Health Care

New rehabilitation hospital planned for Jackson Memorial

A new rehabilitation hospital is planned for Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The $173 million building project will be funded primarily through voter-approved bond proceeds, Jackson Health capital reserves, and private donations. It is scheduled to open in December 2018.
A new rehabilitation hospital is planned for Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The $173 million building project will be funded primarily through voter-approved bond proceeds, Jackson Health capital reserves, and private donations. It is scheduled to open in December 2018. el nuevo herald

Miami-Dade’s public hospital network on Friday unveiled a preview of the first major project from its ambitious $1.4 billion building campaign: a new rehabilitation medical center that will house patients, physicians and researchers in a single space at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Members of the Public Health Trust, which governs the county’s taxpayer-owned Jackson Health System, received an update on the project that included artist renderings of a glass-encased building with outdoor “treatment terraces” for recovering patients, indoor labs for University of Miami neuroscience researchers from the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, an aquatic center and even apartments where patients can practice independent living skills.

“Trauma centers and acute care hospitals save lives. Rehabilitation hospitals give patients back their lives,” said Greg Jackson, chief executive of the existing rehabilitation hospital at Jackson Memorial.

Noting the abundance of large windows and transparent interior walls, Jackson said the building is designed to motivate patients to work toward recovery while allowing passersby to see the collaborative medical approach taking place inside.

Rehabilitation hospitals give patients back their lives.

Greg Jackson, CEO, Jackson Health System Rehabilitation Hospital

“We wanted to create something where you look into the building and you see the integration. You see the movement. You see the patient progressing,” Clark said.

Large windows motivate patients to work hard toward recovery, he said, because they can see the research taking place and the world outside their hospital rooms. Clark said some of the ideas for the hospital sprang from a visit to the campus of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

The rehabilitation hospital is the first major building project to be funded primarily with proceeds from an $830 million bond approved by Miami-Dade voters for Jackson Health in November 2013.

Jackson Health CEO Carlos Migoya said the rehabilitation hospital will cost about $173 million, including an estimated $80 million in bond funds, $40 million in Jackson capital reserves and $50 million in private donations.

The project already has received a $25 million naming gift from a South Florida philanthropist and former nurse, and will be called the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

$173 million Estimated cost to build the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Migoya said he is optimistic that intense community interest in the project will make it easier to raise another $25 million from the community. “It should not be an issue raising that money,” he said.

Jackson Health officials expect the new facility will have 92 beds and focus on inpatient care, specializing in spinal cord and traumatic brain injury. Sports medicine rehabilitation will continue in other facilities, including the nearby University of Miami Hospital.

To make room for the new hospital, Jackson Health will demolish two buildings next door to the existing rehabilitation hospital. Those buildings currently house administrative and support staff. The existing rehabilitation hospital will remain in place until the new facility opens in December 2018.

Mark Knight, chief financial officer, said he expects the rehabilitation hospital will have a strong return on investment. Knight did not provide projected operating expenses for the rehabilitation hospital on Friday, but he said a comprehensive business plan has been drafted.

“There’s a high demand for these services,” he said of rehabilitation hospitals, “and a lot of these patients are leaving campus to get these services elsewhere.”

Daniel Chang: 305-376-2012, @dchangmiami

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