Jackson South hospital plans $102 million expansion
By Suzy Valentine
Strategic planning for a $102 million hospital expansion in southern Miami-Dade County should be complete by year's end.
Jackson South Community Hospital in Perrine is to expand capacity from 199 to up to 325 beds using 5.7 acres the county is buying for $4 million.
The county commission Aug. 23 authorized buying the plot north of Southwest 152nd Street and east of Southwest 95th Avenue and voted to support the hospital expansion.
Jackson South is at 9333 SW 152nd St.
Master facility planning and design are to follow strategic planning, with construction expected to start in 2007. It could be 2010 before the addition is completed.
The planning began in May.
"It will take four months to complete the strategic planning," said Laura Hunter, Jackson South director of business development. "Construction should start in 2007 and will take two to three years."
The Tallahassee branch of the Agency for Health Care Administration isn't required to review an application for a certificate of need for the addition of acute-care beds for the hospital because Miami-Dade isn't regarded as a low-gross area.
Existing need, as much as population growth, prompted the decision to expand.
"We're looking at increased volume," Ms. Hunter said. "We could justify as many as 250 beds on the existing plot. With the land acquisition, we can provide 300 to 325 beds. This is a growing community. We're at capacity now. We need to expand for the volume we have now so we can take care of as many of south Miami-Dade's population as possible."
She used demographics of a neighboring city to illustrate demand.
"In Homestead, conservative estimates show that there will be growth of up to 15% in the population over the next few years," she said. "Meanwhile, there is a 65% increase in health-service need in the city."
Deering Hospital was built in 1975. In 2001, the county commission authorized its acquisition, changing its name.
Ms. Hunter said the arrival of Marvin O'Quinn as president of the Public Health Trust and CEO of Jackson Health System prompted the decision to expand.
"The option was conceived then," she said, "in 2003."
Construction costs are derived from a variety of government bonds - $52 million of the $102 million is to be funded through the $2.9 billion in General Obligation Bonds approved November. The remainder is to be funded through Public Health Trust 2005 Revenue Bonds.
How much the final cost will be is to be determined.
"We are looking at expansion of inpatient and outpatient areas," Ms. Hunter said, "as well as diagnostic services. Part of the process is assessing which services we need and how much of them we need. That will determine cost."
The emergency room now handles 90% of the hospital's admissions.
"It's been a very popular hospital," said County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, whose district includes Jackson South. "We just need to provide more services. I imagine it will help offset some of the losses of Jackson Memorial Hospital in downtown and should help with the bottom line."