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Jackson Memorial Hospital & the University of Miami: Two Diamonds in the Rough … “Can You See Me Now?”

Just like life is a journey and not a destination, so is the relationship between Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami. It’s not that they can’t get along, they can, but they’re relationship is changing.

No one contract can or should last forever, it’s impossible. What could have been a perfect fit 40 or 50 years ago could be totally obsolete today. Life is about fluidity, constantly moving forward, forever changing, discovering and re-discovering different ways to do things, while trying to meet the demands of their present market or patients, in the case of Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami.

Let’s take a look back in history:
James M. Jackson, physician and civil leader, in the early 1900’s organized the city’s board of health and was later elected president and would have the task of building a new hospital in the City of Miami.

The Miami City Hospital opened its doors on June 25, 1918, replacing the deteriorating Friendly Society Hospital on Biscayne Boulevard. Over the past 90 years, the Miami City Hospital would grow from a 13-bed hospital to a comprehensive health system with several hospitals and clinics, now called Jackson Health System (JHS).

Jackson Memorial Hospital has become a renowned health care provider recognized for its highly-trained physicians and cutting edge care.

In the early 1950’s, Florida’s lack of a medical school began to be a subject of concern in Tallahassee. Several cities lobbied for the school but, ultimately, Miami was chosen. On September 22, 1952, the University Of Miami School Of Medicine welcomed its first class of 26 students, and Jackson Memorial Hospital immediately became an integral part of the medical school’s program.

In 1956, Dr. Robert S. Litwak, chief of thoracic surgery, performed the first open heart operation in Florida, and by 1960, the hospital was performing cardiopulmonary bypass procedures aided by a new heart-lung machine. That year, the hospital purchased its artificial kidney and began offering dialysis treatment to renal patients.

As you can see, in the 50’s, the demographics were very different from what it is today:
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November 14, 2011 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amerika Gas Station Owner, Shadid Mahmood Gunned down in Miami Gardens, Fl

As Shadid Mahmood, 58, owner of Amerika Gas Station, located in the 15000 block of NW 22nd Ave., wrapped up his duties on the night shift and turned the station over to Amer Ahmed, the station employee who relieved him, walked out and proceeded to get into his car to drive off, was ambushed and shot several times, one proved to be fatal.

Amer Ahmed, the station employee stated that after he heard the shots, he immediately called 911 and ran out the front door to find Mahmood bleeding profusely behind the wheel of his car. The Police arrived quickly and instructed Ahmed to apply pressure on the wound to try to control the bleeding until paramedics arrive.

After a few minutes the paramedics arrived and took over. Ahmed said he was in shock seeing all the blood pouring from Mahmood’s wound and all he could think of is keeping his boss alive. Mahmood was quickly airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Unfortunately, in spite of everyone’s best efforts, Mahmood was pronounced dead.

** There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.**

Please call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at (305) 471-tips, again (305) 471-8477, if you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it maybe. It could be that one piece of the puzzle to connect the dots and solve this horrible and senseless crime.

August 11, 2011 Posted by | Late Breaking News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can we talk about the Health Care Issue?

There are people on both sides of the fence voicing their opinion about the government mandating that everyone have some type of health plan in the near future. Some say “where do I sign up?” while others say “no way! And you can’t make me!”

Where do you think the people that is saying “no way and you can’t make me are going?” I can tell you without a doubt that 95% of them are showing up in the emergency room at one of Jackson’s facilities.

Why? Because they have already been to the other hospitals and the other hospitals give them a couple of aspirins and quickly refer them to their private physician, which they don’t have, and wallow! Jackson Memorial, here they come. That’s a fact! You know it and I know it!

Why do you think that happens? Because the patient is either indigent/ un-insured and the for-profits hospital do not want to incur the expense of indigent care. Ask around! Ask the area hospitals to put a percentage on how much is allocated in their budget to treat the indigent/un-insured?

On the record, I’m sure that they will come up with a figure that sounds practical and looks good in print. But, off the record! They’ll laugh in your face and remind you that they are a for-profit hospital.

People, you need to face the hard truth! Everyone that’s breathing needs at least the care of a primary physician. Without it! The indigent/uninsured patient put their life at greater risk, if they arrive at the hospital unconscious and unable to speak, the attending physician has to start from the beginning. If it’s a true emergency, time will work against you.

If the patient has at least primary health care, then the attending physician at the hospital has a head start by consulting their doctor, thus saving valuable time and money,(that you don’t have since you’re either indigent or uninsured) possibly your life or the life of your love ones.

I understand the rich or those with insurance objecting to mandatory insurance because they already have it or can afford to pay out of their pocket for it. But if you’re poor, unemployed or underemployed, can you really afford not to at least have a primary care physician?

