South Miami Hospital/Kidz Medical Services Mercury Ball

“Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Benefits Hospital’s Tiniest Patients

Kerry and Jorge Perez, M.D.
Baptist Health Foundation has been supporting excellence in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida for decades, and the organization’s recent South Miami Hospital/Kidz Medical Services Mercury Ball was no exception, raising nearly $600,000 gross to benefit the hospital’s tiniest patients and their families. The funds will help enable the hospital to fulfill its wish to equip every bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with sophisticated webcams through a program called “NowICU.” The cameras are designed to ease the anxiety of caring parents and families by allowing them to view their precious babies online when they can’t be there in-person.

Generous supporters of the gala – themed “Puttin’ on the Ritz” – included Platinum sponsor, Florida Heart Care, LLC; Gold sponsors, First National Bank of South Miami, Radiology Associates of South Florida, Intermedia Touch, and Tri-City Electric; Spirits Sponsor, Bacardi, and Wine Sponsor, Southern Wine & Spirits. The event was emceed by South Miami Hospital CEO Lincoln Mendez, and chaired by Gabriel De Armas, Jr.; Zeina and Ghassan Haddad, M.D., and Mari and Romeo Majano, M.D.

The crowd fell silent with emotion when Andreza and Enrique Battaglia Cruz and Sofia and Ryan Holtzman each shared the touching stories of their experiences with Jorge Perez, M.D., and the expert South Miami Hospital NICU clinicians and staff, who they credit with saving the lives of their once-fragile and struggling babies.

The ball also included a longtime tradition associated with the Mercury Ball: The naming of South Miami Hospital’s “Person of the Year.” This year’s honoree was Jeremy Tabak, M.D., F.A.C.P., medical director of the sleep laboratories at Baptist Hospital and Galloway, and the Pulmonary department at Mariners Hospital. Dr. Tabak also serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

To support NowICU or the many other worthy causes at Baptist Health South Florida, visit

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