Health Care

Jackson board to vote on new operating rooms for hospital in South Miami-Dade

Since receiving accreditation to join Miami-Dade’s rapid-response system for certain types of heart attacks, the emergency room at Jackson South Community Hospital has experienced an increase in patients.
Since receiving accreditation to join Miami-Dade’s rapid-response system for certain types of heart attacks, the emergency room at Jackson South Community Hospital has experienced an increase in patients. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

With South Miami-Dade ripe for expansion of the county’s taxpayer-owned hospital network, trustees for Jackson Health System will meet Monday to vote on a plan to renovate two operating rooms in anticipation of providing trauma services at Jackson South Community Hospital in Palmetto Bay.

Jackson trustees will be asked to approve $1.8 million for the design and construction of the operating rooms, which are key to the hospital system’s efforts to win state approval for a Level II trauma center in the southern end of the county.

Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Health denied Jackson South’s application for a trauma center, leading administrators of the county hospital system to appeal the decision and to accuse the agency of deception.

Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health, told Miami-Dade commissioners last week that the appeal was heard this month in Tallahassee.

“We expect a ruling in November or December,” he said.

Trustees for Jackson Health System have approved about $8 million in projects this year for South Miami-Dade, including a new urgent care center in Country Walk and renovations at Jackson South Community Hospital.

The trauma center is an important part of expansion plans for Jackson South, which has seen increasing numbers of patients this year, according to Migoya.

Jackson leaders long have hoped the facility would lure customers in the affluent southern suburbs who have commercial insurance.

In September, Jackson trustees approved a $5.8 million contract to build more patient rooms and a third operating room at Jackson South.

Renovations to Jackson South are funded primarily through an $830 million debt bond payable through a property tax increase and approved by Miami-Dade voters in 2013.

In total, Jackson administrators plan to spend $13.2 million for upgrades at Jackson South using those public dollars.

Other projects at Jackson South include the construction of a helipad, the installation of a second cardiac catheterization lab and the purchase of a second surgical robot — all completed last year.

Administrators also plan a new stroke center for Jackson South, and have added University of Miami Health System physicians at the hospital, including two neurosurgeons and pediatricians.

Daniel Chang: 305-376-2012, @dchangmiami

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