Mayoral and commission candidates along with community leaders spoke about the future of Jackson Health System at Miami Dade Medical College during our Save Jackson Community Summit on Wednesday, April 27th.
Carlos Giminez, Julio Robaina, Luther “Luke” Campbell, Marcos Llorente, Rep. Julio Robaina and Dr. Mark Multach were the featured guests at our event, attended by more than 70 Jackson employees and concerned citizens.
Each speaker took the stage to share their views about Jackson before facing a panel of Local 1991 members who took turns asking questions. Topics ranged from whether the candidates were committed to keeping Jackson a publicly owned hospital, their views on hospital governance and if the people of Miami-Dade County should have the right to vote on any change of ownership at Jackson.
The panel of Local 1991 members included Debra Diaz, CRNA, Dr. David Woolsey, Noberto Molina, RN and Maggie Pena, BSW.
Here’s a recap of each speaker’s view on Jackson:
Julio Robaina – The Hialeah mayor is now vying to become Mayor of Miami-Dade County. He said if he was elected, he would never support Jackson Health System becoming a private entity and said Jackson could be turned around with the right leadership. “We have a lot of smart people right here in the community,” he said. “Let’s find a way for Jackson Health System to make money.” He said politics should be taken out of Jackson, adding “the people should be a part of it.”
Marcos Llorente – The former state rep. said the current structure at Jackson is inadequate and a change in the direction of leadership is needed. He suggests a smaller PHT board filled with leaders who understand the challenges of our public hospital. He suggested performance reviews for the PHT to find out what actions are working and not working and said he hopes to see Jackson become viable and sustainable on its own.
Dr. Mark Multach – Dr. Multach, Associate Chief Medical Officer at Jackson North Medical Center and Associate Professor and Chair of FIU’s College of Medicine, advocated for a primary care network that can adequately serve the 800,000 to 900,000 patients in Miami-Dade County who depend on Jackson for healthcare. He said Jackson’s current system of clinics does not serve the community and that partnering with Federally Qualified Health Clinics could be the right step toward primary-care focused healthcare.
Luther “Luke” Campbell – The entertainer and music industry entrepreneur said Jackson was “near and dear to his heart.” He said the future of Jackson is an integral part of his mayoral campaign. He said if elected mayor, he wants to continue the legacy of Jackson and that employee pay cuts and the selling of Jackson “wouldn’t happen on my watch.”
Rep. Julio Robaina – The state legislator is running for Miami-Dade County’s District 7 seat, which is being vacated by Commissioner Carlos Giminez who is running for county mayor. Robaina said he’s not in favor of selling the hospital to anyone, but instead he wants the employees of Jackson be part of the solution to fixing our public hospital. He praised the proposal to turnaround Jackson, which was recently submitted to Jackson’s administration and the Miami Dade County Commission by our union’s operational consultants, The Sibery Group. (To read the proposal, click here) “Whoever gets elected as mayor, this is how to save Jackson,” he said, holding up a copy of the proposal. He said it’s crucial for Jackson to find other sources of revenue and to ensure that state funding is available. He said Jackson’s administration was too “top heavy” and said the PHT board should be shrunk and run by people in the healthcare industry.
Carlos Giminez – The District 7 County Commissioner who is now running for mayor said the mission of the county’s charter is to maintain a public hospital. He advocates for a strong, successful Jackson and suggested we may look for private investments. He said some of Jackson’s problems stem from patient length of stay and the wrong patient mixup. He said his job as county commissioner has been to protect the interest of the people and so far the Public Health Trust has failed to do so. He said the PHT Board must be smaller and comprised of healthcare professional, business leaders and patient advocates.