South Florida Hospital News
Saturday October 20, 2018
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June 2018 - Volume 14 - Issue 12

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Jackson Health System Celebrates 100 Years

Jackson Health System celebrates its centennial in June and its mission to provide the highest and best quality health care to all Miami-Dade residents.

The public health system started out as Miami City Hospital in the midst of the devastating 1918 flu epidemic. Over the next 100 years, it grew from this small hospital with 13 beds and a handful of employees to Jackson Health System, one of the nation’s largest, most comprehensive health systems with more than 2,100 beds and more than 12,000 full-time employees. Today, Jackson Health System is nationally known for its highly trained physicians and cutting-edge care.
 
“The strength of our brand continues to evolve over time,” says Carlos A. Migoya, president and chief executive officer of Jackson Health System. “Specifically, our partnership over the last 60 years with the University of Miami has helped us become a distinct place in Florida and around the country.”
 
In 100 years, Jackson has made an impact on history with some medical firsts and accomplishments, including:
• 1955: New treatment for cleft lip
• 1965: New burn cure
• 1985: New treatment for HIV
• 1986: Development of the Miami Pouch to help women with bladder cancer enjoy a better quality of life
• 1994: First intestinal transplant in Florida
• 2002: Implanted a donor heart in a patient without removing original heart
• 2006: Removed failing heart of a patient for 10 hours by connecting a left and right ventricular assist device to the aorta
• 2008: Used internal warming method to prevent hypothermia during burn surgery
• 2008: Built a custom artificial heart for 14-year-old patient who lived another 118 days
• 2010: Removed a tennis-ball-sized tumor while patient was still in her mother’s womb
• 2014: Doctors performed Florida’s first three-way kidney transplant
• 2016: Successfully performed transplant surgery on two siblings, five years apart, giving them a total of 15 new organs
 
While there have been a significant amount of changes over the past century, Jackson’s dedication to meeting the health and wellness needs of the community has remained the same.
 
“Our mission is to provide the best quality health care to all Miami-Dade residents regardless of their ability to pay,” Migoya said. “Jackson continues to offer access to all kinds of health care and wellness and we want to be there for everyone.”
 
Jackson provides about $600 million a year in charity care. What also makes Jackson different from other public hospitals across the nation is that it’s also an academic center. In fact, it is not only one of the three largest public hospitals in the country but also one of the top three largest academic hospitals nationwide.
 
“We have 1,100 residents and fellows which we train each year thanks to our 60-year partnership with the University of Miami,” says Migoya. “In the last 20 years, over 70 percent of the doctors trained here at Jackson have remained within a 50-mile radius of our health system, which is a testament to the great community in which we reside.”
 
Since its founding, Jackson has since expanded to six hospitals, multiple primary care clinics and specialty care centers, two long-term care nursing facilities, corrections health clinics, and a network of behavioral health facilities and urgent care centers.
 
Migoya acknowledges that these are challenging times for not just Jackson, but many healthcare facilities.
 
“For the last several years, state and federal governments have been looking to reduce the cost of healthcare,” he says. “As part of our vision, we will continue to work on how to build the brand and how to get paying patients to come in to help us so we’re not just relying on public support.”
 
Jackson now receives about $105 million less in public support than it did five years ago. And that trend will continue, notes Migoya.
 
“As the dependency on public support goes away, we have to replace that with patient revenue,” he says. “Since we have great quality doctors and medical services, we’re an attractive place for many paying patients. For that reason, we can bring in more patient revenue that can help offset all of the challenges we have from a public support standpoint.”
 
Looking ahead, Migoya says to expect to see more of the Jackson brand throughout Miami-Dade County. He points out the difficulty of navigating traffic in Miami-Dade which may hinder the ability and willingness of potential patients to seek medical care anywhere more than five miles from them.
 
“You’ll see better equipment and technology, more outpatient facilities, another acute hospital in addition to the three we have now, and you’ll see the Jackson brand move closer to more communities,” he says. “What will not change is the fact that Jackson plans to continue to be the acuity hospital it needs to be for serious illnesses anywhere in South Florida.”
 

For more information on Jackson Health System, visit www.jacksonhealth.org. To learn more about its centennial celebration, visit www.centuryofmiracles.org.

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