Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Celebrates 30 Years of Saving Lives in South Florida

Grateful Patients Return to Ryder Trauma to Thank their Medical Teams


Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial, a prestigious Level I adult and pediatric trauma center, is celebrating its 30th anniversary of saving countless lives.

On August 3, 1992, Ryder Trauma opened just weeks before Hurricane Andrew devastated southern Miami-Dade County. The center, which is the designated South Florida facility to treat the president of the United States and other dignitaries, if necessary, has a rooftop helipad that can withstand the weight of a 20,000-pound Black Hawk helicopter. The helipad’s capability played a critical role after Hurricane Andrew since those who were critically injured were airlifted to Jackson on board Black Hawks.

In October 2001, the U.S. Army selected Ryder Trauma as its only Army Trauma Training Center in order to enhance the clinical skills and experience of its Forward Surgical Teams before being deployed to combat zones.

Today, Ryder Trauma treats an average of 4,000 patients a year, making it one of the busiest trauma centers in South Florida.

To honor the contributions Ryder Trauma has made in Miami-Dade and beyond, survivors are returning to the center to thank the medical staff who saved their lives. During a news conference, we will also honor the life-saving skills of the Ryder Trauma team, as well as the ongoing support provided by the trauma center’s founding benefactor, Ryder System.

Patient stories:
Grisel Carmenaty, 28
On March 24, 2022, Grisel Carmenaty, 28, was riding her moped when a distracted driver struck her, sending her flying onto another vehicle. She was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial, where she was diagnosed with a fractured femur and torn ligaments in her right knee.

While in surgery, Carmenaty suffered a massive pulmonary embolism, a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. As a result, her body began to shut down. She received cardiopulmonary support to improve her blood flow for a few days.

After a month in the hospital, Carmenaty was discharged. She continues to receive outpatient physical therapy at Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at UHealth/Jackson Memorial.

Jonathan Cruz, 32
On Father’s Day 2018, Jonathan Cruz was enjoying a day at sea with his family when a neighboring boat got stuck in a sandbar. When Cruz jumped in the water to help, things went terribly wrong – both of his legs were caught in the boat’s propeller.

Cruz was immediately rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial, where he spent 14 days in a coma. He suffered severe injuries to his right leg, gluteal muscle, bones, tissue, and rectum. Cruz remained hospitalized for four months, and underwent physical and occupational therapy. Since the accident, he has undergone more than 60 procedures.


Carlos A. Migoya, chief executive officer, Jackson Health System
David Zambrana, PhD, DNP, MBA, RN, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Jackson Health System
Robert Sanchez, chief executive officer, Ryder System, Inc.
Nicholas Namias, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCM, medical director at Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial and UHealth – University of Miami Health System trauma surgeon
Grisel Carmenaty, saved at Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial
Jonathan Cruz, saved at Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial


10 a.m. Tuesday, August 23, 2022


Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial
Room 103 – next to lobby
1800 N.W. 10th Ave.
Miami, FL 33136


Media can park in the media parking lot outside of Ryder Trauma.

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Media Contact

Lidia Amoretti
[email protected]

Media Relations Outreach

The Media Relations team works with local, national and international media and other external audiences to showcase Jackson’s physicians, staff, research and medical services. The team also responds to media inquiries on a variety of medical-related issues.

For press inquiries only, please contact:
Lidia Amoretti-Morgado
Media Relations Manager
[email protected]