Some Broward Health board members and senior staff (in particular, clueless CEO – Dr. Nabil El Sanadi) ostensibly wants the public to think that what they do is none of anyone’s business. They view the sunshine laws and transparency mandated by statute as only an aggravation they must grudgingly and not happily endure.
When these few seemingly bad actors hang out their shingle announcing “Open for Business,” they think it’s their business – not the public’s business. Here is why they are wrong.
Broward Health is a public hospital system, created, established, and funded by the community from a 45-bed hospital in 1938 to the massive public hospital system Broward Health is today. The early Broward community came together, volunteered their time, and raised money through Broward’s first “Hospital Fund” to convert the Granada apartments to a 45-bed hospital. In 1938, Broward Hospital admitted its first patient.
Fort Lauderdale paid for the new South Wing in 1942. In 1948, the East Wing was built, raising the Broward Hospital’s bed capacity to 142. With donated land from the City of Fort Lauderdale and a legislative act approved by the voters in 1952, the North Broward Hospital District was created. Broward Hospital was renamed Broward General, and today it is known as Broward Medical Center.
Broward General evolved from its community beginning from a 45 –bed hospital to Broward Health with over 50 health care facilities including four hospitals, close to 8,000 employees, and annual medical billings of close to 4 billion dollars with an annual budget of 1 billion dollars.
Today, Broward Health is one of the ten largest public hospital systems in the nation. The essential purpose of Broward Health as one of the two public hospital systems in Broward is to provide for Broward’s health care needs. The current leadership of Broward Health incorrectly understands this purpose as merely serving the indigent and providing a safety net for those that cannot pay for healthcare services. Still, the health care needs of Broward are so much more.
An effective public hospital system is one that:
- manages health care costs through competitive strategies,
- trains our healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, technicians, managers),
- creates healthcare employment opportunities, and
- provides required healthcare services for public employees.
Broward Health has become more than just a healthcare organization to Broward. A massive economic engine, Broward Health is one of the County’s largest employers, is second only to the School Board in the number of meals it prepares and serves, and reinvests its operating margins in the community through local service expansion and economic development.
As Frank Nask, Broward Health’s previous CEO, often said, “Broward Health doesn’t have stockholders; we have patients and taxpayers.” The public owns everything Broward Health is and has. Everything Broward Health does is the public’s business. Broward Health is our business!