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Jackson Water Crisis Impact on UMMC Operations

August 30, 2022

TO:All UMMC Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:  Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

SUBJECT: Jackson Water Crisis Impact on UMMC Operations

Yesterday evening, Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency for the City of Jackson because of the ongoing water crisis in and around the city. The quality of water being provided to residents and businesses makes it unsafe for consumption, and the water pressure has dropped to levels that can disrupt some non-potable uses, including flushing toilets.

While the main UMMC campus and the Lakeland Medical Building are served by a well-water system and there is no impact on their operations, there are UMMC locations that are adversely impacted. We are evaluating each UMMC facility where water pressure may cause it to be unsuitable for operations and will make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Where necessary, portable restrooms have been made available.

The water pressure feeding the chillers at the Jackson Medical Mall is too low for air conditioning to function properly. A water tanker is on the way and should be here later this morning, which should resolve this problem.

At this time, there is no disruption to patient care on the main campus, and clinics should continue with a normal schedule unless directed by UMMC Health System leadership. Shortly, a public communication will go out through media about how the water situation is affecting us. In that, we will encourage patients who have an appointment at a Jackson location outside of the main campus to call the clinic to check on the status of their appointment.

There are no changes to class schedules at this time.

In addition to any impact you may experience at your workplace, we understand that this situation may have an effect on your home and/or family. If you need or anticipate you may need to make arrangements because of school or child care closures or for some other reason, please discuss it with your supervisor. We do have available the UMMC Remote Work Policy, which can be used where appropriate. Direct communication from the Office of Human Resources has gone out to upline leaders to set the direction for areas under them. Unit managers should consult with their upline supervisors on how to handle the working arrangements for impacted employees.

As noted in yesterday’s campus-wide email, the main campus is under a Fire Watch until further notice because the fire suppression system is fed by the City of Jackson, and the low water pressure can prevent the system from operating as intended. Yesterday’s Fire Watch announcement can be found here.

We will provide updates and/or additional announcements as needed.

Thank you.