Campaign to support Jackson bond referendum raises $1.3 million in three months

 

dchang@MiamiHerald.com

Citizens for a Healthy Miami-Dade, the political action committee pushing for voter approval of $830 million in upgrades to Jackson Health System, raised $1.3 million during the three months ending Sept. 30, according to a campaign finance report filed Thursday with the county’s elections office.

With a special election scheduled for Nov. 5, voters have begun to see billboards, TV ads and even planes flying banners urging them to “Vote Yes’’ on the referendum. Jackson officials have said the upgrades, financed by a property tax hike, will allow the system to improve the hospital system’s aging facilities and expand its reach.

Among the donors are well-known South Florida philanthropists, such as banker Leonard Abess, who gave $50,000; billionaire car dealer Norman Braman, who gave $25,000; and businessman Kirk Landon, who also gave $25,000.

The campaign’s most generous donor for the period was Lennar CEO Stuart Miller, who made two donations of $100,000 each.

Donors in the fields of real estate, construction, health insurance and medical education also gave generously to the campaign, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida donating $15,000, and Miguel “Mike” Fernandez, a health insurance entrepreneur, giving $50,000.

Southern Wine and Spirits gave $100,000, and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis gave $150,000.

Leading a handful of Jackson executives and employees who also made donations, Chief Executive Carlos Migoya wrote a check for $15,000, and Don Steigman, chief operating officer, gave $5,000. Mojdeh Khaghan, a member of the Public Health Trust that runs Jackson, gave two donations worth $18,000.

Migoya’s schedule for the past month has been booked with public engagements championing Jackson’s need to upgrade aging facilities, build a new rehabilitation hospital, and open urgent care centers in the community.

“Transforming Jackson will be one of our community’s most important successes in a generation,’’ Migoya said. “I’ve invested a lifetime’s worth of experience over the last 30 months — this financial investment is just one more way of demonstrating my personal commitment.’’

The campaign, which officially kicked off in September, also spent $536,000 during the three-month period, largely on advertising, political consulting, polling and development of a website, healthymiamidade.com, which features stories of patients who received life-saving transplants and spinal-cord surgery at Jackson, as well as information about the bond and a portal for supporters to make donations or volunteer their efforts.

A previous version of this article misidentified campaign donor Miguel "Mike" Fernandez as a former member of the North Broward Hospital District.

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