Published on: 09/28/2021
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has a new addition to its critical care transport fleet, thanks to the generosity of Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez, a Coral Gables-based healthcare entrepreneur and chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, LP. Fernandez donated his personal helicopter to the hospital this week to help support the care of children from the region and beyond.
The donation of the Sikorsky® S76 C+ helicopter will benefit the LifeFlight® critical care transport team at Nicklaus Children’s, which is responsible for safely transporting infants and children to Nicklaus Children’s for specialized care from local clinics and hospitals in Florida as well as the Caribbean, and South and Central America. The LifeFlight team safely transports more than 4,000 infants and children per year to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital using a fleet of six ground ambulances, an existing Sikorsky® S76 C+ helicopter and fixed-wing aircrafts.* Approximately 300 children are transported by helicopter each year to the hospital.
“The addition of this helicopter to our existing fleet as a result of Mike Fernandez’s generous contribution will transport children in need to our specialized critical care centers, which include neonatal, cardiac and pediatric critical care units,” said Matthew A. Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. “We are grateful for Mike and his continued support of the children and families we serve.”
The LifeFlight fleet is equipped with some of the most advanced life-support systems such as neonatal and pediatric ventilators, defibrillators, intubation equipment, cardio-respiratory and hemodynamic monitors, infusion devices and more in order to provide critical care management during transport. The newly donated helicopter will be outfitted with clinical equipment, and undergo specific maintenance requirements and repainting, prior to joining the LifeFlight fleet.
Fernandez has been a devoted supporter of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for many years. He previously donated $5 million to support the hospital’s trauma center, now known as the Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez Family Pediatric Trauma Center at Nicklaus Children’s. The center is one of only two pediatric trauma centers in Florida, and the only freestanding pediatric trauma center in South Florida.
*Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is not a direct air carrier. Aircraft, both helicopters and fixed wing are operated pursuant to contract with Nicklaus Children’s by companies that are FAA certified.