Health Care

Four make final cut for appointment to Jackson Health board

Four finalists are applying for a seat on the board that governs Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade’s public hospital network. Candidates will be interviewed Tuesday and Friday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Four finalists are applying for a seat on the board that governs Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade’s public hospital network. Candidates will be interviewed Tuesday and Friday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. El Nuevo Herald

Of the four finalists applying for nomination to the board that governs Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade’s $1.8 billion-a-year public hospital network, only one candidate has occupational experience with healthcare administration.

The remaining applicants for the Public Health Trust made their careers in banking and accounting, experience similar to that of other members of Jackson’s board and the hospital system’s chief executive, Carlos Migoya.

The finalists are Miguel G. Farra, a tax attorney and accountant who also serves on the board of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Institute; William “Bill” Heffernan, past president of Total Bank and former board member of the North Dade Medical Center and its foundation; Adolfo Henriques, chairman and CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust; and Judith Rosenbaum, a retired administrator for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and former head of the Miami-Dade and Monroe county field office for the Medicaid program.

Rosenbaum also is a past member of Jackson’s governing board, serving from September 2009 to June 2011.

Finalists will be interviewed Tuesday and Friday by a nominating committee made up of Jackson trustees, Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Florida Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami), and others. The committee then will forward the names of two finalists to the County Commission for approval.

County commissioners could vote to approve a new trustee as early as their meeting on Sept. 1.

Professional experience in healthcare is not a requirement to serve on Jackson’s board. Finalists need only the support of a majority of Miami-Dade commissioners.

Unlike public hospital districts elsewhere in Florida, Jackson’s board is the only one in the state not appointed by Gov. Rick Scott but by the local county commission. Part of the reason for local control is that Miami-Dade raises more taxes to support its public hospital than any other county — a projected $400 million for the coming year.

But with local control comes local political pressure, according to past members of Jackson’s board who have complained about the hospital system’s need for independence.

The last time a new member was appointed to Jackson’s board, county commissioners passed over the nominating committee’s top pick and instead appointed their third choice: Ralph Patino, a Miami attorney and member of the Democratic National Finance Committee.

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