North Broward Hospital District, which operates as Broward Health, takes care of shark bites and more. The taxpayer-supported, not-for-profit health system serves the coastal city of Fort Lauderdale and the northern two-thirds of Broward County, Florida, with four acute care hospitals and a host of community-based centers. Flagship hospital Broward General Medical Center has more than 700 beds and features the Chris Evert Children's Hospital; all of the hospitals together have more than 1,500 beds. Broward Health boasts about 30 additional facilities, including family health and surgery centers and home health and hospice programs.
Broward Health is controlled by a seven-member board of commissioners appointed by Florida's governor. As a safety-net health provider in its service territory, the system's hospitals receive property tax-based funding for the charity care they provide.
In 2010 Broward Health announced plans to transition into a community not-for-profit structure. However, after skepticism was voiced by state officials, the hospital district's board decided to review the merits of the proposal before making a final decision. Through the plan, daily operations of the system's hospitals would be operated by the new entity through a lease agreement with the North Broward Hospital District. The structure is designed to allow the company greater competitive positioning and operational flexibility in the changing national health care market, as well as to rely less heavily on tax revenues.
In the meantime, the district has been working to increase the number of paying customers that come to its facilities. As part of that effort, in 2007 it rebranded all its hospitals under the name Broward Health, hoping to distance itself from its identity as a government agency; it is also working to improve clinical technology and specialty care programs at its facilities.
Additionally, the company regularly conducts renovation and expansion efforts at its facilities. It revamped and increased the capacity of its Imperial Point Medical Center hospital's emergency room in 2009, and is engaged in similar expansion efforts at Coral Springs Medical Center. Broward Health has been looking at other innovative ways to serve the community as well, including the construction of a new ambulatory surgery center in the district in 2010.
The rest of Broward County is served by a second public hospital system, South Broward Hospital District. (The county's dual structure goes back to the 1950s.) – less