CEO Javier Hernandez-Lichtl counts the days to opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital, county's first in decades
The clock is counting down to opening day at Baptist Health South Florida's new $200 million hospital in West Kendall.
It's the first new hospital in Miami-Dade in decades and thousands of local residents had called for the hospital for years, said CEO Javier Hernandez-Lichtl.
Mr. Hernandez-Lichtl, a lifelong Baptist employee who has spent time in its corporate offices and at the helm of its other hospitals, was tapped to lead the facility and is now in charge of getting the hospital up and running, recruiting about 500 physicians and hiring about 1,000 staff.
When this interview was conducted Jan. 27, the hospital was exactly 90 days from opening, though still under hard-hat construction. In between running between meetings and ensuring that all aspects of the facility are accredited with the appropriate agencies, Mr. Hernandez-Lichtl said he's focusing on the hospital's strategic goal of providing emergency care to the surrounding area. The hospital also hopes to provide primary care, which many experts argue is severely lacking nationwide, and obstetrics.
"Within a short time of opening the hospital we anticipate seeing about 40,000 visits per year in our emergency room," he said.
The West Kendall hospital is Baptist's first academic hospital and has closely partnered with Florida International University's recently established medical school. In addition to hosting medical students, Baptist will extend a handful of opportunities to new doctors in an effort to keep locally trained, primary care physicians in the community.
Mr. Hernandez-Lichtl discussed the "Herculean" task of bringing a new hospital online and what'll happen in its first years with Miami Today staff writer Zachary S. Fagenson.
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