One of Lennar Center’s First Patients Experiences Full Spectrum of Care

Victoria Bassil likes to joke that, at 86 years of age, she is only four years younger than the University of Miami itself. Her connections to UM date back to the 1970s and 1980s, when she was a volunteer fund-raiser. But in all those years, the long-time Westchester resident was never a patient of UM doctors.

“They were too far away,” she said. “It just wasn’t convenient.”

No more. The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, which opened on UM’s Coral Gables campus on December 5, is now providing an alternative for Miami-Dade County residents who want the world-class patient care provided by UHealth – the University of Miami Health System — but want it closer to home.

“The Lennar Center is only three or four miles from where I live,” said Bassil. “My daughter and I just got in the car and drove there. It was so easy.”

In fact, Bassil has already become what might be termed a regular at The Lennar Center, having had three appointments there in its first month of operation. Although she is still hobbled by a slow-healing hip fracture from a fall 18 months ago, she is considered to be in excellent shape for her age, but she wanted a comprehensive evaluation by her new team of doctors.

So on December 5, Bassil was one of the first patients through the doors of the new facility, to have her eyes examined by Elliott S. Brafman, O.D., an optometrist from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She returned on December 20 to be examined by her primary care physician, Andrea M. Sosa-Melo, M.D., and again on January 3 for tests ordered by pulmonologist Roger A. Alvarez, D.O., M.P.H. Technicians Barbara Perez and Diano Sebastian skillfully conducted Bassil’s echocardiogram and CT scan, respectively.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had such thorough checkups,” Bassil said.

The awareness that The Lennar Center offers a completely new patient experience began the moment Bassil and her daughter arrived. Outside, they were met by the friendly valets, who parked their car. Inside, registration went without a hitch.

“Everybody was so warm and welcoming,” Bassil said, “and I was very impressed with the facility. It’s so new and clean — everything just sparkled. It’s a very pleasant place to go to.”

“Better accessibility to our academic-based health care services is one of our goals, and we are clearly achieving this at The Lennar Center,” said Ben Riestra, M.B.A., Chief Administrative Officer. “It is great to hear, directly from our patients, that their experience at The Lennar Center is very positive.”

And now that she has experienced The Lennar Center difference — unmatched patient care, with a wide variety of medical specialties available under one roof — Bassil promises she will be back.

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