The first all-new hospital built in Miami-Dade County in more than 30 years is preparing to open its doors on Wednesday, Apr. 27.
West Kendall Baptist Hospital expects to receive its first patients in June, becoming the only new hospital built from “ground up” since Kendall Regional Medical Center debuted in 1975, according to a time line of major hospital development furnished by the hospital.
Approximately 650 are now employed at West Kendall Baptist before it is scheduled to become fully operational on June 1 with up to 800 eventually on staff.
Current economic impact on West Kendall as measured by the Washington Economics Group (during construction) was estimated at $434 million, including 2,982 employed. Those figures projected annually total $265 million, including 2,095 employed directly or indirectly with a yearly income of $114 million, plus $35 million in taxes.
An opening celebration for the community is planned on hospital grounds, starting at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 17, even as final touches are being completed at the main hospital and the adjoining Medical Arts Building.
Focused on patient and family-centered care, West Kendall Baptist also is the first South Florida hospital designed and constructed with “Green” LEED (Leadership Energy and Environmental Design) building standards.
They range from a pollution controls meeting EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards to consumption of 50 percent less water compared to other hospitals of similar size and usage, according to Alicia Vigil, West Kendall Baptist spokesperson.
The $219 million hospital complex will become Baptist Health’s first dedicated academic medical center through its recent affiliation with Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, offering a graduate medical education residency for family medicine. The program will begin in 2013.
“We’re very excited to open up West Kendall Baptist Hospital and provide care to the community that has steadfastly supported it,” said hospital CEO Javier Hernandez-Lichtl. “We will continue Baptist Health’s longstanding tradition of providing outstanding quality and service in the West Kendall community with a special focus on patient and family-centered care.”
With 133 licensed beds in private rooms for acute care, West Kendall Baptist is more than half-again the size of its originally planned 80-bed hospital application, delayed in development nearly a year by a court action lodged by Mt. Sinai Hospital of Miami Beach, based on an oversupply of cardiologic services. The complaint was denied.
While patient care will provide major services for 108 beds, 12 additional are devoted to intensive and critical care, and 13 comprise a maternity labor and delivery unit. The Emergency Department includes 32 private examination rooms.
The four-story, 282,000-square-foot main building is located at the southwestern corner of a 30-acre tract at SW 162nd Avenue and 96th Street, part of the original Kendall Town Center 160-acre development. Additional land will provide space to expand to a total 300 beds with a second structure that would be built south and west of the central building with up to 1,000 parking spaces.
The adjoining Medical Arts Building with 62,200 square feet provides an outpatient diagnostic clinic and imaging center on the first floor as well as professional office space.
“The hospital is built to withstand a Category Five hurricane (up to 180 miles per hour) and will be self-sustainable for five to seven days based on food, water, and fuel stock inventories,” Vigil said.
Planning West Kendall’s first hospital began in 2003 when approximately 5,000 letters were received from residents during the parent Baptist Health South Florida’s application effort, largely complaining of traffic delays and distance to obtain emergency medical services in West Kendall.
Today, more than 7,000 patients are estimated to travel yearly from West Kendall to other Baptist hospitals for care, in additional to 21,000 who travel elsewhere for emergency care, according to Vigil.
Hospital information and current job postings are available online at www.westkendallbaptisthospital.com.