Tampa General Hospital Animal Health Care Center Opens for Guests
Tampa, FL (November 18, 2022) – With fresh guest experiences and historic expansion on the horizon, The Florida Aquarium’s Board of Directors unanimously approved John D. Couris as the organization’s new Board Chair.
Couris is the president & CEO of Tampa General Hospital, a national leader in business innovation and a passionate advocate for the community. Couris took the helm of TGH in 2017 and joined The Florida Aquarium’s Board of Directors in 2019 (FULL BIO). As he begins a two-year term as Board Chair, Couris succeeds outgoing Chair Kimberly Bruce of CIBC Bank USA, who helped lead the organization through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a breakthrough time for The Florida Aquarium, with brand new guest experiences opening today and a $40 million expansion launching soon to add sea lions, puffins and more — having one of Tampa Bay’s leading business minds and recognized national health care leaders serving as our Board Chair adds another level of energy and expertise,” said Roger Germann, president and CEO.
As Couris stepped into the role Thursday, he also celebrated the opening of the Tampa General Hospital Animal Health Care Center — an expanded partnership between TGH and the Aquarium that brings a behind-the-scenes look at animal medical treatments, education and inspiration to guests. The partnership showcases the commitment to world-class care that guides both organizations.
“It is an exciting time to stepping in to help lead The Florida Aquarium, “ said Couris. “Their unwavering commitment to our natural world and their contribution to the greater Tampa Bay region, married with their exceptional leadership and team, make them a truly outstanding institution, and I am honored to continue my work with them in this capacity. In addition, I look forward to further enhancing the partnership between the Aquarium and Tampa General.”
Also opening Thursday is a reimagined area of the Aquarium now known as Shorelines Gallery. The impressive gallery captures the diversity of life where water and land come together. Transforming the former Bay and Beaches area into Shorelines is the result of a $1.2 million total investment, with significant sponsorship from longtime supporter Dan Doyle and The Doyle Family.
“Because of the support we’ve received from TGH, guests will be able to look right into the Tampa General Hospital Animal Health Care Center from a viewing window in Shorelines,” Germann said. “They’ll be able to see our amazing team caring for animals and using medical science to improve our world. When we create those special moments, we’re inspiring the next generation of scientists and caregivers.”
ABOUT THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM
The Florida Aquarium actively participates in and promotes stewardship of the natural environment as part of our mission of conservation. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The Florida Aquarium provides an opportunity to see thousands aquatic and terrestrial animals, explore complex ecosystems, look for wild dolphins in Tampa Bay, play at the Splash Pad and more! Ranked #3 Aquarium in North America in a recent USA TODAY’S 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the aquarium is more than a must-see attraction, The Florida Aquarium is working to protect and restore our blue planet on many conservation fronts, including research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s sea turtle and coral populations and to ensure that sharks continue to swim our seas. In August of 2019, The Florida Aquarium, in partnership with Project Coral, became the first to successfully spawn critically endangered pillar coral in a laboratory. To learn more, follow us on social media at @floridaaquarium and visit flaquarium.org.