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Latest News

  • Stanley Marks

    A Career of Distinction

    Dr. Stanley Marks, Memorial Healthcare System’s chief medical officer, has retired after a 42-year affiliation with MHS. A general and vascular surgeon, Marks joined Memorial after completing his residency in 1978 and became the system’s CMO more than 22 years ago.

    “Stan Marks has had a significant impact on the past, present, and what will be the future of healthcare in South Florida,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, Memorial Healthcare System president and CEO. “We’ll miss his leadership, knowledge, perspective, and commitment to delivering the highest quality patient and family-centered care.”

    Dr. Marks clinical and research expertise shaped his vision as an executive, with some of his initiatives helping make Memorial one of the largest and most successful public healthcare systems in the U.S. He established the Office of Human Research to offer patients additional treatment options and provide doctors opportunities to further their knowledge and understanding of the conditions they treat.

    Smart Snippet: Video
    Datasource: Goodbye from Dr. Marks      

    His advocacy of graduate medical education transitioned Memorial from a community-based, healthcare provider into an academic medical center that currently trains doctors in 11 residency programs and two fellowships.

    The New York City native was also the COVID-19 incident commander and guided the clinical steering committee that enabled Memorial to care for coronavirus patients while keeping its own staff healthy and supplied with what it needed during the crisis.

    “It’s pretty unusual when your career gets punctuated at its end by a pandemic,” Marks said. “I will miss the challenges I’ve had at Memorial and, most of all, after everything we’ve been through, I’ll miss the people.”

    Dr. Marks decision to prioritize research and GME benefitted South Floridians during the coronavirus response. Memorial was able to secure the Remdesivir and convalescent plasma it needed for patients through its research department and utilized residents to supplement medical teams working COVID units and administering testing for the community.

    Tom Macaluso, MD, has been named Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. He will also assume the role of incident commander for COVID-related issues, catastrophes, and hurricanes.


  • Moffitt Malignant Hematology & Cellular Therapy at Memorial Healthcare System

    Moffitt Myeloma Institute Established at Memorial Hospital West

    The Moffitt Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy program, established in partnership with Memorial Healthcare System in 2017, has created a multiple myeloma institute at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. The new specialization has added oncologists to treat those with cancer in their bone marrow and will conduct research to benefit newly-diagnosed and relapsed blood cancer patients. The myeloma institute is the only one of its kind in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

    “We’re always looking to provide our community the most innovative and highest quality healthcare available anywhere,” said Memorial Hospital West CEO Leah Carpenter, “and this advancement with our partners at Moffitt does that for cancer patients.” 

    One immediate area of focus is an immunotherapy clinical trial that will provide additional treatment options to patients with multiple myeloma, a disease where cancerous cells form within plasma cells of bone marrow. Called CAR-T cell therapy, it’s administered like a blood transfusion and involves genetically altering the T cells so they produce synthetic molecules called chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, which enable them to recognize and attach to a certain protein in tumor cells and kill them.

    “We see 70-80 new multiple myeloma cases each year and more than 300 with relapse disease so, while not every patient will be a CAR-T candidate, we’re hoping many more will be as the trial progresses,” said Dr. Claudia Paba Prada, an assistant member of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Memorial Healthcare System. “We’re using drugs under research that aren’t available anywhere else in Florida.”

    There isn’t a cure for multiple myeloma, but immunotherapy, which harnesses the strength of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer cells, can be used to get an individual to a stem-cell transplant or maintain quality of life for those who aren’t transplant candidates. It can be used instead of or to supplement chemotherapy and is usually less toxic to the body.

    Moffitt expects to begin treating leukemia and lymphoma patients with FDA-approved CAR-T cell therapies at Memorial Hospital West in the coming year. 

  • Hospital Board Further Reduces Millage Rate Even After Covering Increased Expenses from COVID-19

    The Board of Commissioners of the South Broward Hospital District, which oversees the operations for Memorial Healthcare System, voted on a new millage rate during its September board meeting. The Board voted to adopt a millage rate of 0.1199.

    This is the tenth year in a row that the Board has voted to lower the overall millage rate for the District with 0.1199 resulting in the lowest rate in the history of the South Broward Hospital District. The 0.1199 millage rate represents a 4.84 percent decrease from last year’s rate of 0.1260. The resulting gross tax revenues are estimated to reach $7.8 million.

    “These are unprecedented times for our healthcare system and our community, and we continue to face and manage many challenges. Given Memorial’s outstanding leadership and sound financial stewardship, we felt confident to pass on these savings to the communities we serve,” said Douglas Harrison, Chairman, South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners.

    After accounting for early payment discounts and a certain percentage of uncollectible taxes, the anticipated tax payments this year of $7.6 million will provide the District enough revenue to cover its governmental obligations, which include paying Broward County’s Medicaid Match program and community redevelopment agencies in several municipalities in south Broward County, as well as tax collector commissions and property appraiser fees.

    The newly adopted millage rate will leave no net tax revenue to fund uncompensated care. The District will use operating income to cover all uncompensated care costs for the entire Memorial Healthcare System, including its six hospitals and its nine Memorial Primary Care clinics. In fiscal year 2021, uncompensated care is projected to exceed $1.6 billion.

    This historic reduction comes at a time when Memorial Healthcare System has responded with excellence, dedication and leadership to the COVID-19 pandemic and the community it serves, providing life-saving care to thousands of patients while keeping its frontline workforce safe. In addition, it continues to train the doctors and nurses of the future. The Graduate Medical Education Program has now an expanded list of 12 residencies, including two fellowship programs in cardiovascular disease and hematology and medical oncology.

    On the technological front, Memorial expanded access to care through telehealth consults from primary to specialty care to maintain continuity of care during physical restriction periods due to the pandemic. It has added new tools to Memorial MyChart, and continues its successful “Your Right to Know” initiative – providing consumers with an Amazon-like experience in obtaining medical procedure pricing information. Memorial also remains one of only a handful of public hospitals in the nation to achieve AA, Aa3 financial ratings by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively.

    “We have an amazing leadership team,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, President and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System. “This team has been very responsive throughout the COVID pandemic, while working diligently to maintain a sound financial structure that allow us to reduce the millage rate to the lowest one in the history of our organization.”