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Miami Beach Planning Board Approves Baptist Health Urgent Care Center

Rendering of the recently approved Baptist Health urgent care center to open at 709 Alton Road.
Crescent Heights
Rendering of the recently approved Baptist Health urgent care center to open at 709 Alton Road.

The Baptist brand of health care is coming to Miami Beach.  

The city planning board voted 6-1 to give Baptist the green light to build an urgent care center at 709 Alton Road.

“We’re very happy and delighted that the planning board took such consideration really to give this project the time and attention that it needed,” says Ana Lopez-Blazquez, chief strategy officer for Baptist Health.

The board approved the project with some conditions, such as coordinating employee parking and designating the first floor for retail space and a cafe.

The five-story and more than 63,000-square-foot facility aims to offer non-emergency health care services. These include imaging, primary care offices, physical therapy and outpatient gastrointestinal surgery.

Many Miami Beach residents like Stanley Shapiro attended Tuesday’s meeting to voice their concerns.

Shapiro, who has been living in Miami Beach for 40 years, says he collapsed with a heart attack on Seventh Street and Alton Road. He was then taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center located on 41 st Street.

“And the traffic on41 st Street is a disaster,” he says.

Alex Podrizki says the addition of a Baptist facility creates more choices from both a consumer and a patient’s perspective. Mount Sinai is the only hospital in Miami Beach.

“Competition’s good,” he says. “It’s important that there be competition to push each other to provide better service.”

The urgent care center is expected to open within the next two years, according to Lopez-Blazquez.

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Alexander Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the University of Miami. He majored in English and was the the editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper from 2014-15. He was WLRN's digital intern during summer 2015. He subscribes to too many podcasts and can't get away from covering the arts in Miami.