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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 09:41 AM

Nicklaus Children's laid off 135 employees but plans to open a second hospital in Miami

HEALTH CARE
Nicklaus Children’s laid off 135 employees but plans to open a second hospital in Miami
BY DANIEL CHANG
APRIL 25, 2019 06:00 AM, UPDATED 2 HOURS 22 MINUTES AGO

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the only stand-alone pediatric hospital in Miami-Dade and one of the county’s top private employers, has laid off 135 employees or more than 3 percent of its workforce. ... The job cuts at Nicklaus come amid flagging patient admissions, reductions in insurer reimbursements and rising costs for drugs and other supplies — financial challenges reflected by workforce reductions at other hospitals in South Florida.

“This action was part of a series of measures to preserve the financial health of our organization and the vital services we provide to the children of our community,” Rachel Perry, a Nicklaus Children’s spokeswoman, said in a written statement to the Herald.

Asked for a description of jobs affected by the layoffs, Perry said the “top priority” for Nicklaus Children’s administrators was to “maintain nurse-to-patient ratios and quality of care. Those affected represent a cross section of the workforce, including management and administrative, technical and clinical support staff.”

She verified that at least one administrator was among those who are no longer employed at Nicklaus Children’s. ... “While we do not comment on individual staff changes,” Perry said, “the hospital president and chief operating officer recently left the organization.”
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If that name sounds familiar, it's because:

HEALTH CARE

Trump's budget would steer $20M to Jack Nicklaus-backed hospital project
By DAN DIAMOND 03/11/2019 05:41 PM EDT Updated 03/12/2019 07:06 AM EDT

The White House's proposed budget includes funding for a small children's health program sought by one of President Donald Trump's golfing buddies: Jack Nicklaus. ... Under the administration's fiscal 2020 funding plan released Monday, HHS would steer $20 million toward a mobile children's hospital project at Miami's Nicklaus Children's Hospital, named for the legendary golfer.

Nicklaus had lobbied Trump on the golf course in Florida, and he met with HHS Secretary Alex Azar and then-OMB Director Mick Mulvaney in Washington, D.C., to request funds, say two individuals with knowledge. Trump personally directed HHS to earmark the funds to help Nicklaus develop mobile children's hospitals, one individual said.

While HHS has supported the use of mobile hospitals after disasters, like devastating hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, health officials haven't previously seen the need for specialized mobile hospitals for children.

The Trump-backed plan is referenced in a single sentence in the 162-page HHS budget proposal that mentions a funding infusion for the National Disaster Medical System. "The $20 million increase will continue support for the pediatric disaster care pilot initiative which aims to improve pediatric care during emergencies," the budget proposal reads. The two individuals confirmed that the funding would be for the Nicklaus project.
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