by Jeff Zbar
Updated 2 yearss ago
No matter the age or illness, hospitals and health care providers across Miami-Dade County provide world-class care.
At the acclaimed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, doctors are performing fetal surgeries and heart transplants and recruited a highly specialized cardiologist for its pediatric transplant program, says President Michael Harrington.
“We’ve competed with every major city you can imagine to be able to get that person to come here,” he says. “For our hospital, it’s vital to be able to continue to provide the highly specialized services that make us unique in terms of health care in Southeast Florida.”
Don’t question the Miami-Dade County’s 2.7 million residents’ commitment to health care. The county’s public hospital network, Jackson Health System, in 2013 convinced voters to approve an $830-million bond program. Today, a $1.7 billion capital plan will fund a network of specialty, inpatient and community-based outpatient surgery and urgent care clinics across the county, says CEO Carlos Migoya.
The hospital also is pioneering multi-organ transplants and innovations in neurosurgery with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and minimally invasive heart surgery. In partnership with the University of Miami and Florida International University, Jackson is a top-five teaching hospital nationally, working with more than 1,100 medical students, fellows, residents and nursing students.
As an academic medical center, University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics provides care from the Florida Keys to West Palm Beach. Its leading centers include Sylvester Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the nation’s top-ranked ophthalmologic provider. UHealth recently recruited a pioneer in minimally invasive heart surgery. The hospital also offers the largest multi-specialty practice services in the state, says CEO Edward Abraham.
“The UHealth Medical Center is really quite a unique place,” he says. “We’re based in research and education, but we have large clinical activities as well.”
At Baptist Health South Florida, its network of 100 hospitals and outpatient centers is providing the region with heightened levels of care from the Florida Keys to the Palm Beaches, says CEO Brian Keeley. It recently opened a $450-million cancer center and a $110-million cardiovascular center. Both provide strictly outpatient care, he says.
As its patients are evolving, so, too, is Baptist, he says. Growing demand in its international program led to a partnership with Hilton Hotels to open a property near its hospital, he says. Today, Baptist runs one of the nation’s largest international programs, seeing about 12,000 patients a year.
Baptist also is meeting the needs of the region’s changing and aging population. The hospital recently bought an entire block in Coral Gables and is partnering with senior housing operator Belmont Village to create a model senior facility.
From infants to seniors in need of any procedure or level of care, Jackson’s Migoya scoffs at the notion that residents can’t receive world-class health care in South Florida.
“People from outside Miami think they have to go to Boston or New York or Texas for care,” he says. “We have the ability to provide quality care for high-end specialties at all levels throughout the county. I consider that to be Miami-Dade’s health care secret.”