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Published in CenterView on June 14, 2010

Mirror Lake move brings women's specialty clinic closer to community

By Patrice Sawyer Guilfoyle

The ZIP code may have changed but the expertise remains the same at University Physicians-Women's Specialty Care in Flowood. Last month, women's specialty services - including maternal-fetal medicine, pediatric gynecology, urogynecology and gynecologic oncology - moved to the Mirror Lake building off Lakeland Drive.

Dr. Rodney Meeks, interim chair of obstetrics and gynecology, said specialized care for women is the focus of this clinic.

"We're also trying to emphasize treatment for vulvar disease, reproductive tract abnormalities and menopause complaints that don't respond to usual therapies. All of which are a little bit more specialized than general obstetrics and gynecology," Meeks said.

Owens, left, at University Physicians-Women's Specialty Care in Flowood
Owens, left, at University Physicians-Women's Specialty Care in Flowood

Glass screens divide the spacious waiting room decorated in greens and browns. Pendant lights in various hues hang over the registration desk and nurses' stations. The welcoming decor is designed to reflect the quality of care patients expect.

Patients who had been accustomed to coming to the Medical Center campus for appointments are familiar with the new location, and physicians have adapted their schedules to coordinate outpatient care with inpatient services.

The Mirror Lake clinic allows women's specialty care to be under one roof and closer to the referring physicians in the community to build collaboration and communication.

"We are very optimistic for what this will do for our department," said Dr. Michelle Owens, assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology, "because it offers us an opportunity to truly get out in the community that we serve and provide the full range of services traditionally found in the hospital setting."

Dana Habers, chief operating officer of UP, said the Mirror Lake location enables physicians to reach more patients and to improve the level of service University of Mississippi Health Care provides.

"Having this dedicated space for the women in our community encourages their continuity of care, and their sense of security and stability in a health-care system that can go from basic annual exams to complicated pregnancy and postpartum services," she said.

The Women's Health Clinic, which provides general obstetrics and gynecology care, is in the process of moving to Mirror Lake. The clinic will be there temporarily until the opening of University Physicians-Grants Ferry in July.

By having an off-site clinic, Owens said maternal-fetal medicine has tried to stratify the acuity of patients so that those who need procedures at or near term can come to the hospital.

Overall, Owens is pleased with the move.

"We have fantastic subspecialists here who have essentially been sequestered in the hospital," she said. "I think as the Medical Center is changing and we are reaching out to partner more with the community, this falls right in line with that mission."