Coral Gables Hospital CEO, killed in murder-suicide, remembered as a ‘bright light’

Maria Cristina Jimenez was hailed for her leadership skills. Police said her husband fatally shot her and then took his own life.

Maria Cristina Jimenez worked in healthcare for 30 years before becoming the chief executive officer of Coral Gables Hospital, and she was well-respected.

Jimenez, 61, was killed Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving, in a murder-suicide, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department. Police said her husband, Antonio Mazzorana, 62, fatally shot her inside their home before taking his own life, The Miami Herald reported. The Herald, citing law enforcement sources, said Mazzorana may have been struggling with mental health issues.

Rebeca Sosa, chairwoman of the Coral Gables Hospital board, told The Miami Herald that Jimenez was a popular leader.

“Everybody loved her,” Sosa told the Herald. “Anyone who would call Cristina to help someone, she would always be there.”

Joshua Putter, president of the South Florida region for Steward Health Care, which owns Coral Gables Hospital, said the organization is “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our colleague and friend, Cristina,” the South Florida Business Journal reported.

“She was an integral part of our hospital and community,” Putter said. “She was a leader, colleague, friend, and bright light who will be missed every day. We extend our condolences and prayers to the family, and we all mourn with them."

Jimenez rose to the CEO position at Coral Gables Hospital in 2017, according to the South Florida Hospital News. She had previously been the chief operating officer of the 245-bed acute care hospital.

The organization praised Jimenez for her work in helping the hospital earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total hip and total knee replacements.

When Jimenez was elevated to the CEO position, Sosa called her “an exceptional leader who has dedicated her entire career to the health and well-being of our patients and has worked hard to create a workplace environment that allows employees to thrive.”

Marsha Powers, then-CEO of Tenet Healthcare’s east Florida hospitals, said Jimenez was “perfect to lead Coral Gables because of her commitment to the hospital and her continued perseverance to deliver expert care to our community.”

Steward Health Care said Jose Molliner will serve as interim hospital president. Steward acquired Coral Gables and four other Florida hospitals from Tenet in 2021.

In a 2019 interview with Becker’s Hospital Review, Jimenez said her father and grandfather both worked in healthcare and were a strong influence on her. She also talked about her love of cooking and the joy of recently becoming a grandmother.

“I have always been passionate about healthcare,” she said in the interview. “Even from a young age, I wanted to help people and make sure I made a difference in their lives. When patients are hospitalized, it can be a vulnerable moment in their lives and being able to help people gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline.