Judge Clears Way For Kendall Hospitals
By Sherri C. Ranta
An attempt by Mount Sinai Medical Center and Heart Institute to block construction of two hospitals in Kendall has been rejected by a state judge.
The Agency for Health Care Administration is expected to issue a ruling next month to allow construction of the hospitals. Mount Sinai officials did not protest the administrative law judge’s findings by a Monday deadline, said Kim Reed, a spokeswoman for the agency.
Officials at the Miami Beach hospital filed an objection last year after the agency issued a certificate of need for Kendall Regional Medical Center to build a hospital in western Kendall, 25 miles from Mount Sinai. Kendall Regional then filed an objection to competitor Baptist Health South Florida’s plans to build a hospital in the same area. As a result, both projects were delayed.
The judge ruled in late January that Mount Sinai had no basis for its objection, Ms. Reed said. The agency will issue an order that will reflect the judge’s ruling, she said.
"We filed our objection with the state, followed the proper procedures, and since we were found to have no standing, we are not appealing," said Lauri Oliva, a spokeswoman for Mount Sinai.
Agency officials said in preliminary statements that the two new hospitals would be about 2.5 miles apart and serve more than 250,000 people. The area now has no acute health-care facility.
Miles Moss, president of the Kendall Federation of Homeowners, said his constituency needs a hospital.
Baptist wants to build a $147 million hospital in Kendall Town Center, a 160-acre mixed-use retail and entertainment complex planned by developer Rouse Co. at Southwest 157th Avenue and Kendall Drive. Changes in the site plan, Mr. Moss said, now show the facility at the back of the development.