Florida Business Newsmakers in 2011
These business people were exceptionally notable during the past year.
[Photo: Eileen Escarda]
In 2011, the public hospital district for south Broward saw its Memorial Healthcare System open a new community clinic and a free-standing Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, start its first full year of pediatric heart transplants and make Florida Trend's Best Companies to Work For and Modern Healthcare's list as well. Memorial Regional Hospital won a prestigious national quality award and, oh yes, the district cut taxes by some 41% to its lowest rate ever. An owner of a $300,000 home saw his district tax bill fall to $187.50 from $318.30 the year before.
No small credit goes to Memorial President and CEO Frank Sacco, 64, and to what can be accomplished by decades of smart boards. "We had a plan to lower our dependence on public support for a long time," Sacco says. New hospitals in the western suburbs over the decades gave Memorial, the fifth-largest public healthcare system in the nation, the patient mix to pay the bills and suck up the cost of hospital care for the indigent and uninsured — a figure that, comparing it to how most hospitals report such costs, is $1 billion, though Sacco says the real cost is $194 million. Now, tax money goes mainly to primary care for the uninsured and some to Memorial's nursing home
to pay for uninsured care there.
Sacco, who has been with the district since 1974 and CEO since 1987, says the district will be able to keep up the low taxes for at least the near term though the national healthcare "reform is going to take a chunk out of everybody."
— Mike Vogel