Two South Florida giants, one in education and one in medicine, are coming together to usher in what they call a new era of healthcare in South Florida that will benefit the entire community.
Baptist Health, the largest private health system in South Florida, and FIU, the most prestigious public university in the community, are teaming up to expand medical education, training, clinical research, and health care. They call it a new era for medicine in South Florida.
Juan Cendan, Director of FIU’s medical school, says it will be “a transformative era for everyone. In 25 years, let’s look at this day when this great project began.”
At noon today the FIU Board of Directors approved to enter into negotiations with Baptist Health to create a new exclusive relationship with FIU’s Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine.
“In the beginning, the big effort will be to start residency programs, which happens after medical school when one wants to become an ophthalmologist or a neurologist, for example, the generic student has to spend a few more years doing a residency” Cendan says.
The medical school was founded in 2009. In 2013, it graduated 40 students. Today the classes number about 120 graduates finishing their studies at various South Florida hospitals. But from now on FIU will have a teaching hospital and not only the students will benefit, as the President of Baptist Health, Bo Boulenger tells us: “this will improve access to doctors in our community and we know that Miami is growing. In addition there will be many more clinical investigations. A lot of the research Baptist is already doing is on cancer treatment at the Miami Cancer Institute where they now hope to have a bigger impact.”
Ana López-Blázquez, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, of Baptist Health, says that “it is a tremendous step forward, for us to be able to do research, to be able to grow the medical school, to be able to attract doctors who want to have that relationship with the University means a lot to us”.
They expect details on how the alliance will work to be finalized this summer.
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