Brad Clorie drove three hours from Kissimmee, Florida to attend the 100th birthday celebration of Jackson Health System on Monday—and for good reason.
“I was the first African-African born at Jackson Memorial Hospital,” Clorie said. “It’s exciting. I’m honored.”
At an event in Jackson's Alamo Park, the community honored how much the hospital has grown since its inception in 1918. Back then, Jackson was called Miami City Hospital. It only had 13 beds and a handful of employees. Now, the hospital system employs 12,000 health-care professionals full-time.
To commemorate that history, hospital leadership and community buried a time capsule with historical artifacts that represent the arc of the institution's history: a patient’s armband and prescription bottle; a doll dressed like a nurse; a surgeon’s stitching kit from 1930.
The event also celebrated the hundreds of employees with free food, photo booths, and massages.
Lourdes Barquin has worked at Jackson for 31 years. She noted that while the technology at the hospital has advanced over time, its mission remains the same: taking care of patients.
She recalled an moment when a former patient approached her 10 years after their initial meeting. The patient reminded her that she'd found a strange lump in her breast, and Barquin scheduled her an appointment at the Jackson Breast Health Center.
“[She said] thanks to you I’m alive, because it was breast cancer. And I received my treatment and my chemo and so forth. She keep thanking me saying ‘thank you thank you,’” Barquin said. “So those kinds of things are very rewarding.”