Dear Friends,

Happy February! In our latest newsletter in honor of Valentine’s Day, we are spotlighting the Jackson Heart Institute, home to the region’s most comprehensive cardiac care for patients of all ages. Our experienced cardiovascular and thoracic teams have treated more than 50,000 patients in the past 16 years. We look forward to sharing with you more about our world-class heart institute.

In addition, we are looking forward to our annual Golden Angels Gala in April, one of the most glamorous and anticipated social events of the season. Our Golden Angels have raised millions to support Jackson’s mission and generously host our gala each year, and for that we are so grateful.

Your generosity is what makes healing possible for thousands of families in Miami-Dade County and beyond. Visit 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
February Highlight:
Jackson Heart Institute
February is American Heart Month, a good time for all to focus on making sure our hearts are healthy. At Jackson Health System, heart health is always top of mind. We’re proud to be home to the Jackson Heart Institute, which offers a full range of cardiac services for children, adults and the elderly.

We can handle everything from basic monitoring of patients with warning signs to minimally-invasive procedures all the way to valve replacements and full heart transplants. Dr. Romualdo Segurola, the chief of cardiac surgery for Jackson Health System and medical director for Jackson Heart Institute, said that combination makes Jackson the most comprehensive cardiac program in the region.

“There’s many heart programs and there’s many talented heart surgeons, but what makes us unique here at Jackson is … the resources that we have,” he said. “There’s not a technique, there’s not a machine, there’s not a study that we’re not involved in, so we’re at the cutting edge.”

In February of 2020, Jackson South Medical Center became the first in the entire southeast of the United States to implant the Micra™ AV, the world’s smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony. The vitamin-sized device, which is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, had just been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the month before, but Jackson surgeons successfully installed it in a 74-year-old man from Homestead.

The year before, we opened two newly-renovated cardiac catheterization suites that featured Alphenix Core+ from Canon Medical Systems, which provides diverse imaging without compromising image quality or performance. That made Jackson the first in the state to offer the new technology. We have used these new systems to help hundreds of patients survive terrifying ordeals.

In one case in 2021, Brettlynn Wolff, a 39-year-old teacher, was rushed to Jackson South Medical Center after she tested positive for COVID-19 and was struggling to breathe. While the virus generally targets people’s lungs, a cardiologist from the Jackson Heart Institute took the extra precaution of performing an echocardiogram and found that her heart was only functioning at 10 percent capacity. The team acted quickly, used minimally invasive techniques to assist her heart, and the teacher survived and was able to walk out of Jackson South a month later.

“It was almost like she was reborn,” her husband said later. “It was a miracle — a Christmas and a Jackson miracle!”

Explore all of Jackson’s cardiac surgery services here. Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Romualdo Segurola, discusses the Jackson Health System difference and how they are at the cutting edge of heart procedures and programs. Learn more about Dr. Segurola's work:
Golden Angels Gala
The annual Golden Angels Gala is one of the most glamorous and anticipated social events of the season! The event raises funds for the Miracle Fund, which supports the areas of greatest need within Jackson Health System. As its name implies, the Jackson Health Foundation Miracle Fund provides resources that bring hope to what might otherwise seem hopeless.
This year has highlighted the importance of outstanding health care in South Florida, but the doctors being recognized at this year’s Golden Angels Gala have long exemplified the level of professionalism and compassion embraced at Jackson. Each one of them has touched the lives of many and gone above and beyond the call of duty. They are recognized by their peers as valuable colleagues and incredible mentors and their contributions to the health and well-being of their patients is heartfelt. 
In the months leading up to the gala, we will highlight the doctors who we are honoring in the Legends of Jackson Tribute sponsored by Trish and Dan Bell. These “legends” have a longstanding commitment to Jackson and our community, and are pioneers in their fields. They are truly remarkable in every way, and we look forward to celebrating them in April. 

For more information on this year’s Golden Angels Gala, contact Beatriz Galan, Senior Director of Major Gifts, at or to purchase tickets, click here.
Legends of Jackson Tribute at
our upcoming Golden Angels Gala
Dr. G. Patricia “Patti” Cantwell
Pediatric Critical Care, Holtz Children’s Hospital
Dr. Cantwell is the Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Holtz Children’s Hospital, where she leads highly specialized medical teams in caring for some of the sickest children in South Florida. While helping to save lives is a top priority for Dr. Cantwell, so is improving the lives of those who may never fully recover. Dr. Cantwell has championed Holtz Children’s palliative care practices, with a focus on maximizing the overall quality of life for children diagnosed with terminal illness or life-limiting illnesses. She is known for going above and beyond for her patients - not only medically, but through caring gestures and creating memorable experiences for them. 

