In 1986, Mike De Cardenas, MD was working for a rehab institute in Coral Gables, FL. when he was approached by one of his patients who told him how he admired him and the work that he did. The patient then asked the aspiring and successful Dr. De Cardenas a question: what would you do if you had the opportunity, capital and support? Dr. De Cardenas responded that he envisioned a rehabilitation hospital that serves the people in Miami Dade County and the culture that is Miami.
Looking back, that’s how it all started–from one patient’s simple question. Dr. De Cardenas wanted to build a rehab hospital whereby the quality of care exceeded the patient’s expectations while creating a place where patients also feel at home.
This dream became a reality and with this, West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital was designed. At its core, it is and will forever be a family oriented rehabilitation hospital which challenges the general standard of care. The feeling of family orientation is instilled in each of its staff members, many of which have been working at West Gables since day one.
Noris Hernandez, kitchen supervisor, is one of those employees. “Since day one, I feel very happy with my work place; I’ve seen that the more time passes by, the better this Hospital gets,” Hernandez said. Long-time receptionist, Carmen Rodriguez agree. “West Gables for me, is my family and my home; I feel very happy to be a part of the West Gables family,” Rodriguez said.
Since its opening on October 1st, 1988, Dr. De Cardenas, who beside being the founder, was also the hospital’s first medical director has said that although the hospital and the medical environment has seen its fair of changes during the 25 years, the care and culture that is present and unique to West Gables will only remain a constant.
Fun Fact: How the Hospital acquired its name?
Dr. De Cardenas originally wanted to name the hospital Coral Gables Rehabilitation Hospital. However, the city rejected the request. When Dr. De Cardenas asked the city officials where the hospital is located, they answered that it is actually west of Coral Gables. He then proposed and received approval for the name West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital.