University to open care center on campus

Nicole Montero/Staff Writer

The University is partnering with Miami Children’s Hospital, a previous clinical affiliate, to construct a state-of-the-art Ambulatory Care Center right on campus.

The center is expected to be completed by this month, but won’t be open for patients until Spring 2015.

According to Yolangel Hernandez Suarez, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and chief medical officer for FIU Health, the clinic will cover about 36,000-square-feet and will consist of two floors dedicated to providing patients with primary care, as well as clinical services.

“I think the value is really for the learners in the academic health center,” she said. “There will be students rotating through the ambulatory surgical clinic to get experience. Normally, they have to go all over the county for this, and now they’ll be able to get it right here on campus.”

The second floor of the clinic will consist of an ambulatory surgical center for children, run by Miami Children’s Hospital. According to Hernandez, it is the first stand-alone surgical center in the county and will focus mainly on outpatient surgery for kids up to the age of 21.

“It’s so important because it shows the significant advancement of the academic health center,” said Hernandez. “The students who are interested in health care are getting access to innovative and complex care right on campus. This is tremendously beneficial to them and to FIU.”

The first floor of the center will be an extension of FIU Health. For everyone over the age of 18, it would offer primary care, gynecology, behavioral health services and more.

Students, faculty, staff and community members wishing to access the services provided by the center would need to have medical insurance for treatment — this includes government programs like Medicaid and Medicare. But, for primary care, students can use the health care given to them by the University, which is paid by the health fee required per semester.

Christian Alfaro, senior nursing major, is excited for the center to open and thinks it’s great that FIU is increasing access to medical procedures and outpatient surgeries for both pediatric and adult populations.

“Increasing access to services and community outreach is very important for both students and patients,” said Alfaro. “I think this is a great, innovative solution to increase health majors’ involvement in community healthcare settings.”

Melissa Buzzi, another nursing major in her sophomore year, hopes to be a pediatric nurse. She believes this center is a great opportunity to get experience on patient care.

“I live around campus, so it’s great to have this opportunity right by where I live and where I study,” she said. “There are a lot of students in this University that are majoring in some kind of medical field. I think it’s one of the most popular majors, and we can all benefit profoundly from this center.”

The center will also have new staff and new doctors and will be directed by Chad Perlyn, a surgeon at Miami Children’s Hospital who is also chief at the medical school in the department of surgery.

The center will be located just north of Parking Garage 5 on Southwest Eighth Street and will be connected to the garage so patients could easily find parking.

“We’re so excited about this because it shows how the academic health center is growing,” said Hernandez. “This will be a real opportunity for everyone who wants to have a career in health care to be able to train right on campus.”

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