Healthcare visionary: An individual who is pioneering positive change in healthcare through treatment, research, policy or business leadership of a healthcare company.
▪ Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System.
▪ Nestor Plana, founder of Independent Living Systems.
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▪ Dr. George M. Suarez, urologist and pioneer in prostate cancer treatment.
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Here’s what their nominators wrote about these finalists.
Carlos Migoya: In the last five years, Carlos Migoya has orchestrated a dramatic turnaround at Jackson Health System — one that many believed was impossible, especially for a career banker with no healthcare experience.
He is the fearless leader that Jackson desperately needed to come in with a new perspective, create a business plan and make the tough, but necessary decisions that ultimately saved Miami-Dade’s safety net hospital. He led a transformation that reversed years of massive losses into year-after-year surpluses; all while improving industry measures of bedside and surgical care, focusing on the patient experience, and boosting recruitment for Jackson’s 11,000-employee workforce.
He is overseeing Jackson’s $1.4 billion, 10-year capital plan includes new construction projects, the renovation of existing facilities, and infrastructure improvements that are transforming Jackson into a more modernized, patient-centered healthcare system that can better meet the
In our community, there is no substitute for Jackson. And because of Carlos Migoya, Jackson will be around to serve future generations.
Nestor Plana has been a healthcare industry disruptor throughout his 25-year career. He built Miami-based Independent Living Systems from scratch 15 years ago, starting with just five employees — all of whom are still with the company today. ILS now has nearly 700 employees in 10 office locations.
With ILS, Nestor created Florida’s first managed long-term care program at a time when large insurance companies balked at outsourcing the management of patients with chronic conditions. He proved that ILS could provide those services at lower costs and a higher level of quality. Nestor overcame the same preconceptions when becoming one of the first managed care companies to provide meals for the elderly and at-risk populations.
Last year, Nestor helped ILS start the nation’s first health plan for the developmentally disabled, and in doing so, applied a tremendous amount of technology to benefit that population. Nestor believes that will be the next revolution in managed care.
Dr. George Suarez: I strongly nominate Miami-based urologist, Dr. George Suarez, pioneer of the recently FDA-approved treatment for prostate cancer, high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). He was the first American urologist to administer HIFU outside of the U.S. in 2003. He also designed and spearheaded the FDA trials as well as challenged the agency with perseverance until approval in 2015. Due to Dr. Suarez’s leadership and relentless commitment, HIFU is now available in the U.S.
Clinical trials have proven that HIFU decreases risk of impotence and incontinence from 80 percent to 2 percent and 20 percent to .4 percent, respectively, when compared to traditional treatments. There is also a 95 percent decrease in PSA levels resulting in 80 percent of patients remaining cancer-free for up to 10 years. Additionally, this simple outpatient procedure does not require surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. What Dr. George Suarez has done for mankind is extraordinary; men remain full men.
Dr. Suarez has performed over 2,000 HIFU treatments, more than any other urologist worldwide. He has devoted his life to finding a noninvasive option for men with prostate cancer.