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September 17, 2013

Dear Members of the UM Community,

Miami-Dade County voters will soon have the opportunity to decide on the future of Jackson Health System and, ultimately, the well-being of our community—the one is implicitly connected to the other. On November 5, 2013, the county will hold a special referendum on an $830 million general obligation bond to fund vitally important improvements to Jackson’s system-wide facilities.

The bond proposal will ensure Jackson’s viability in three key areas:

  • Providing unmatched care to thousands of our fellow Miami-Dade residents, regardless of their ability to pay;
  • Advancing medical breakthroughs with our affiliated UM/Jackson centers of excellence;
  • Training new generations of health care professionals with the University of Miami.

As Jackson’s partner for more than six decades, the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth’s greater mission depends on a strong and successful Jackson Health System. UM doctors provide most—and in many disciplines, all—of the care at Jackson Memorial Hospital and some of the care at Jackson South. Sixty-four percent of our doctors work at Jackson.

Accordingly, many of the major projects in the Jackson bond campaign are designed to enhance and advance areas where Jackson and UM cooperate most closely, including breakthrough surgeries, top-tier care to newborn premature children, trauma medicine, solid organ transplants, and strokes, to name just a few. And a new UM/Miami Project to Cure Paralysis/Jackson Rehabilitation Center, partly funded by a lead gift to the University, will combine outstanding clinical care with cutting-edge research in a unified and world-class facility.

The landscape of the health care industry is rapidly changing, and these improvements are essential for Jackson to thrive in South Florida’s exceptionally competitive health care delivery marketplace. In particular, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is giving more people greater choices in selecting their health care providers. With a successful bond campaign, Jackson can make the improvements it needs and our community expects.

Please join me in supporting the future of Jackson Health System.