MIAMI (CBS4) – Jackson South Community Hospital welcomed the Miami-Dade community to its new medical tower during its grand opening celebration Saturday. The expansion doubled the size of the existing building and cost $102 million. The first patients are exp;ected to be moved in to the new hospital next week, with will operation set for early March.

See a gallery of images of the new hospital

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The hospital held its grand opening community celebration introduced the spacious, state-of-art Jackson South tower building and new entrance to the hospital to the public. The renovation and expansion of the hospital will “enable Jackson to better meet the needs of the growing community in south Miami-Dade”, the hospital’s media relations spokesperson Lorraine Nelson said.

A free family-friendly health fair featuring clowns, face painting, bounce houses, giveaways, health screenings and free snacks were all a part of the grand opening celebration.  Those in attendance were given a tour of the facility.

The tower expansion project at Jackson South added 167,000 square feet to the existing hospital, doubling its size.

The expansion features new operating rooms, a new cardiac cath lab, a new intensive care unit, and floors of new private patient rooms. The 4th floor of the hospital, and one of the operating rooms, are unfinished to provide for future growth.

Dr. Eneida Roldan, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, said, Jackson Souths new tower expansion shows our ongoing commitment to provide world-class medical care to the growing south Miami-Dade population.

The opening comes just three months after the grand opening of the new Jackson South emergency room in November. The 22-bed emergency room construction increased the size of the unit, making it better equipped to meet the expanding healthcare needs of the south Miami-Dade residents.

Just last year, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez released details of an agreement reached between the county and Jackson Health System that put the system on “management watch.”

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The deal with the union called for employees to contribute five percent of their base wages toward the cost of their group health insurance. Employees will also forego pay increases for a full year. The automatic raises will be reinstated in 2011.

The plan with Miami-Dade calls for the Public Health Trust to release a plan in 30 days that will reduce the current budget gap facing the troubled hospital system by $100 million.

The newly open South Tower was funded by a Miami-Dade County bond passed by voters in 2005.

The new tower features 48 new private patient rooms with large windows, some with a golf course view, and three handicapped-accessible rooms on each floor; 12 intensive care unit suites with patient lifts for lifting and turning patients; three endoscopy rooms, 25 individual recovery rooms and two cardiac catheterization labs.

In addition, the facility so holds eight new totally interactive, integrated operating rooms, which will allow the staff to broadcast procedures and communicate with doctors and hospitals via the internet anywhere worldwide. The operating rooms also feature boom technology (wires, connections and operating room consoles are attached from the ceiling to provide a greater space for the staff to care for patients).

The tower also offers a modern, high-tech pharmacy showcasing IV rooms with positive and negative pressure air flows for antibiotic and chemotherapy pharmaceuticals.

The new entrance to Jackson South is spacious and has a family-friendly waiting area with granite-covered registration desks, a landscaped garden view and geometric-designed glass walls and vaulted ceilings to allow sunshine to illuminate the room. A coffee kiosk will offer refreshments.

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