Do you really want to place your life in the hands of strangers when a life or death situation arises or do you want to have at least a fighting chance with a primary care physician who knows you as a person and not just a social security number?

People, you have to deal with reality, which means” the way it is, not the way you want it to be!”

Sometimes! The truth hurts!!! … but the truth is necessary!

The time to address this issue is now! Later, maybe too late!!!

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Keeping It Real | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singer Sean Kingston: Released from Jackson Memorial Hospital

Singer Sean Kingston tweeting from JMH


After spending almost a month in Jackson Memorial Hospital, Singer Sean Kingston is finally well enough to go home.

Kingston, 21, had recently purchased the Sea Doo, just days before the accident. He had on his life vest but apparently was knocked off due to the severity of the crash and he began to sink below the water, causing fluid to build up in his lungs. Kingston also suffered a broken jaw and a fractured wrist.

Carmen and John Rivera along with Jimmy Vega, boating nearby realized that the people in the other boat was signaling for help and heard someone shout “He’s drowning, he’s drowning!” The three got close enough to the boat to jump into the water and attempted to keep Kingston head above water.

Kingston was not alone when the accident occurred. Cassandra Sanchez, 23, was also riding on the Sea Doo personal watercraft with him when it crashed into the Miami Bridge on May 29, according to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Sanchez was also injured and hospitalized.

Kingston has been in Jackson Memorial Hospital since his jet ski crashed into the Palm Island Bridge on Miami Beach, following Urban Beach Week festivities. He walked on his own for the first time, June 5, and had been making steady improvements since. Sean Kingston is most famous for his hit “Beautiful Girls.”

Kingston was well enough Sunday to send his fans via Twitter a message that read “Feeling a lot better!” GOD is GREAT! He also thanked his fans for all their support and prayers, signing off with “LOVE YOU ALL!”

June 24, 2011 Posted by | Community News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SEIU UNION – Fighting to Keep Jackson Health System Public

Hats off to Martha Baker,RN, SEIU Union President and it’s members for taking a stand to keep Jackson Health System, a public hospital.

No Pain… No Gain. Remember, there’s power in numbers!

“If you don’t stand for something… then you’ll fall for anything.”

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Business News | , , | Leave a comment

Miami-Dade Commission Board – Report on Foundation Health Services & Jackson Memorial Foundation


Miami-Dade County Commissioners Hard at Work

Someone must have passed the smelling salt to Miami-Dade County Commissioners. My Lord! They’re actually waking up from their deep sleep or maybe it’s the “Threat of Recall” that’s fresh on their minds.

It appears that base on a recent financial report that someone has been very busy misappropriating thousands of taxpayers and loyal constituent’s dollars; yet on every channel I hear that Jackson Health Systems funds are on life support.

In the report it names Rolando Rodriquez, Chief Executive of both the “Foundation Health Services”, a not-for-profit organization and “Jackson Memorial Foundation,” a public hospital fundraising arm. Can anyone say with me “The Appearance of Impropriety?” Now someone, please pass me the smelling salt!

I just literally read five minutes ago that Cynthia Curry, recently hired Building Director for the City of Miami Beach was terminated for similiar activities, while Rolando Rodriquez is still on the job. What did I miss?

Also, how ingenious of Mr. Rodriquez to add a last minute addendum to his contract, that was renewed just last month to include a clause that guarantee him a $52,500 exist bonus, should someone find out that he is ripping the carpet from under Jackson Health System.

It appears that many of the issues that are addressed by the Commission Board are beyond their expertise. Perhaps it’s time to rethink their role in governing the County.

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Report: Jackson Health System, a “Colossal Mess”

Now that we finally agree that Jackson is indeed on life support, “Where do we go from here?”

In my first article on Jackson, written on 04/23/2010, I spoke about virtually every point the Grand Jury addressed in their recent report. That was approximately 3½ months ago. What have the Public Trust, Miami-Dade Commissioners, Jackson Executives and the other entities involved in Jackson been up too?

What improvements are in place right now as a result of what appeared to be newfound knowledge that Jackson Memorial Hospital was days away from bankruptcy?

Are you still reviewing your next plan of action? If so! Then you need to be fired. To read that Jackson Health System and the Public Health Trust “will perform a thorough review of the Grand Jury Report and then state that “We are committed to working with all of our partners: Miami-Dade County, academic affiliates and organized labor to work towards greater efficiencies for a sustainable Jackson.” is a bunch of demagoguery!

Tell me who? Who amongst the group is capable of taking this report, deciphering it in a matter of hours, no more than 72, and then proceeding to A.C.T. in the best interest of Jackson Health System?

