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JACKSON, Miss. – Dr. John R. Mitchell of Pontotoc has been named the new director of the Mississippi Office of Physician Workforce, the organization whose duties include putting more primary care doctors to work in the state’s medically needy areas.
The Office of Mississippi Physician Workforce (OMPW) was established by House Bill 317 that was signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant on April 24, 2012. The bill, introduced by Rep. Sam Mims, created an office within the University of Mississippi Medical Center for the purpose of overseeing the physician workforce development and needs, both in numbers and distribution, for the state of Mississippi. Initiated by the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians, the introduction of such legislation was supported by the Mississippi State Medical Association and UMMC.
On signing the legislation, Gov. Bryant stated: “Tuesday I signed legislation that furthers my health care initiatives. In my inaugural address, I explained the need for Mississippi to add 1,000 physicians to its workforce by the year 2025. Expanding our state’s medical residency programs will directly increase the number of physicians who remain in Mississippi to practice. We know that new doctors generate about $2 million in economic impact in their communities, and more doctors means better health care for our citizens. Rep. Sam Mims should be commended for his work on this important legislation."
As one of the most medically underserved states in the country, Mississippi has the lowest per-capita primary care physician supply in the nation. The state has 8.3 doctors per 10,000 residents, compared to the national average of 12.8 physicians per 10,000 residents. Mississippi must add 1,330 primary care physicians to its workforce to raise its per-capita doctor count to the national average. The Office of Mississippi Physician Workforce, with its 21-member advisory board, will oversee physician workforce development needs by:
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216