VITAS Healthcare Opens 16-Bed Inpatient Hospice Unit in Kendall Near Baptist Hospital

December 3, 2020

VITAS leaders outside the IPU for the grand opening

From VITAS Healthcare: President & CEO Nick Westfall, Executive VP Patty Husted, VP of Operations for South Florida Betty Bel, Executive VP & COO Joel Wherley.

MIAMI, FL — Residents of Miami-Dade County now have improved access to compassionate end-of-life care through VITAS Healthcare’s newly constructed inpatient hospice unit (IPU) at MedSquare in Kendall, located at 9408 SW 87th Ave., Suite 107, Miami, FL, 33176.

“Miami has been the home of VITAS since its foundation over 40 years ago, and today I’m proud to announce this expansion of patient-centered, comfort-focused services and clinical support in the community that has embraced us from the start,” said Patty Husted, executive vice president of operations for VITAS.

Nancy Auster shows the services tailored to veterans

VITAS Admissions Nurse and Veterans Specialist Nancy Auster represents the unique care VITAS provides to veteran patients.

“At VITAS, we are defined by our continued commitment to serve our community by providing compassionate end-of-life care to local patients and their families,” said Husted. “We have deep roots in Miami as we currently serve more than 4,000 hospice patients in Dade and Broward and remain committed to making an impact by providing a suite of services that supports quality of life near the end of life."

Located within walking distance of Baptist Health’s main campus in Kendall, the VITAS IPU’s quiet, homelike environment features 16 private rooms, a shared family room and kitchen, children’s activity area and overnight accommodations for guests.

Patients receive high-acuity care, as needed for their individualized care plan, including medicine and nutrition, and modalities to ease pain and other symptoms. The IPU is expected to serve 750 patients annually.

Patients can experience comfort via specialized music therapy, Paw Pals® pet visits and care specific to the needs of veterans near the end of life, including bedside salutes and virtual-reality Honor Flight experiences.

The hydrotherapy room

Hydrotherapy room at the VITAS Kendall IPU.

Each patient room features a dedicated iPad and smart TV to connect virtually with local and out-of-town family members, live-stream photos and videos, and access relaxation apps. Family members and visitors can access the unit at any time, in adherence with current COVID-19 regulations.

“The Baptist Health South Florida family is glad to welcome our new neighbor and long-time healthcare partner,” said Patricia Rosello, chief executive officer of Baptist Hospital of Miami. “The proximity of the new VITAS IPU ensures that our hospice-eligible patients and their families can experience smooth, timely transitions to end-of-life care that offers comfort, dignity, and quality of life when it’s needed most. We’re looking forward to working more closely with an organization whose efforts and values focus on how to make patients and their families feel safe and at peace during such a difficult time.”

VITAS IPUs offer a temporary home away from home for patients near the end of life when symptoms can no longer be managed in their preferred setting of care. Patients receive 24/7 care from an interdisciplinary VITAS team comprising a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, volunteer and bereavement expert. Together, the team attends to the medical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

From three offices in Miami, VITAS provides high-quality, compassionate care to patients with advanced illness throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. It also operates IPUs at the University of Miami Hospital, Hialeah Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, and Palmetto General Hospital, as well as VITAS Suites at Coral Reef Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Healthcare professionals can contact the new IPU at 877.649.9539 for 24/7 referral information or download the VITAS mobile app for secure, one-touch referrals, VITAS locations and interactive hospice eligibility guidelines.

Kevin Stowe addresses spiritual care at end-of-life

VITAS Bereavement Manager Kevin Stowe represents spiritual care provided to all patients and families.

Maria Hidalgo discusses volunteering in hospice care

VITAS Volunteer Manager Maria Hidalgo discusses the many fulfilling opportunities available to hospice volunteers.

VITAS and Baptist Health leaders gathered for a photo

VITAS Healthcare and Baptist Health South Florida leaders: Betty Bel and Nick Westfall from VITAS, Alexandra Villoch, CEO of Baptist Foundation; Patty Husted of VITAS, Patricia Rosello, CEO of Baptist Hospital of Miami, Joel Wherley of VITAS.

Rodolfo Reyes plays the guitar in a patient room

VITAS Music Therapist Rodolfo Reyes showcases the benefits of music therapy for patients.

VITAS and South Miami Hospital leaders

Nick Westfall and Patty Husted from VITAS, Bill Duquette, CEO of South Miami Hospital; Betty Bel and Joel Wherley of VITAS.

FIU and VITAS leaders gathered for a photo

FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Dean Robert Sackstein, M.D., Ph.D.; with Patty Husted and Betty Bel from VITAS.

The shared family room includes comfortable seating in a quiet space

VITAS Kendall IPU Family Room.

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