Vision Becomes Reality as Plaza Health Network Breaks Ground for University Plaza “Aging-In-Place” Life Care Community Campus

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New campus in Miami-Dade County will help seniors “age-in-place” by offering access to vital health care services including award winning rehab therapy and skilled nursing care, key factors in keeping older people healthy, fit and independent.

University Plaza Architectural Rendering

“University Plaza and our Aging-In-Place Campus will provide a range of much-needed services to help people age in place within our community, with dignity and grace.

The concept of aging-in-place – people aging comfortably and securely in the same place, with services becoming available as needed – has immense appeal for seniors.

On October 28, 2011, ground will be broken for a new facility for residents of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. University Plaza Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center will be a 148-bed facility with private and semi-private rooms, hospital-quality rehabilitation therapy and skilled nursing care, all part of Plaza Health Network’s “Aging-in-Place” Life Care Community Campus, a unique affiliation between Plaza Health Network, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami-Dade County.

“Aging-in-place is an idea whose time has come,” says Dr. William Zubkoff, President and CEO, Plaza Health Network, a not-for-profit organization operating eight award-winning rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers in Miami-Dade County. “Our challenge is to help people age with dignity and as much independence as possible. This can’t always be done at home, but it can be done in a homelike environment. Providing seniors with the rehab and skilled nursing services they need at each stage of the aging process, all in the same surroundings, will allow them to be independent as long as they can be and as healthy as they can be.”

University Plaza will feature a world-class Rehabilitation Pavilion offering physical, occupational and speech therapy on both an in-patient and out-patient basis. Patients will have access to state-of-the-art equipment, including a therapy pool with an underwater treadmill, the new Tibion™ Bionic Leg and other high-tech rehabilitation tools.


Services and facilities will be available to campus residents and members of the local community. One emphasis will be on preventative rehab to help Boomers and Zoomers maintain an active lifestyle while reducing their risk of injury. “Today’s seniors are committed to staying active,” says Roosevelt Moore, Regional Director of Rehabilitation at Plaza Health Network. “Rehab therapy helps them avoid falls, improve balance, and build strength and endurance – important factors in aging. Our goal is to provide people with the services and tools they need to stay healthy, fit and independent.”

In addition to University Plaza, the campus will include Jackson Plaza (another Plaza Health Network, JCAHO Accredited, 5-star rehabilitation and skilled nursing center), an independent living facility, an assisted living center, and an Alzheimer’s center. In the heart of the health district, the Plaza Health Network’s “Aging-In-Place” Life Care Community Campus is adjacent to Jackson Memorial Hospital, The University of Miami Center on Aging, The University of Miami Hospital, The Diabetes Research Center, The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and The Parkinson Foundation.

“University Plaza will be two blocks away from us,” says Dr. Diana Cardenas, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Chief of Service and Medical Director for Rehabilitation at Jackson Memorial Hospital; and a Director of Rehabilitative Medicine at Plaza Health Network. ”This is all part of the medical campus in my mind. I see this as a natural fit for us. There is amazing equipment and an amazing physical therapy group here,” she says. “That’s the first thing I noticed when I started coming here.”


University Plaza will create a significant number of jobs. Building this facility will generate employment in the construction industry. When completed, University Plaza will provide permanent employment to hundreds of staff, including nurses, nursing assistants, physiotherapists, nutritionists, social workers and support staff.

“University Plaza and our Aging-In-Place Campus are win-win concepts,” says Dr Zubkoff. “These facilities will provide a range of much-needed services to help people age in place within our community, with dignity and grace. At the same time, they will provide employment for health professionals and support staff. Everybody benefits.”

For more information, please contact Ilene Zweig, Vice President, Development & Communications, Plaza Health Network, (305) 297- 6863, or visit


Plaza Health Network has a long and admirable history. What began in 1954 as a 12-bed convalescent home for WWII veterans and Jewish elderly, has evolved into the largest not-for-profit network of Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Centers in Miami-Dade County, with over 1,000 beds in 8 centers…and growing. We serve the whole community with a staff of professionals who are as diverse as our residents. Our rehabilitation and skilled nursing services include, but are not limited to, post-operative care and rehabilitation, stroke care and rehabilitation, diabetes care and management, Alzheimer’s care, wound care, and orthopedic rehab therapy. Languages spoken at our centers include English, Spanish, Creole, French and Russian.


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Ilene Zweig
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