St. Joseph's Hospital-South Welcomes Dr. Christopher E. Bucciarelli as Chief Medical Officer

August 12, 2021
Dr. Christopher E. Bucciarelli in front of the St. Joseph's Hospital-South sign

Riverview, Fla., (August 12, 2021) – Christopher E. Bucciarelli, M.D., became chief medical officer (CMO) of St. Joseph’s Hospital-South on August 2.

As CMO, Dr. Bucciarelli assists St. Joseph’s Hospital-South’s doctors in providing safe, effective medical care to the public. His responsibilities include training new physicians on the hospital’s policies and keeping staff current on health regulations. He’ll also provide clinical oversight to physicians, ensure regulatory compliance and evaluate quality of services. Dr. Bucciarelli will also represent the hospital at BayCare and community meetings.

Dr. Bucciarelli served as assistant chief medical officer at BayCare's Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater since March 2020. 

He is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and affiliated with Bay Area Emergency Physicians in Clearwater. He has practiced as an emergency medicine doctor at both Morton Plant Hospital and BayCare's Bardmoor Emergency Center in Largo since 2016.

Dr. Bucciarelli will continue to practice as an emergency medicine physician while St. Joseph’s Hospital-South’s CMO. 

He served on numerous BayCare and Morton Plant work groups, project groups and committees with topics that include stroke, emergency department and hospital services, emergency department COVID testing, hospital and health care policy, quality review and physician credentialing. He held leadership positions in many of these groups and committees.

Dr. Bucciarelli said he is prepared for medical leadership at St. Joseph’s Hospital-South in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People will say it is an unfortunate time and stressful to start this new position,” Dr. Bucciarelli said. “But the way I look at it is that the opportunity and ability to learn from it is exponentially large. We’re learning as much as we can from this experience and we’ll be ready if it ever happens again.”

He said he is also impressed with St. Joseph’s Hospital-South, named by Fortune/IBM Watson Health® one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals for four consecutive years.

Dr. Christopher E. Bucciarelli

“St. Joseph’s South has that hometown feel,” he said of the 223-bed hospital with more than 1,200 team members. “Despite what’s going on right now, everyone still has a smile. You can see their smiles through the masks. This is a very tight-knit group. Walking with executive leadership and doing introductions, everybody literally knows everybody. Everyone has a personal story to tell. They are a cohesive group. It is a team effort.”

Dr. Bucciarelli is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Room Physicians. 

He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at the UF Health Shands Hospital, Gainesville.

Dr. Bucciarelli also has a master of business administration (MBA) from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Bucciarelli succeeds Dr. Mark Vaaler, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South’s CMO since January 2017. Dr. Bucciarelli reports to Dr. Vaaler, BayCare Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

“He (Dr. Bucciarelli) has prepared for his role by getting his MBA from Duke University in order to understand in more depth the business aspects of health care,” Dr. Vaaler said. “He is enthusiastic, forward thinking and has participated in BayCare-wide projects in order to get involved outside the ER. He strongly believes in evidence-based medicine and collaborates well with his colleagues in formulating solutions to everyday issues.”

Dr. Bucciarelli says he draws strength and support from his wife Julie, a dermatology nurse practitioner, and Tucker, their golden retriever. He said Julie was the one who encouraged him to pursue his MBA to broaden his knowledge and she’s always been very supportive of his career along the way. 

About St. Joseph’s Hospital-South
St. Joseph’s Hospital-South opened in February 2015 to bring high-quality health care services to southern Hillsborough County in an environment designed to help patients heal. Part of BayCare Health System, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South features all private patient suites and offers emergency care, surgical services, imaging, intensive care, obstetrics, a NICU, cardiac catheterization and more in a peaceful, relaxing and family-centered environment. Located south of Tampa in Riverview, the all-digital, state-of-the-art facility is specially designed to make patients and visitors as comfortable as possible during their hospital experience.

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