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Dear Friends,

We hope you are enjoying your summer and making great memories with friends and family.

Last month, we announced a major new partnership between Shriners Hospitals for Children, Jackson Health System, UHealth - University of Miami Health System, and our Jackson Health Foundation. Because of an unprecedented grant from Shriners Hospitals for Children, UHealth-Jackson Children’s Care will be able to build one of the region’s most sophisticated programs for pediatric orthopedics, which will be named Shriners Children’s Orthopedic Center at UHealth Jackson Children’s Care. This transformative support serves as the catalyst for the new UHealth Jackson Children’s Care Outpatient Pavilion, which will be built on the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus. Read more of the exciting details below.

We celebrated milestones this month like the first anniversary of José Milton Memorial Hospital at Jackson West Medical Center. We also saw some awe-inspiring acts from donors and our doctors for a Ukrainian patient that shared her gratitude for the compassionate care she received. 

As we look ahead to the fall, we’re excited to share our upcoming events including Ice Cream We Love and the 23rd Annual Guardians of the Children Luncheon and Fashion Show. We hope you will join us.

Your generosity is what makes healing possible for thousands of families in Miami-Dade County and beyond. Visit JacksonHealthFoundation.org to learn about more ways you can help us support Jackson.

All the best,

Charmaine Gatlin
Co-President & Chief Operating Officer
Flavia Llizo
Co-President & Chief Development Officer

$16 Million Grant Provided by

Shriners Children's Hospital

Last month, Jackson Health System, Jackson Health Foundation, UHealth – University of Miami Health System and Shriners Children’s announced a major $16 million grant to create a new regional center of excellence called Shriners Children’s Orthopedic Center at UHealth Jackson Children’s Care. 

This unprecedented grant will greatly support pediatric orthopedics. Whether needs of the community come from major injuries treated in our Ryder Trauma Center or potentially debilitating conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy, the Shriners Children’s Pediatric Orthopedic Center will be a powerhouse of academic medicine.

With a signature space, new endowed chairs for pediatric orthopedics, and pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation, this center will supply advanced world-class care for children with traumatic injuries and debilitating conditions. The enhanced orthopedic program will align with other UHealth Jackson Children’s Care signature pediatric services, including organ transplant, cardiac care, neonatology, cancer treatment, neurosurgery, and much more.

This affiliation will also be the catalyst for a new, state-of-the-art facility exclusively focused on outpatient pediatric care, which will house all ambulatory children’s services from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus under one roof - and they’ll be just steps from our pediatric emergency room, 379-bed Holtz Children’s Hospital.

Finally, this partnership will ultimately help us create the most sophisticated pediatric outpatient center in our 104-year history.

To celebrate these major announcements, we held a parade on campus, which featured a New Orleans-style jazz band, three small NASCAR race cars, and Shriners Dune Buggy Patrol cars.

Jackson West, Home of José Milton Memorial Hospital Celebrates First Anniversary

We are excited to share that José Milton Memorial Hospital and Jackson West Medical Center celebrated its first anniversary on August 2nd! Since its grand opening one year ago, more than 25,000 patients have been treated at the state-of-the-art hospital, and more than 200 babies have been born at the facility. 

José Milton Memorial Hospital is ranked among the top five percent of Florida hospitals, with patients consistently giving Jackson West high marks in quality of care and their willingness to recommend the hospital’s services to family and friends. In addition to excellent care it's also considered to have one of the top 50 emergency departments in the country, where patients are seen within 15 minutes. 

Happy first anniversary, Jackson West!

Celebrating accomplishments with the team are Eddie Borrego, SVP & CEO Jackson West Medical Center, Jackson Health System and Ana VeigaMilton, Chair of our Executive Board, philanthropist and president of the José Milton Foundation.  

Donor Highlight

Hess Foundation Milk Bank

Hess Foundation Makes a $1 Million Gift to

Holtz Children’s Hospital NICU

The Holtz Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides lifesaving care to hundreds of babies each year – some born as early as 22 weeks gestation. The highly-skilled team of neonatologists and NICU nurses rely on the latest technology and advances to help treat premature infants and other newborns with special medical needs. We’re excited to announce this unit will soon benefit from the creation of the Hess Family Milk Bank at Holtz Children’s Hospital, thanks to a generous $1 million gift from the Hess Foundation, Inc. The space will support breastfeeding mothers by allowing them to store their milk supply so that it is available for their hospitalized babies 24/7. It will also allow the medical teams to expand their human milk collection and fortification process, which supports the nutritional needs and growth of our neonates. Breastfeeding mothers using this space will also have the ability to see their baby via round-the-clock video access, which research has shown helps stimulate milk production. These technologies and comforts are what set us apart as the leaders in care and compassion.

Many thanks to the Hess Foundation for their support of the Holtz Children’s NICU.

Ukraine Refugee Receives Medical Treatment For Neck Tumor with Help of Jackson Health Foundation

After traveling fourteen days fleeing the warzone of her native Ukraine, 46-year-old Olena Orlova arrived in South Florida hoping to receive treatment for a tumor inside her neck. For two years, the mass on her neck grew, making it difficult to swallow and to have mobility. Oleh, Olena’s son who resides in Miami, helped his mother receive care at Jackson. Thinking his mother’s life was hanging on a thread, Oleh did not want to waste time. On April 21, he drove her to the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She would undergo evaluation and would be seen by a multidisciplinary team that called on the expertise of Elizabeth Nicolli, MD, an UHealth otolaryngologist, who specialized as a head and neck surgeon. Orlova was diagnosed with a benign cyst.

