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SALUD MIAMI.

Preventive health care saves lives

A seemingly healthy Venezuelan man flew to Miami recently after scheduling a comprehensive physical exam through the Salud Miami office. Arriving at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the patient underwent an EBT (electronic beam tomography). The surprising test results: Dangerous coronary blockage, even though he suffered no symptoms. After angioplasty, he returned home fully recovered with a healthy future assured.

Everyone knows the importance of regular physical exams, but not everyone follows through. For these lucky patients, the exam came not a moment too late:

* At Cedars Medical Center, a young Venezuelan woman was treated for the early stages of breast cancer after a mammography turned up a cyst.

* A man from the Bahamas was hospitalized after a physical exam at Miami Heart Institute revealed both a heart and a liver condition.

* Pancreatitis was the diagnosis for a young patient undergoing a physical at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

* The prognosis is good for a 61-year-old Belize man who underwent cardiac catheterization and later triple bypass surgery. Doctors at Baptist Hospital of Miami acted after seeing abnormal results on the patient's stress test.

* At Mercy Hospital, specialists also are offering risk assessments to women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer.

Similar success stories are told each month at the other participating Salud Miami health care facilities, South Miami Hospital, Miami Children's Hospital and the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

Under the auspices of The Miami Medical Alliance, also known as Salud Miami and Saude Miami, the nine hospitals are partnering with hotels, airlines, travel agents and the medical community to offer medical care and comprehensive physical exams to patients in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Preventive health care is one of the most important things we offer," comments Brewer-Anderson. "In one day, our hospitals can perform a comprehensive physical examination that will ensure the patient's peace of mind. The exam begins in the early morning and is complete by mid-day. Results are generally available within 24 hours and in some cases, the same day. If further treatment is needed, we send the results to the patient's in-country physician or can follow up here in Miami. The fact that we are at the forefront of early detection and diagnoses gives our patients a sense of confidence."

In the past six months alone, hundreds of patients have availed themselves of the $795 Salud Miami comprehensive physical examination to assess their health. Optional procedures include a mammogram and a sigmoidoscopy. There are even physical exams available for children.

"With colon cancer and stress levels on the rise in Latin America, It's important that people start early," notes Brewer-Anderson. "The average age of our patients is between 45 and 50, and 40% are female."

Salud Miami's hospitals offer travel assistance and other services to smooth the way. Hotel partners include the Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort, the Grand Bay Hotel, Loew's Miami Beach Hotel, the Wyndham Miami Beach Resort, the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne, and The Biltmore Hotel.

Services continue to broaden. For example, the alliance is launching a promotion with Bancor, one of Brazil's largest travel wholesalers, and with airlines. The package includes a physical exam, airfare, three nights in a hotel and a Dollar Rent A Car.

"There's no longer an excuse to put off having a comprehensive physical examination," concludes Brewer-Anderson. "We make it easy and pleasant, and there is no better gift to a patient's family than his own good health."
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Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:579
Previous Article:Boston Health Care International.
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