A trip to the nearest hospital from jam-packed West Miami-Dade could take up to an hour. In some cases, that’s long enough to cost a life, healthcare officials say.
But on Wednesday, local political leaders and Jackson Health administrators rejoiced as they broke ground in Doral for a new medical campus, Jackson West. It will be just west of the Palmetto Expressway in the 7800 block of Northwest 29th Street. It will also serve neighboring communities like Miami Springs and Sweetwater.
“[We’re] meeting our mission of being where the residents are,” said Aristides Pallin, the new hospital’s vice president. “This was really the perfect place.”
The campus will house a 100-bed, acute-care hospital, called José Milton Memorial Hospital. It will also include an emergency department, a children’s ambulatory clinic, and medical offices and clinics.
The hospital is part of Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade’s public network of hospitals. In addition to its main campus west of downtown Miami, the system runs hospitals in North Miami Beach and South Miami-Dade. Because the hospital is mainly for shorter stays, trauma and other chronic medical cases would continue to be handled at full-care hospitals.
The 27.3-acre Doral project is expected to take root in what is known as a healthcare desert, an area with limited medical resources where thousands workers commute each day and scores of new residents are moving into new developments. Administrators said they expect the new hospital to serve more than 585,000 people within a five-mile radius.
The hospital received a $10 million donation from the José Milton Foundation. The gift was the largest single donation to the Jackson Health Foundation, said foundation CEO Keith Tribble.
“It’s just unbelievable in terms of what it will do in the area and the city of Doral,” Tribble said.
Ana VeigaMilton, José Milton’s daughter-in-law and the donor foundation’s president, said the decision to give to Jackson Health was to honor her father-in-law’s legacy. José Milton was a builder and developer in Miami after immigrating from Cuba. He was passionate about the Jackson Health after being treated there for a brain tumor and other health issues, his daughter-in-law said. He died in 2013.