 “We saw that the large neck mass was thankfully benign but if not treated, it would compress vital structures in her neck,” said Dr. Nicolli. “The neck is a high real estate area, there’s a lot of important nerves and structures in the neck, that as we work around the mass to remove it, we want to make sure to preserve those important nerves.”

The good news didn’t end there. Upon learning of her patient’s backstory, Dr. Nicolli wanted to contribute in her own way. She advised Olena that she would waive her fee as a surgeon to perform her surgery and worked together with Jackson Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of Jackson Health System, to seek additional support for her patient. 

“This is an example of the community coming together to help someone in need,” said Flavia Llizo, Co-President & Chief Development Officer, Jackson Health Foundation. “Through the generosity of two private donors, we were fortunate to obtain the funds to pay for the additional hospital costs that cannot be financed by public bond support.”

The surgery took place at Jackson Memorial Hospital on May 23. There were no complications, the tumor was successfully removed within two hours by incision, and Orlova was discharged a day later.

“I am very grateful for the support of the people that have helped me along the way,” said Orlova. 

Orlova has since had her follow-up appointments, had her stitches removed, and has resumed normal activities with no restrictions. As she embarks on her new chapter, she hopes to start her life over in South Florida and spend quality time with her son. 

Together, We Will Empower Our Nurses

Nurses are the heartbeat of Jackson Health System – highly skilled, dedicated, and compassionate. Their daily interactions with patients have a profound impact on their recovery, and they are often praised for being the best of the best. 

Jackson nurses truly embody personalized care throughout our health system system, handling complex communication with patients and families, along with establishing therapeutic relationships mindful of psychiatric, cognitive, and behavioral issues. 

But the nursing profession has dramatically changed during the pandemic. Across the U.S., there is an unprecedented shortage of nurses due to many leaving the profession for early retirement, burnout, or opportunities to work lucrative traveling positions. While the National Center for Health Workforce has analyzed shortages and surpluses in the nursing workforce across the U.S., reports project that 1.2 million new registered nurses (RNs) will be needed by 2030 to address the current shortage. 

Jackson is committed to recruiting new nurses to join our team and retaining our exceptional caregivers. Jackson supports its nursing workforce by offering career growth opportunities, and the chance to learn and expand their expertise by working in various medical specialties throughout the health system.  

Philanthropic dollars are key to supporting efforts that build capacity in nursing and fund innovative programs to support the incredible team of Jackson’s nurses. One of the Foundation’s priorities is to identify donors and community partners interested in supporting Jackson’s nursing programs and initiatives. If you’re interested in helping or want to learn more about these opportunities, please contact Alexandra Salcedo at [email protected].

Leading The Way In Nursing

Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital is hosting the first cohort of the Mental Health Nursing Residency this summer. The first of its kind on the east coast of Florida, the program is welcoming a cohort of up to 20 participants for each 14-week rotation. 


A successful Mental Health Residency Program translates into additional nursing staff joining the ranks at Jackson Behavioral Health, one of the largest freestanding behavioral health hospitals in Florida. It also creates increased awareness, expertise, and compassion around the treatment of patients with mental health issues among those nurses who opt to pursue other disciplines.


September 17 and 18, 2022

1 to 5 p.m. each day

Bal Harbour Shops

9700 Collins Ave Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Join us at Ice Cream We Love and help us kick-off the 23rd Annual Guardians of the Children Luncheon. This fun-filled, two-day event presented by Bal Harbour Shops and Bal Harbour Village benefits Holtz Children’s Hospital and the compassionate care of its young patients. Take a break from the heat and enjoy famous ice cream brands from around the nation and their delectable treats.

For tickets to Ice Cream We Love and to learn more about the 23rd Annual Guardians of the Children Luncheon on November 22nd click below.

Visit our Website

23rd Annual Guardians of the Children  Luncheon and Fashion Show

November 22, 2022 - 11 a.m.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

455 Grand Bay Drive

For more than two decades, the Guardian Angels have hosted this exciting event benefiting Holtz Children’s Hospital in an exclusive location surrounded by those who embrace their mission. The Annual Guardians of the Children Luncheon has been a staple event for the last 23 years. Join us this year to see an exclusive fashion show presented by Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland.

To become a sponsor or buy tickets for this event, please click the button below. 

For more information, please contact Gradon Hadaway at [email protected] or 786-239-8708.

Visit our Website

Sponsor Spotlight

Today we are shining a light on one of our Corporate Miracle Makers, RTR Financial Services, a national leader in account management services dedicated to helping their clients improve revenue collections and helping make communities better for all. We are thrilled to have the support of RTR Financial Services, and all of our Corporate Miracle Makers. 

“RTR Financial Services is happy to support the Jackson Health Foundation as a Corporate Miracle Maker. With the help of your organization, we are able to give back by enhancing the health of the Miami community,"" said Angela Tooze.  

The Corporate Miracle Makers program is an opportunity to showcase your company’s investment as a leader in our community. We can help plan, collaborate and implement meaningful tailored programs that align with your company’s marketing initiatives, philanthropic goals, and objectives.

For more information, please call 305-585-GIVE (4483) or email [email protected].

Technology Advancements:

AiZtech Testing

AiZtech, a global tech company, has developed a new technology that can detect active infection of COVID from selfie images, based on detecting changes to the outer surface of the eye caused by the virus.

AiZtech and Jackson are conducting a non-invasive observational study to collect selfie images of eyes in four different directions: straight to the camera, right, left, and up. Study participants will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire and have photos taken of their eyes. The study will then compare results of the new screening technology with PCR results to report their performance when testing for current COVID variants. 


Your generosity is what makes healing possible for thousands of families in Miami-Dade County and beyond.

Visit JacksonHealthFoundation.org to learn about more ways you can help us support Jackson.

Jackson Health Foundation | JacksonHealthFoundation.org
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