If Mark McKenney of Kendall Regional Medical Center is going to write prescriptions for South Florida’s trauma care, he’d better recheck the charts. Jackson Health System never sued McKenney’s private hospital or its startup trauma center. We were previously appealing a state administrative decision about expanding our trauma service to Jackson North and Jackson South, but Kendall Regional wasn’t a party even though its own lawyers filed a request to participate.
Our community is starting a vital public conversation with the Florida Department of Health about how best to provide trauma care. It would be helpful to focus on the facts, like the way Ryder Trauma Center was opened 20 years ago when all six private hospitals that served trauma victims shut down within a year and left the community with a huge void. In fact, in 2009 — before he went to work for Kendall —McKenney’s own research found no need for additional trauma centers in Miami-Dade.
This isn’t about competition, because trauma victims don’t have a choice — by law, they are taken to the closest center. Nor should this be about profit, because Jackson’s system is owned by our taxpayers. Ryder has become one of the world’s most admired trauma centers. Every one of the Army’s forward surgical teams trains with us. Car manufacturers do research here to make driving safer. The world’s top trauma surgeons want to be part of our team. As we work with the state to plan the future of trauma, these are the kinds of services we want to preserve for everyone in Miami-Dade County.
Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO, Jackson Health System