Aug 23, 2021
From the moment you step off the plane in Greater Miami, you can feel a vitality and youthful energy like nowhere else. With its warm sunshine, sensual tropical breezes, soothing crystal blue waters, serene spas, creative energy, and Latin rhythms that inspire, Greater Miami and Miami Beach is a place people come to heal their body and soul.
Perhaps this is part of the reason behind Miami’s recent emergence as a global magnet for medical meetings and tourism. Some of the world’s most cutting-edge medical facilities, research programs and physicians have all played a role in why people from all over the world travel here – either to get healthy or learn how to restore wellbeing in patients.
These things, coupled with a tropical, cosmopolitan setting, abundant healthy dining options, limitless outdoor recreation, rousing nightlife, international airport, diverse accommodations and multilingual community have inspired many leisure and business travelers to come time and again. Many of these travelers, as well as top-notch physicians, now call Miami home.
University of Miami
UHealth, the University of Miami Health System is South Florida’s university-based healthcare system, and is world-renowned for its groundbreaking research, medical education, and patient care delivered by some of the world’s best doctors. Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine conduct more than 1,600 studies that lead to clinical trials that change the lives of patients, worldwide. UHealth’s healthcare network includes the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the University of Miami Ear Institute, the Diabetes Research Institute, Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Lennar Medical Center, among others. These state-of-the-art medical facilities offer a range of medical services to local and international patients, provided by more than 1,500 physicians. UHealth’s International Medicine Institute supports thousands of patients who travel to Miami every year, covering needs from emergency air travel, financial clearance, assistance with visa letters, executive physicals and others, provided by dedicated, multilingual international coordinators.
Jackson Health System
As the teaching facility for the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital is the centerpiece of Jackson Health System, a nonprofit academic medical system offering world-class care to any person who walks through its doors. Its Ryder Trauma Center has been verified as a Level 1 trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and is the only Level 1 trauma center verified by the ACS Committee on Trauma in Miami-Dade County.
Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is one of the largest children’s hospitals in the Southeast U.S. and is among the nation’s top children’s hospitals, per the U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. Holtz has earned the coveted distinction of becoming an Accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute by The Healthcare Colloquium – the first in Florida and the eighth in the nation to earn this distinction. The Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Holtz is the only university-based program in South Florida, whose doctors can provide a transplant for any condition that requires this treatment.
Another center for excellence at UM is The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, founded with the help of Barth A. Green, M.D., and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti to honor Nick’s son Marc, who sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. The center features a premier investigative research program, conducting cutting-edge discovery, translational and clinical investigations targeting spinal cord and brain injuries. Since its inception, research at The Miami Project has changed the landscape of knowledge and therapeutic strategies for spinal cord and traumatic brain injury.
Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida, the region’s largest not-for-profit health care organization, manages several Greater Miami hospitals, such as Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, South Miami Hospital, Mariner’s Hospital, Homestead Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital. The latter is affiliated with Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, housing an accredited family practice residency program on campus.
Baptist’s International Center of Miami is one of the largest hospital-based international programs in the country, featuring multilingual staff trained to personally assist patients with medical and travel needs. The organization has a $430 million, state-of-the-art Miami Cancer Institute, which aims to alter the future of cancer care with its Proton Therapy Center. One of the most exciting advances in the fight against cancer, proton therapy targets only the cancerous areas of the body, sparing healthy tissue and eliminating many of the side effects of conventional radiation. The center, which opened in fall of 2017, is the only facility of its kind in the region and one of only 14 in the United States.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Another luminary on the pediatric care scene is Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children. It boasts more pediatric subspecialty programs routinely ranked among the nation’s best than any other regional hospital. Highly acclaimed physicians representing more than 40 pediatric subspecialties are located within the hospital’s main campus, where they collaborate to provide comprehensive and innovative medical care to serve children with the most complex health challenges. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. To ensure optimal care and ease of access for international children and their families, the hospital’s Global Health Services department offers coordinated, comprehensive service.
Top-Notch Meeting Facilities
In addition to conference space within many of the above medical facilities, Miami’s convention centers offer the ideal setting for the meeting of medical minds.
Located a short drive from most medical facilities and just blocks from the beach and Art Deco hotels, Miami Beach Convention Center houses some of the world’s largest events and festivals and is a convenient setting for trade shows and conventions.
A $592-million LEED-certified reimagination of the center was completed, adding 500,000-square-feet of exhibit space, 81 breakout rooms and a new 60,000-square-foot ballroom. Everything about the Convention Center is cutting edge – down to its cyber and surgical knives.