My boss would repeatedly tell me too “Don’t Make Waves!” What was she really trying to say? Turn a deaf ear to what you know is unethical? “Play Along to Get Along.” Does this sound familiar? I suspect this rhetoric is adopted in almost all areas of public policy, but why? How did we get to this state of consciousness?

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jackson Memorial Hospital – Thinking outside the box!

You cannot continue to operate the same way and expect different results. In order to effect change, you have to “think outside the box.” If your organization is on life support, then business is no longer a 9 to 5 operation. Jackson operates 24 hours a day. Why not institute a temporary 24 hour staff to start from the beginning in every department in the hospital, until such time that a 24 hour schedule is no longer needed or a 24 hour schedule becomes the standard, while utilizing the same staff members and working with the unions and other agencies to ensure cooperation from both management and employees? Adjustments too new work hours will be met with some resistance but a friendly reminder that there are millions of people unemployed would certainly put things into prospective.

Outside consultants can definitely be beneficial such as PriceWaterhouseCooper or The Sibery Group consultants hired by the Service Employees International Union to help Jackson find cost savings. However, make sure that the left hand understands what the right hand is trying to accomplish. Consultants are hired to review and recommend new best practices not to operate your business. Jackson should proceed with an “Abundance of Caution,” if any consultant agency implies orally or in writing that it can guarantee a specific number results within a certain period of time, unless the guarantee contains a money back clause.

Remember! Moving forward “thinking outside the box” will be crucial. Jackson should explore every conceivable option and proceed as though the very life of Jackson Memorial depends on it, because at the end of the day, ‘it does.”

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CAN HEAL ITSELF FROM WITHIN!!!

It’s hard and often difficult to make a critical analyst of a program or business practice that has been in place for years. However, when reality deems that the program is antiquated and out-dated, then it’s time to take a look at what use to be a good best practice. If the system is broken beyond repair, you have to look at the program as a whole, not just a piece of the pie.

The best place to start is the beginning not the end. When fiscal responsibility requires that you work from within, think outside the box and create from within, that which you need to survive. For instance, Jackson should have a dedicated full-time in-house (billing) tracking department, separate from in-take.

If Jackson currently has 25 workers, then it is not impractical too dedicate 5 workers full-time to the tracking department. One suggestion is to set up accounts alphabetically, with each employee responsible for a set group. Example: Sherri could be assigned A-E; Bob assigned F-J, Linda assigned K-O, Bill assigned P-T and Ann assigned U-Z.

If Jackson Memorial currently have an in-take office for qualifying Medicaid applicants, why do you need a second agency at such a high cost to regurgitate the same if not less details? Who approved such a concept? If indeed the Department of Children & Family Services, the state agency that qualifies applicants for Medicaid, is truly in charge, then reject applications that are not complete, period. By doing so, the Department of Children & Family Services will eliminate wasted productivity on behalf of their organization and prevent double billing at the same time.

Who reviews the contract for consultants to ascertain if they have met the minimum standards for renewal? Do you have a committee or are the contracts systematically renewed once it’s in the system? Were there any “Conflicts of Interest “or “Appearance of Impropriety Issues” and how were they addressed?

I submit that when you are making these major decisions that you have at least two workers that are in the trenches to give you insight too how things really work, which is quite often, very different from the way you think they do or should work. Their insights will save you a lot of consulting dollars and embarrassing do-over’s later. I love Jackson Memorial Hospital and would like to see it around and functioning in a fiscal responsible manner for years to come; maybe one day other companies can look at it as a best practice example.

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jackson Memorial Hospital

Miami-Dade, Jackson Memorial Hospital is the equivalent to the Statue of Liberty in New York for the majority of Dade County Residents. If the citizens and taxpayers allow Jackson to fail, then every Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward County resident will feel the domino affects of such an integral Institution.

How many times have you read that someone in critical condition has been helivack to Jackson Trauma Unit or someone is being flown in from another country to receive treatment at Jackson?  How many times have you read that Jackson refused to treat anyone because of no insurance or lack of money? How many of you that will read this article that was born at or treated at Jackson? How many of your family and friends were treated at Jackson?

If the worse case scenario presents itself and Jackson is forced to close both North and South Hospitals’, do you realistically expect Jackson to cover the massive gap that would exist, if such a plan is carried out? Will you be able to go to any hospital without thought as to whether you will receive treatment or be turned away for lack of insurance or money? Will you receive the same quality of treatment, being indigent that a paying customer would receive?  Have you given any thought to the questions, I’ve presented to you? Continue reading

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Business News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment