A vital new partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children has led the way for UHealth – University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System to create a sophisticated facility dedicated to programs and treatments that will help pediatric orthopaedic patients.
The partnership was announced during a press conference attended by leadership from the institutions involved in the new center. Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., president of the University of Miami; Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., chief operating officer for UHealth; and Carlos A. Migoya, chief executive officer of Jackson, were among those in attendance and spoke of the partnership's benefit to academic medicine and the South Florida community.
"The new Shriners Children's Orthopaedics Center will be a shining example of what is possible when we combine the best of our institutions: scientific research, clinical practice, and community service," said President Frenk.
Scheduled to open in 2025, the state-of-the-art facility will be led by two endowed chairs and include researchers and physicians who will advance the center’s mission. Shriners Children's Orthopaedics Center at UHealth Jackson Children's Care will provide world-class care for children with traumatic injuries and debilitating conditions such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy.
Academic-based medicine is a central focus at UHealth, and Shriners Children's Orthopedic Center will join the many new centers unveiled recently, including the Desai Sethi Urology Institute and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Transformational Cancer Research Building.
Also attending the event were patients and their families who have benefited from pediatric orthopaedic clinical care. Sarah Lunn addressed the gathering to praise the outstanding care from Brian Black, M.D., and Holtz Children's Hospital when her daughter Sofia’s femur was shattered in a boating accident.
"Sofia has since been able to resume her favorite activities, such as horseback riding, swimming, and rock climbing, five months after her traumatic injury," Lunn said. "We are so grateful to her entire medical team, who helped us navigate such a traumatic experience in our lives. We are so happy to say that she is 90% back to normal, and we could not be happier with the results of her surgery."
Brayan Solano expressed his gratitude to Shriners Hospitals for Children for the exceptional care he received as his parents sought medical treatment for a deformed tibia in his right leg.
"With the help of Shriners Children's, I regained my ability not only to walk with my prosthetic leg, but also be able to play my favorite sports, like basketball, baseball, and football," Solano said. "The hospital's extraordinary care impacted me immensely, and my relationship with the medical staff and my prosthetist is what continuously pushed me to keep going and never give up on my hopes and goals. "
Solano said he was confident that the Shriners Children's Orthopedic Center at Jackson Health will offer hope and healing to children all around South Florida.
The partnership will help UHealth and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine continue to retain and recruit top-level physicians who will provide innovative clinical care, research trials, and new therapeutics. The next generation of orthopedists learning at the Miller School will also receive an invaluable level of cutting-edge clinical training, giving them the tools to transform the practice in South Florida and beyond.
"The caliber of our leadership and the unwavering dedication we have to our patients, combined with the incredible reputation of the Shriners, will take us even further in our pursuit of excellence," said Dr. Parekh.
The press conference was followed by a parade in true Shriner’s style, complete with minicars, a marching band, and entertainment geared toward the youngest attendees.
Shriners Children's Orthopaedics Center will align with other UHealth/Jackson signature pediatric services including organ transplant, cardiac care, neonatology, cancer treatment, neurosurgery, and more. The new facility will be located east of Northwest 12th Avenue at Northwest 16th Street, steps from the 379-bed Holtz Children's Hospital and alongside the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at UHealth/Jackson Memorial.