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

Ryan and Sofia Holtzman, with Sonny and Lani Holtzman

Hope and Jack Ziffer, M.D., PhD, EVP and Chief Medical Officer of Baptist Health

America and Lincoln Mendez, CEO of South Miami Hospital

Jeremy Tabak, M.D., and Yerby Barker

Wayne Brackin, chief operating officer of Baptist Health, and Shaida Brackin, with Veronica and Pedro Flores

Rudy Kranys and Lois Russell

Romeo Majano, M.D., and Mari Majano

Albert Tano, M.D., and Debbie Tano

Kathy White and Bill Wonfor

Yara Haddad, with Zeina and Ghassan Haddad, M.D.

Maria Morales-Gonzalez and Sergio Gonzalez-Arias, M.D.

Yvonne Johnson, M.D., and Charles Philips

Charles and Gabriella Miller

Martha and John Rock

Susan and Michael Meister, M.D.

Danette Gossett and Warren Whisenant

Heather Denis and Dean Rotchin

John and Nancy Acebal

Miguel Gonzalez and Isabel Martinez

Carlos Granja, M.D., and Elise Granja, M.D.

Jorge Rabaza, M.D., and Vicky Rabaza

Alysa Herman and Scott Weston

Detective Judy Webb and David Sanford, representing American Medical Response

Leslie and Joseph Buchanan

Guillermo Pol, M.D., and Aguida Pol

Cristy and Felipe Frias

Wesley and Marcia Rami

Sylvia and Steven Kang