Outside of her role at Holtz Children’s, since 1994, Dr. Cantwell has been a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Team/South Florida Task Force 2, a search and rescue team sponsored by the City of Miami that is deployed to areas of destruction after some of the most horrific disasters. She combed the wreckage of the Twin Towers following the 9/11 attacks, spent a month in parts of Mississippi and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and helped rescue survivors buried for days under the rubble following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Most recently, she aided in the search and recovery mission following the Surfside building collapse. 

She is a graduate of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University while enrolled in the US Navy Health Professions program. She completed her Pediatric Residency Training at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital and served as a Pediatrician in the US Navy Medical Corps until 1987. Dr. Cantwell completed her Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1989. To learn more about Dr. Cantwell, click here.
Sir Dr. Gaetano Ciancio
Transplant Surgery, Miami Transplant Institute at Jackson Memorial Hospital
Dr. Ciancio serves as the chief medical officer, chief academic officer, and the director of the kidney and kidney-pancreas programs at the Miami Transplant Institute. Dr. Ciancio is also the director of advanced uro-oncology surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, performing some of the riskiest urological cancer cases. 

He plays a key role in executing MTI’s strategic plan, promoting and developing physician relationships, growing academic programs, and guiding other key initiatives. 

A graduate of the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Dr. Ciancio began his career at the University of Miami in 1986, with training in both surgery and urology, before concluding with a fellowship in multi-organ transplantation. For years, his dedication has been recognized with multiple teaching awards in both urology and transplantation. 

Dr. Ciancio is a pioneer in developing multiple novel surgical techniques dealing with difficult renal, adrenal, and testicular cancer. He has performed transplant surgeries and urology oncology surgeries around the world and helped to establish transplant programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Haiti, where he performed the country’s first kidney transplant. Without a doubt, his life’s mission has been to save lives and he has done so with grace, compassion, and unmatched expertise on a daily basis. To learn more about Dr. Ciancio, click here.
Donor Spotlight:
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have been longtime supporters of the Jackson Health Foundation and Jackson Health System. We want to thank the Miami Heat for their dedication to supporting our frontline teams as they work each day to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the start of this basketball season, the Miami Heat have honored our frontline healthcare team members at various home games for their dedication to helping our community and providing the best care possible to our patients each day. A special thanks to the Miami Heat and for all that they do for Jackson.
Sponsor Spotlight:
Florida National University
Florida National University (FNU) is a longtime supporter of Jackson Health Foundation and Jackson Health System, and a steadfast partner in our fundraising efforts. In recent months, FNU has supported our Miracle Fund as a Silver Sponsor of our Golden Angels Gala and Holtz Children's Hospital via the Guardians of the Children Luncheon and Fashion Show. 

"Florida National University has been a proud supporter of Jackson Health System for several years,” said Dr. Maria Regueiro, President and CEO of Florida National University. “Our organizations share a passion for enriching the South Florida community and helping those most in need of our services. FNU will continue to champion the efforts of Jackson Health System to improve the health and wellness of the South Florida residents.”

FNU's mission is to contribute to the education of a diverse student and faculty population. The university realizes this mission through the employment and development of a faculty of scholars who are proficient in the art of teaching. The university strives to prepare its students for employment in their chosen career or advanced studies through the acquisition of the required skills and knowledge needed for the successful completion of the program of studies. We thank FNU for their ongoing support and continued partnership.​ Together, we are making miracles happen!
Donor Spotlight:
Medina Family Foundation
A special thank you to the Medina Family Foundation for their support to expand the Smart Room Project at Jackson Health System. The Smart Room Project will create a patient-centered platform that will engage and empower patients and their families to take a more active role in their health journey, while giving the clinical team easy-to-use tools to advance the patient experience. This more personalized approach during a patient’s hospital stay will also allow patients and their families to educate themselves on their health condition through the use of in-room technology and direct access to clinical staff. The Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at UHealth/Jackson Memorial is currently using this technology inside patient rooms and with this generous gift, we will be able to provide even more Jackson patients with the same in-room technology. Thank you again to the Medina Family Foundation for your support!