Lutz, Fla., April 17, 2023
— Sara Dodds is the new president of St. Joseph’s Hospital-North in Lutz. The appointment was effective Sunday, April 16. Dodds, the hospital’s operations director, has been serving as interim president since Jan. 2, the latest in a long line of steps she’s made in building a career at BayCare.
The appointment was announced by Kimberly Guy, BayCare co-chief operating officer.
“It is exciting to have an opportunity to promote such an amazing internal talent who has just grown through increased responsibility and demonstrated strength as a leader,” Guy said. “She has done a wonderful job as interim these past three months, including being instrumental in opening our new Behavioral Health unit. She is one of BayCare’s own.”
She succeeds Tom Garthwaite, president of BayCare’s Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North will begin a search for a new operations director.
Dodds has been in a leadership position at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North since 2016 when she led clinical decision support. In 2017, she became operations director overseeing areas that include quality of patient care and finance. She has a reputation for working closely with all departments, a particularly important trait as she led the hospital’s $76-million expansion
completed in 2020, which doubled the hospital’s beds to more than 200 and increased services.
More recently, she’s had a leading role in the addition of a 24-bed inpatient psychiatric unit
at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North. The St. Joseph’s Hospital-North Unit for Psychiatry and Medical Services (UPM) simultaneously treats patients for both medical and psychiatric diagnoses and opens this month.
Dodds has been with BayCare since 2004 when she started at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa as a patient care technician while attending nursing school. She became an RN at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2005 and an original team member at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North when it opened in 2010. At St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, she’s been a charge nurse (a nurse supervising a unit) and nurse manager before her director and interim president positions. She has a master of science degree in nursing leadership.
“I have had the pleasure of working with this incredible team and medical staff since the day St. Joseph’s Hospital-North opened its doors,” Dodds said. “I am looking forward to continuing to serve St. Joseph’s Hospital-North and this community in my new role as we grow better together. I feel that I know every inch of this hospital from my long time here and that will greatly assist me in my new position.”
Dodds is a 2021 graduate of the Leadership Tampa program of the Tampa Bay Chamber and a board member of The Florida Orchestra and FiCare Credit Union. Dodds, a Lutz resident, is also a member of the Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospitals.
In 2021, she was named to Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list honoring 40 young professionals in the local area under the age of 40.