project was recently completed.

"His legacy is interwoven into the fabric of the proton therapy community. His dedication has left a lasting impression on proton therapy as a whole, impacting countless lives and shaping the future of this cancer treatment," said Jennifer Maggiore, executive director of the National Association for Proton Therapy.

UF Health/Flagler Heath

After months of study and meeting regulatory requirements, UF Health and Flagler Health+ have completed an agreement to merge their respective health care organizations.

They announced Wednesday that Flagler will be renamed UF Health St. Johns and its St. Augustine hospital will be renamed UF Health Flagler Hospital.

"This relationship brings the latest medical breakthroughs to the people we have served for more than a century, while greatly enhancing the services available," CEO Carlton DeVooght said.

UF Health will "infuse" financial and human resources and intellectual capital into the fast-growing region, including technologically advanced care, research opportunities, access to new clinical trials and training programs, said David R. Nelson, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health.

In February the Flagler board trustees and leadership team announced that it had selected UF Health as the "like-minded organization it wanted to move forward with to enhance local health care services and expand access to care in the community." Flagler stressed that its patients can continue to see their current doctors and get the same services they have in the past.

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Wolfson Children's Hospital


Dr. Mark Toney has been named to the newly created position of vice president of medical affairs at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, effective Nov. 1.

Toney is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric hospitalist who has served Northeast Florida for about 20 years. Since 2012, has been chief of the division of hospital pediatrics for Wolfson and Nemours Children’s Health.

In his new role, the Jacksonville native will "focus on the effectiveness of clinical care for children" at all Wolfson locations, according to the hospital. Also, he will work with pediatricians and pediatric specialists at Nemours Children’s Health, the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, and other collaborating pediatric health care organizations.

Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside

Doctors at Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside are using a new technology to diagnose and treat people with suspected coronary artery disease.The analyzing technology, called HeartFlow, uses data from a patient's coronary CT scan while at rest to "evaluate the blockage's impact on blood flow," according to the hospital.

A 'medical hotspot': Jacksonville physicians tout innovative techniques in health care

"The test creates a color-coded map that helps doctors visualize whether sufficient blood reaches the heart. … Identifying exactly where and how an artery is blocked or clogged can help improve a person’s treatment plan, including if an intervention is needed," according to the hospital.

U.S. patients suspected of having coronary artery disease undergo about 4 million diagnostic testseach year. HeartFlow reduces unnecessary invasive heart catheterization, allowing for improved recovery time and quality of life.

To learn more, go to

Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center

A lung screening program at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center in Jacksonville has completed 20,000 screenings since its 2015 launch, leading to the detection of nearly 300 lung cancers.

About 74% of those lung cancers — detected via CT scan — were found at an early stage, according to the center

In the U.S., lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer among both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. But lung cancer deaths are declining because of lower smoking rates and advances in early detection and treatment, including screening, according to the center.

'More resources, more strengths': Hospitals in Jacksonville and Orange Park rebrand themselves as part of HCA Florida network

People eligible for annual screenings are age 50 to 80; had a 20-pack-year or more history of smoking, which means one pack a day for 20 years, two packs a day for 10 years, etc.; and current smokers or those who have quit within the last 15 years. To schedule a lung screening, go to

Baptist South

A High Risk Breast Screening & Prevention Clinic has opened at Baptist South in Jacksonville, run by sister facility Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The clinic is for patients who have tested positive for genes that increase breast cancer risk or have family members who have done so or have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Also high risk are patients who have dense breasts, have had a benign or precancerous breast biopsy or were exposed to radiation therapy from 10 to 30 years old.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit go to, (904) 359-4109

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: New hospital leaders at St. Vincent's Jacksonville, HCA Orange Park