The University of Miami Health System site that will be located on the Coral Gables campus near the BankUnited Center was named The Lennar Foundation Medical Center during a ceremonial groundbreaking event held Thursday afternoon.
The Lennar Foundation, the charitable arm of The Lennar Corporation, donated a $50 million lead gift to name the new four-story, 206,000-square-foot medical center that will offer a closer healthcare option for residents of Coral Gables, Kendall and other parts of southern Miami-Dade County. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016.
Stuart A. Miller, chairman of UM’s Board of Trustees and CEO of The Lennar Corporation, felt “proud” about his family’s new contribution toward advancing the university’s health system.
“We are on a mission to transform lives through teaching, research and service. That is our core mission, and I’m so proud to be a part of it,” he said. “I’m also proud in my other job as CEO of Lennar to be a part here today of building community as well. I’m also proud to be a part of the Miller family that thought it was important to name and advance the mission of our medical school under Goldschmidt.”
Dr. Pascal J. Goldschmidt is senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School of Medicine.
The ceremony took place near the facility’s future home at 5550 Ponce de Leon Blvd., which is close to the Metrorail station and Ponce de Leon Garage by the Flipse Building.
Joe Natoli, interim chief operating officer of the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth, as well as President Donna E. Shalala and Goldschmidt, also CEO of UHealth, gave opening remarks.
“Today, we celebrate a giant leap in UHealth’s commitment to South Florida,” said Shalala. “Our presence in Coral Gables is more than location, location, location or access, access, access. It’s excellence, excellence, excellence. It’s a solid promise to care for our neighbors and friends in South Florida.”
The total cost of the medical center is $145 million, according to Natoli. In an interview with The Miami Hurricane, he said that the Lennar donation will allow the facility to be opened in one stage rather than in phases.
The Lennar Medical Center will feature medical services, such as urgent care, outpatient surgery and cancer care, such as radiation oncology and chemotherapy. It will also offer interventional radiology and diagnostic imaging, including X-rays and CT, MRI and PET scans.
Specialists from the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute will be among the UM physicians providing these health care services. Bascom Palmer ranks as the nation’s No. 1 ophthalmology program in U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Hospital rankings.
Once the facility opens in 2016, there are plans to move the Student Health Center located across from its site near Pavia Garage to the new medical center.
“For our UM community as well, students and faculty and staff, having a facility like this will be a game changer as it relates to how easy it’s going to be to get to cutting-edge healthcare,” Goldschmidt said in an interview with The Miami Hurricane.
According to Natoli, a new 700-car parking garage will be built near Pavia Garage because the Ponce de Leon Garage will also serve as parking for the Lennar facility and will be connected to it through an air-conditioned tunnel.
The Lennar Medical Center is the latest expansion for the UHealth network that has sites across South Florida in areas such as Kendall, Broward County and Palm Beach.