Following a promise to Miami-Dade voters in 2013, Jackson Health System is tapping into its $830 million bond funds for two proposed urgent-care centers in North Miami and Country Walk, the first part of a multi-center plan to expand Jackson’s footprint.
The proposal, sent Friday to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Commission, outlines a plan to extend Jackson’s services by building two 4,000-square-foot centers at $1.4 million each.
“Geography is no longer going to be a barrier for county residents to use Jackson for all of their healthcare needs,” said Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, in the proposal.
For the new centers, Migoya said Jackson focused on neighborhoods that are not already served by urgent-care or Jackson facilities. He said Jackson hopes to open eight to 12 locations in coming years, but didn’t specify the time line to complete the goal.
“By expanding Jackson’s reach farther into the community, we are providing a benefit to our residents and creating additional access points into our network of hospitals, which is good for our business,” Migoya said.
The new locations, at 13120 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami and 13707 SW 152nd St. in the Country Walk Plaza, would be completed by summer 2016, if approved. Rent at the North Miami location would start at $181,125 a year and increase 3 percent annually. Rent at the Country Walk location would start at $120,000 a year and increase 3 percent.
“Residents needing medical attention will no longer have to go very far to be evaluated by a doctor and the center will also be opened on nights and weekends,” said Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime in a release. The North Miami center would be in his district.
The project is part of Jackson’s $830 million bond issue, approved by Miami-Dade voters in 2013 to refurbish, upgrade and expand Jackson’s facilities.
Edwin O’Dell, a spokesman for Jackson Health, said the urgent-care center project was the most popular of Jackson’s proposals for the public funds.
“After it was passed, that has been the biggest question from everyone: where the UCCs [urgent-care centers] are going,” O’Dell said.
Before building can begin, the leases need to be approved by a subcommittee of the Public Health Board of Trustees on Tuesday, then the proposal must be approved by a volunteer group of Miami-Dade residents who oversee Jackson’s bond spending Wednesday. The Public Health Trust will vote on May 26.
The urgent-care centers are the first stand-alone sites proposed by Jackson. In February, the health system also announced a proposal for a 27-acre compound to be built in Doral, complete with a children’s outpatient clinic, a free-standing emergency room and urgent-care center, physician clinics and other facilities.
“We promised to bring Jackson urgent-care centers to communities throughout our county and we are going to deliver on that promise,” Migoya said in the release.
Follow @MHhealth for health news from South Florida and around the nation. This story was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.