Bell: Tackling COVID is “most urgent and immediate priority” under hospital’s new ownership

 September 12 2021 – Steward Health Care today announced Michael Bell will become the new president of Florida Medical Center, leading the hospital’s efforts to tackle the regional COVID surge and expand high-quality healthcare to the diverse communities of South Florida. The announcement marks a new era of leadership following Steward’s acquisition of five South Florida hospitals, including FMC and Hialeah Hospital – where Bell previously served as president – from Tenet Healthcare Corporation earlier this month.

“Steward Health Care is thrilled to work closely with Michael as we expand our footprint in South Florida and unlock access to high-quality, compassionate, value-based care in some of the nation’s most vibrant communities,” said Dr. Sanjay Shetty, MD, Steward’s President of North America. “Michael’s track record in the region shows he has what it takes to work closely with this community and tackle the health care challenges we currently face head on.”     

As the CEO of neighboring Hialeah Hospital – also acquired by Steward – Bell previously led an experienced medical staff of more than 800 employees. Prior, he was the chief operating officer of Tenet’s Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, California, and Group COO for Northern California. 

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the team at Florida Medical Center at such a critical moment for the nation’s health care system,” said Michael Bell, president of Florida Medical Center. “Tackling COVID is my most urgent and immediate priority, and I am already working closely with leadership at Steward as they redeploy PPE, ventilators, and other vital supplies needed for care of COVID patients from other facilities throughout the country to FMC and South Florida.”

As president of Florida Medical Center, Bell will lead a team of more than 900 employees directing care at the 459-bed acute care hospital, which has been part of the Fort Lauderdale community for more than 40 years. FMC is home to the Heart Institute of Florida, is a member of the Advanced Neuroscience Network, and has a comprehensive stroke center offering fast, effective stroke care for strong recoveries.

On August 2, Florida Medical Center was one of five hospitals – along with North Shore Medical Center, Hialeah Hospital, Coral Gables Hospital, and Palmetto General Hospital – acquired from Tenet Healthcare by Steward Health Care. Founded by CEO Ralph de la Torre, MD, who grew up in Florida, the son of Cuban immigrants, Steward Health Care’s physician-led model was built to help patients unlock access to high-quality, compassionate, value-based care in more communities across the U.S. and internationally.