Perri Young, M.D., was born at South Miami Hospital. Throughout her childhood, she watched her parents work at Baptist Health facilities — her father, Jerrold, as a surgeon; her mom, Joanne, as a nurse in the intensive care unit. Today, her own busy practice in internal medicine is based in an office she shares with her husband, plastic surgeon Sean Simon, M.D., just a stone’s throw from the hospital.
It’s no wonder Dr. Young, one of the founding Board members of the Young Philanthropists of Baptist Health, is so passionate about supporting the healthcare organization. But it’s not the role of Baptist Health in her family’s past that inspires her. It’s what it may mean in her family’s future. And yours, too.
“I am grateful for how Baptist Health has been there for my patients and for how it sustains the community,” Dr. Young said. “We are so lucky to have such an excellent, progressive and comprehensive group of facilities where we can seek and receive the highest quality of medical care.
The Young Philanthropists of Baptist Health, also known as YPBH, brings together individuals like Dr. Young who want to support enhancements and expansions at Baptist Health. The group, now 222 individuals strong, welcomes members as young as 21. The upper age is 49.
YPBH is a way for members to widen their professional and personal circles through networking events, both social and educational. The group was a perfect fit for YPBH Board Chair Hatem Zayed, M.D. “I’m an anesthesiologist at South Miami Hospital and giving back to the community through home — Baptist Health — sounded perfect.” He hopes the group “becomes a no-brainer venue for any young professional” — those who are looking to give back, as well as those who may think they don’t have the time or lifestyle to become actively involved.
About a third of the YPBH members are physicians, and the rest come from all segments of the community. Because of distance, Mariners Hospital has its own chapter in the Upper Keys. Neither Heather Sosler, Ph.D., nor her husband is a physician, but they take their involvement in YPBH very seriously.
“It’s one of those things that is very close to my heart,” said Dr. Sosler, a neuropsychologist at the University of Miami. She feels very connected to Baptist because her father, Barry Katzen, M.D., is the founder and medical director of Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute. But, as in the case of Dr. Young, it is more than family history that inspires her; it’s the idea that her contribution can make a difference. “I have seen how difficult it is to navigate the system, even when you have connections and resources,” she said. “I am so grateful that when we have needed it, people have reached out to us.
I want to be able to do that for someone else.” Her husband, Neil Sosler, a wealth manager, is happy to dedicate his efforts to healthcare. “Both of our kids were born at Baptist. My parents were cared for at Baptist,” he said. “I’ve lived in many places, and I’ve seen healthcare in its many different forms, and I can tell you that Baptist Health is a very well-run place. When you are there, you can see it. You can feel it.” The Soslers recently hosted an event at their home to attract new members. To join YPBH, members make a donation to Baptist Health Foundation — $500, $1,000 or $2,500 annually, depending on their age.
The contributions are pooled to support an annual project selected by the members. This year’s cause is South Miami Hospital’s Adolescent Bariatric Program. “Most of us have children, so the focus on childhood obesity is very relevant for us,” Dr. Young said. Past contributions from YPBH supported the creation of Baptist Health’s new patient safety simulation lab, where doctors and nurses can practice responding to medical emergencies by using advanced electronic dummies. Vicky Lopez-Beecham, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist who serves as the lab’s medical director, said the simulation program is the kind of training usually seen only in leading academic settings. And it would not have been possible without the support of YPBH members.
“They’re young, they’re tech savvy, and this group really ‘got it.’ They saw the potential of what technology could do,” said Dr. Lopez-Beecham, who joined the group when she witnessed what the pooling of resources could accomplish. “What a powerful thing, to have such an impact. Individually, none of us is necessarily in the position to support a program like this. But together, look what we can do.”