A Florida healthcare executive is the new interim CEO of UA Healthcare, a $1.2 billion entity created last year when University Medical Center and University Physicians Healthcare merged.

Struggles over leadership began earlier this year, with some pressing for a hospital that focuses more heavily on research while others see a more community-based role, although it essentially boiled down to how much say the Arizona Board of Regents would have in running the system.

It became more heated when the regents voted to shrink the size of the UA Healthcare board, which operates two local hospitals, a doctors' group and the UA College of Medicine.

Earlier this year UA College of Medicine Dean Steve Goldschmid said he  wanted a CEO of UA Healthcare who is physician with experience in academia, research and in running billion dollar entities.

Jodi J. Mansfield, a former executive vice president and chief operating officer for Shands HealthCare in Florida, is now leading UA Healthcare, effective Aug. 4.

Mansfield takes over from Hank Wells, who resigned as interim CEO due to health concerns. She was appointed by the UA Healthcare Board of Directors, which now says it will turn its attention to hiring a permanent president and CEO.

In a prepared statement UA Healthcare Board of Directors chairman Granger Vinall said Mansfield brings more than 30 years of experience in the health-care industry, as well as expertise in the leadership and management of large academic health systems.

Mansfield is not an M.D. but in a prepared statement Goldschmid said she has experience with academia and physicians, having provided direction for clinical initiatives and coordinated activities with the University of Florida Health Sciences cente rand its faculty at two academic medical center campuses.

Mansfield integrated the University of Florida Faculty Group Practice Clinics as an operating unit of Shands HealthCare and also facilitated a merger of the medical staffs at two Shands hospitals.

Mansfield has a bachelor's degree in biology from Florida State University and a master's degree in business administration with a focus on health and hospital administration from the University of Florida. She became board certified in health-care management as a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2010.

About UA Healthcare

UA Healthcare was formed last year in a merger of University Medical Center and University Physicians Healthcare in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine. UA Healthcare encompasses University Medical Center, UPH Hospital, dozens of clinics and physician offices, the practice plan of the College's faculty physicians, as well as UPH Health Plans. UA Healthcare employs more than 6,000 people in Southern Arizona.