The readers’ forum

UM Hospital raises standards across South Florida


Last fall, after months of ignoring my gastrointestinal distress, I sought a blood test, which prompted an urgent message from my doctor. She warned that my kidneys were failing, my life was in danger and I had to get to an emergency room immediately.

Fortunately, as the new CEO of University of Miami Hospital (UMH), I knew my way to UMH’s ER, and didn’t have far to go. What transpired over the next two days demonstrated just how far UMH has come since UM acquired Cedars Medical Center and launched the UHealth system in 2008, under the bold leadership of Dr. Pascal J. Goldschmidt, the dean of our Miller School of Medicine.

Within hours, a team of specialists diagnosed the rare microorganism I picked up while working in Asia, and began the treatments that conquered the culprit and restored my kidneys. Fifty-four hours later, I walked out of UMH knowing that a former community hospital, that once ranked near the bottom in some federal quality-of-care measures, was now providing exceptional patient care.

I do not base that claim on my experience. Obviously, a CEO will receive great care at his own hospital.

But as CEO, I witness the pioneering research of our doctors who repair damaged hearts with adult stem cells, or attack brain tumors with vaccines created specifically for each tumor. I also monitor every state, federal and private barometer of clinical and operational excellence that shows our patients are receiving the kind of evidence-based care that is propelling UMH toward its goal of becoming a top teaching hospital, complementing the world-class training programs in transplant, trauma, obstetrics, pediatrics and other specialties UM faculty have led at Jackson Memorial Hospital for decades.

For example, we are a national leader in preventing the four healthcare-acquired infections that claim thousands of lives and cost billions annually. We also excel at providing all the treatments for heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions that are known to improve outcomes and reduce mortality, disability, length of hospital stay, and readmissions.

South Florida should celebrate UMH’s growing success. The benefits of an outstanding academic medical center dedicated to exceptional patient care, groundbreaking research, world-renowned teaching and meaningful community service extend beyond our walls.

Our rising standards raise the standards across South Florida, helping every patient in the region, no matter where they seek care. Our performance is also a huge comfort when you are on a gurney and your life is in the hands of those around you.

Dan Snyder, CEO, University of Miami Hospital, Miami

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