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Big changes pushed in how Jackson Health is governed

The Miami Herald, May 3, 2011

Eight months after a grand jury called Jackson Health System a "colossal mess" and placed much of the blame on how it's overseen, two new fast-paced efforts are gaining traction to make huge changes in the way Miami-Dade's financially desperate public hospitals are governed. One is a proposal for an immediate fix by shrinking Jackson's governing body, the 17-member Public Health Trust, to a seven-member Financial Recovery Board that could be overridden by the County Commission only by a two-thirds vote. Commissioners are expected to consider that proposal Tuesday. At the same time, a task force of 20 community leaders, including four hospital CEOs and a grand jury prosecutor, has been meeting to explore long-term changes. Among them: converting the government hospital system into a private nonprofit that would be partly or entirely freed from the politics that many healthcare experts believe has hindered Jackson from making hard decisions that would allow the money losing institution to survive. The group's report is expected to be finished by May 13.