With new step into Coral Gables, Mt. Sinai Medical Center spreads its reach
By Jacquelyn Weiner
Miami Beach's only hospital is spreading its reach through Greater Miami, focusing on areas plagued by a deadly problem: heart disease.
Rather than spreading expansion thin, Mount Sinai Medical Center aims to build its presence in already-targeted areas, said President and CEO Steven D. Sonenreich.
In particular, it hopes to grow ties in Hialeah and Aventura, he said, which have "significantly higher mortality rates from cardiac disease" than other areas in Miami-Dade County.
"Our interest on an overall basis is in our Greater Miami community," he said. "We're just trying to make care for them much more accessible."
While at one point Miami Beach had four hospitals, Mount Sinai is the only one remaining.
In recent years, the medical center has expanded its presence to Hialeah, Aventura, Key Biscayne and as of this month, Coral Gables.
Its aim, Mr. Sonenreich said: to serve more communities, add options for existing patients and provide learning opportunities for its students.
Mount Sinai's most recent off-campus venture is the Miami Cardiopulmonary Institute, an 8,000-plus-square-foot Coral Gables facility at 3200 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Made official Aug. 1, Mount Sinai's partnership with the cardiopulmonary institute turned operations of the cardiac catheterization laboratory for diagnostic testing over to the medical center.
It also includes a six-bed sleep lab used for sleep studies.
Because Mount Sinai "has been a leader in cardiovascular care for some time," Mr. Sonenreich said, the partnership "really is a natural with us."
As for its focus on communities most affected by heart disease, he said, Mount Sinai opened a Hialeah location in July 2009 and a free-standing emergency room in Aventura in 2008.
Its cardiology and internal-medicine office in Hialeah is at 2150 W 68th St., according to Mount Sinai's website.
The free-standing emergency-room facility at 2845 Aventura Blvd. in Aventura opened in January 2008, building on area facilities first opened in 1995, according to the website.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the emergency room has 16 exam/treatment areas and imaging and laboratory services, according to Mount Sinai's website.
In its first full year of operation, Mr. Sonenreich said, the emergency room saw 12,000 patients and expects to see 15,000 to 16,000 in its second year.
Mount Sinai's fourth off-campus location is a physician office at 200 Crandon Blvd. on Key Biscayne, according to its website.
In addition to bringing its medical expertise outside Miami Beach, Mr. Sonenreich said, these satellite operations provide valuable learning experience for Mount Sinai's residents and fellows.
Mount Sinai is one of six Florida hospitals designated as teaching hospitals under state statute.
Every year, 160 residents and fellows study medicine with the medical center, Mr. Sonenreich said.
Building off-campus facilities allows teaching opportunities for doctors and exposure to outpatient facilities for students, he said.
"It just keeps everybody sharp," Mr. Sonenreich said. "It provides a more well-rounded experience."
And the hospital doesn't plan to slow growth soon: while he wouldn't cite specific plans other than continued focus on Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Hialeah and Aventura, Mr. Sonenreich said there will probably be "additional announcements early next year."
"The key for us is to expand in those areas."