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The Early Days of Jackson Health System

By Christine Alexis

This year, Jackson Health System will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The former Miami City Hospital opened its doors on June 25, 1918, replacing Friendly Society Hospital on Biscayne Boulevard. Although it was summertime, it opened during an influenza outbreak and quickly reached capacity. The hospital grew rapidly, and an emergency room was established a few years later.

The hospital overcame significant obstacles and made strides in the decades that followed. On Sept. 17, 1926, a major hurricane hit Miami and the hospital lost power. Staff members treated more than 700 victims and also helped establish relief stations throughout the area. In 1946, Jackson built the city’s first cancer detection center and was the only hospital in the region to offer radium treatment for cancer. In 1956, physician Robert S. Litwak performed the first open-heart surgery in Florida, and, in 1960, the hospital began offering dialysis treatment.

Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, the hospital was recognized for its advanced technology. In 1992, the hospital opened the Ryder Trauma Center just weeks before Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida. The hospital continued to expand with clinics, a primary care center and other facilities. In 2001, Jackson Health System was created to incorporate the company’s geographic footprint. The same year, Jackson acquired Deering Hospital and named it Jackson South Medical Center. Five years later, Parkway Regional Medical Center became Jackson North Medical Center.

Information for this feature is courtesy of the HistoryMiami Archives & Research Center, which is open to the public and contains more than 1.5 million images of southeast Florida, the entire state and the Caribbean from 1883 to the present. For information or to visit HistoryMiami, visit historymiami.org.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.