Competition Among South Florida Trauma Centers Continues

At a state trauma workshop at the Miami-Dade Health Department on Wednesday, Florida's surgeon general urged everyone to make peace for the sake of patients.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For two decades Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson was the only trauma center in Miami-Dade County, but since a surgeon defected to open a competing trauma center at Kendall Regional, there's been bad blood between the two. Florida's surgeon general, Dr. John Armstrong, and Dr. Nicholas Namias of Ryder and Dr. Mark McKenney of Kendall Regional spoke about the issue. Joseph Kalinowski told a state panel about his wife's experience at Kendall. (Published Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013)

    If you're seriously injured in Miami-Dade County, where will you be taken?

    For two decades Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson was the only trauma center in the county until 2011, when a surgeon defected to open a competing trauma center at Kendall Regional. There's been bad blood between the two medical centers ever since.

    "Our specialists do nothing but trauma in the major specialities - orthopedic trauma,  neuro trauma. Nobody else has that," said Dr. Nicholas Namias, medical director at Ryder Trauma Center.

    His former colleague and now counterpart at Kendall Regional Trauma Center is Dr. Mark McKenney.

    "We have the same doctors in the house around the clock. I used to be the medical director at Ryder. Our coverage at Kendall is the same as Ryder Trauma Center," McKenney said.

    At a state trauma workshop at the Miami-Dade Health Department on Wednesday, Florida's surgeon general urged everyone to make peace for the sake of patients.

    "Let's regain our focus on saving lives and restoring health to those injured in the state of Florida," said Dr. John Armstrong.

    After a legal challenge, the Florida Department of Health is working on a new rule to establish where and how many trauma centers are needed. Most counties across the state that don't have any at all. Jackson feels one is enough for Miami-Dade.

    "Medically its really all we need. Once you have a second now you're diluting the experience of all the experts," Namias said.

    Joseph Kalinowski talked to the state panel on Wednesday about his wife's experience at Kendall Regional after a serious boating accident.

    "it had just opened it had only been opened for a month, so that's why I didnt hear about the trauma center there but thank god they were there for I think it saved her life," said Kalinowski.

    While Jackson opposed Kendall Regional's trauma center, it now has a new game plan.

    It wants to open two more trauma centers, one at Jackson South and another at Jackson North, but that plan has been put on hold by state health officials.

    Broward has three trauma centers and a lower trauma death rate than Miami-Dade.

    Wherever an injury occurs a state law dictates patients will be taken to the nearest trauma center.