April 30, 2024

Business Women of Style 2024 – Heather Long

1.7 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

By Akers Editorial

Business Women of Style 2024 – Heather Long

1.7 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

Heather Long

UF Health

UF Health Central Florida’s Chief Executive Officer, Heather Long, brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted passion for healthcare to her role. A registered nurse since the age of 19, Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Webster University and a master’s degree in Nursing from Nova Southeastern University. Her 28-year career spans various leadership positions, culminating in her appointment as CEO of UF Health Central Florida in December 2022.

Motivated by a desire to serve her community, Heather joined UF Health with a goal of improving healthcare in the region. She leads with a focus on integrating best practices and enhancing patient care, aiming to elevate local hospitals to the standard of excellence set by UF Health.

“When UF Health acquired The Villages Hospital and The Leesburg Hospital, I knew this is where I needed to be — right here in my community where I have roots. It’s personal to me,” said Heather. “Pursuing excellence in quality outcomes and creating a superior experience for our patients is what I wake up and think about every day. It’s why we are here.”

In her role, Heather emphasizes the importance of thoughtful strategy and meaningful relationships. She is passionate about streamlining healthcare delivery, ensuring the highest quality and experience for patients. 

“I believe an essential part of my role is to make healthcare delivery easier for care teams and physicians so they can deliver the highest quality and experience for our patients. It’s a role of high demand and huge responsibility, and one I take very seriously,” said Heather. 

Under her leadership, UF Health Central Florida has made significant strides and is on pace toward becoming a 5-star organization.

“I knew from a young age I wanted to be a nurse – to care for others and make a difference,” said Heather. “Some of the most rewarding work I do is ensuring caregivers are connected to the meaning and purpose of their work. When we connect to purpose, we connect to our passion. I believe passion fuels the best in all of us. People are at the heart of caregiving, and exceptional care is achieved through the seamless integration of compassion and expertise. Fundamentally, the heart of healthcare will always revolve around humans taking care of humans.” 

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