BayCare Names New Chief Legal Officer
CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 29, 2022) — Jennifer Touse is the new senior vice president/chief legal officer for not-for-profit BayCare Health System, which operates 15 hospitals in the Tampa Bay and West Central Florida regions.
Touse was one of the first individuals hired when BayCare created its in-house Legal Services Department just over 10 years ago. Prior to 2011, BayCare had contracted with outside counsel for legal services.
Touse grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., but moved to Florida to attend the University of Florida, where she completed a double major in psychology and business management and received her law degree.
Touse was a new graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law when BayCare hired her as a contract coordinator in 2011. She has climbed the ranks of the Legal Services Department since then, serving as associate counsel, associate counsel of special projects and strategic initiatives, manager and department director. She stepped in as interim chief legal officer after the September 2021 resignation of Scott Kizer, who was the founding leader of the legal department.
“She has done a wonderful job,” said BayCare President and CEO Tommy Inzina. “It became crystal clear to me that she deserves and has earned this opportunity. She has the support of her team, her customer group and of course, me.”
As chief legal officer, Touse will advise BayCare “and make sure that everything we’re doing accomplishes the goals of the organization while complying with all the legal requirements that we’re subject to in a heavily regulated industry,” she said.
The pandemic brought many unprecedented challenges for health care systems and attorneys practicing health care law, Touse said. Events happened quickly and there was and still is much to learn about the best ways to navigate the changed environment, but she said the members of her 11-person in-house legal team are up for the challenge.
“I love working for a company that helps the community so much, especially during a pandemic,” Touse said. “It is an honor to be asked to serve in such an important role for an organization like BayCare.”
About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. The system is West Central Florida’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, BayCarePlus, is among the region’s few 5-star-rated plans and the system is ranked in the top 20 percent by IBM Watson Health® Top Health Systems. BayCare’s mission is to improve the health of all it serves through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.