Closer to UM and Baptist facilities are two other major conference centers. The Miami Convention Center, located beside the Hyatt Regency Miami and walking distance to Bayside Marketplace as well as Brickell City Center and The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, is one of the community’s most functional meeting, exhibit and entertainment venues. Designed to maximize convenience and flexibility, the center offers 34 well-appointed Miami meeting rooms, including a 444-seat auditorium and a 117-seat lecture hall, and can accommodate from 20 to 5,000 attendees in a variety of configurations. The recently redesigned Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) is located adjacent to Miami International Airport, adjoining the Doubletree Hotel and the Miami International Merchandise Mart. Minutes from downtown Miami, the MACC features 172,000-square-feet of high-tech meeting, conference and trade show space, including a 29,000-square-foot social catering ballroom (second largest in the region) and 100,000-square-feet of exhibition and function space.
Engage with Innovative Physicians
Miami offers many opportunities for medical meeting delegates to go beyond lectures about the newest techniques in their fields. No matter what type of physician you are looking to learn from or be treated by, Miami’s medical centers boast an impressive array of global leaders in medical care and research.
Rest Your Head
An important part of healing is getting deep, restful sleep. Miami offers over 60,000 hotel rooms for all styles and budgets where you can rest after your meeting or procedure. From iconic beach, urban, spa and golf resorts to trendy boutique hotels, many offer amenities tailored to guests who travel to Miami for medical procedures, as well as their traveling companions.
Such amenities include specialized bedding, dining options and services such as dedicated medical-tourism-friendly concierges who act as a single point of contact for all pre- and post-stay needs. Long-term stay rates are offered at some properties, as well as on-site wheelchairs and private transportation to and from medical centers. Spa programs are also offered at many hotels, from full-service spas to in-room treatments, bringing additional serenity to the stay and enhancing healing.
Top health resorts include Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, a luxurious wellness destination at the footsteps of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches; and Pritikin Longevity Center, a leading evidence-based, lifestyle change health resort adjacent to The Trump National Resort. Other hotels providing dedicated medical-tourism-health/wellness services, access to beaches and on-site spa therapy include The Palms Hotel Miami Beach, Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach, Grand Beach Hotel Miami Beach, Grand Beach Hotel Surfside, and Kimpton Hotels among others.
After a long medical meeting or procedure, and a good, long rest in the peace and quiet of your hotel, Miami’s playful, diverse entertainment options can be just what the doctor ordered. The right prescription is up the individual.
Perhaps the best medicine for you is something serene with your spouse, such as a spa day, or watching the sunset from a rooftop lounge as you sip organic herbal tea and your partner savors an ice-cold mojito. If you or your family are up for something more active, a lovely way to explore Miami is atop its healing waters. Depending on your preferred speed, you can paddleboard, parasail or even jet ski on sparkling Biscayne Bay, or glide in a kayak or canoe in the Everglades and Biscayne National Park. Or perhaps what you need is a little retail therapy, one of the number one hobbies in Miami. And why not? In our South Beach boutiques and upscale Miami malls, you and your companions can find fashions and accessories from Paris, Milan, New York and São Paulo.
You can also find comforting gourmet food from every corner of the world, from high-end fusion eateries to hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants. Give your feet a rest and perch yourself on a chair at an alfresco table, order a virgin or high-octane cocktail and watch an endless parade of fascinating people from all over the world on Lincoln Road, Española Way and Ocean Drive.
For those needing a more cerebral “drug,” Miami offers an amazing array of captivating art galleries, edgy art districts including Wynwood and the Miami Design District and renowned performing arts venues, such as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami, second in size only to the Kennedy Center.
Getting Here Stat!
Miami International Airport’s strategic location and expansive roster of global airlines make it relatively quick and easy to get here from many places across the globe. The airport offers approximately 97 international and 53 non-stop domestic flights daily on more than 100 airlines, as well as more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airport in the nation. Modernized infrastructure and streamlined accessibility to and from the airport are designed to make hosting an event in Miami as easy and headache-free as possible.
Winning Medical Meeting Planning Team
The medical meeting planning team at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) aims to take the pain out of planning. As a frequent winner of the Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine’s “Award of Excellence,” the GMCVB team can do CPR on “been there, done that” medical meetings and help make them extraordinary.
GMCVB helps planners manage the process of planning an unforgettable medical event. Such events in the past decade have included the American Academy of Dermatology, which met for the first in time in 2010 and returned in 2013 with rebooking plans set for 2023. The Cardiovascular Research Foundation, impressed by Miami’s high-tech facilities, also met here with great success a few years ago.
Planners looking for support in creating the best medical meeting can take advantage of GMCVB’s complimentary services and get started immediately with a free planning guide. They can also submit an RFP at http://planners.miamiandbeaches.com/submit-rfp.
Medical Tourism Information
For those who’d like to get healed and inspired by our destination’s youthful vitality, as well as our astounding concentration of award-winning facilities and innovative doctors, go to www.MiamiHealthCare.org for more information.
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an independent not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions. For a vacation guide, visit our website at www.MiamiAndBeaches.com or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000. Meeting Planners may call 1-800-933-8448 (US/Canada only) or 305-539-3071 or visit www.MiamiMeetings.com.