CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 20, 2017)—One of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center’s first patients, Victoria Bassil was thrilled that the University of Miami Health System’s world-class physicians and services are finally so convenient to her home. “Everybody was so warm and welcoming and I was very impressed with the facility,” the 86-year-old Westchester resident said. On Sunday, January 29, faculty, staff, students, and the community at large are invited to tour UHealth’s spectacular new Coral Gables home, which from the soaring ibises in the windowed lobby to the soothing garden on the roof-top terrace is designed to provide exactly the welcoming, healing, and streamlined experience Bassil enjoyed.
From 1 to 4 p.m., The Lennar Center’s community-wide grand opening celebration will give visitors the opportunity to meet UHealth experts, win prize drawings, enjoy music, dance competitions, mad scientist shows, face painting, photo booths, food and refreshments, and appearances by Sebastian the Ibis, other mascots, and UM athletes and cheerleaders.
When Lennar opened its doors on the Coral Gables campus last month, the 200,000-square-foot ambulatory care center provided an alternative for Miami-Dade County residents who want the world-class patient care provided by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and other UHealth specialty areas, including women’s and men’s centers, a comprehensive diabetes center, cardiology, primary care, neurology, and otolaryngology—but want it closer to home.
“The Lennar Center is only three or four miles from where I live,” said Bassil, who likes to joke that she’s only four years younger than UM itself. “My daughter and I just got in the car and drove there. It was so easy.”
During its first month of operation, Bassil had three appointments at The Lennar Center. Although she is still hobbled by a slow-healing hip fracture from a fall 18 months ago, she is considered to be in excellent shape for her age, but she wanted a comprehensive evaluation by her new team of doctors.
So on December 5, Bassil was one of the first patients through the doors of the new facility, where she had her eyes examined by Elliott S. Brafman, O.D., an optometrist from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She returned on December 20 to be examined by her primary care physician, Andrea M. Sosa-Melo, M.D., and again on January 3 for tests ordered by pulmonologist Roger A. Alvarez, D.O., M.P.H. Technicians Barbara Perez and Diano Sebastian skillfully conducted Bassil’s echocardiogram and CT scan, respectively.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had such thorough checkups,” Bassil said.
The awareness that The Lennar Center offers a completely new patient experience began the moment Bassil and her daughter arrived. Outside, they were met by the friendly valets, who parked their car. Inside, registration went without a hitch.
“It’s so new and clean — everything just sparkled. It’s a very pleasant place to go to,” Bassil observed.
As Chief Administrative Officer Ben Riestra said, “Better accessibility to our academic-based health care services is one of our goals, and we are clearly achieving this at The Lennar Center. It is great to hear, directly from our patients, that their experience at The Lennar Center is very positive.”
And now that she has experienced The Lennar Center difference—unmatched patient care, with a wide variety of medical specialties available under one roof—Bassil promises she will be back, if for nothing else, for well-being check-ups.