What a Night(ingale) – UMMC nurses achieve statewide stardom

What a Night(ingale) – UMMC nurses achieve statewide stardom

As she watched five nurses from the University of Mississippi Medical Center receive awards during the 10th annual Nightingale Awards Gala March 2, Terri Gillespie, UMMC chief nursing executive and chief nursing officer of University Hospital, couldn't help but feel honored herself.

"I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with the exceptional nurses we have at UMMC," Gillespie said after the event at the Marriott in downtown Jackson. "The pride only continues to grow."

That night, Gillespie joined more than 500 nursing professionals who witnessed officials from the Mississippi Nurses Association and the Mississippi Nurses Foundation present top awards to the state's best nurses.

Three of the recipients work in the Emergency Department of Batson Children's Hospital: Denise Adams, who won the ceremony's top honor, the Nurse of Distinction Award (formerly the Nurse of the Year Award); Adyn Dancy, who won the Nurse Rookie of the Year Award; and Dennis Demesa, who won the Inpatient Clinical Practice Nurse of the Year Award. Joy Akanji, nurse educator in University Hospital, received the Nurse in a Non-traditional Setting of the Year Award, and Dr. James R. Polson, director of clinical CT surgery, pediatric and congenital heart surgery, received the Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year Award.

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Turning up the volume: Patient numbers reaching all-time highs

The good news: University Hospital is seeing a steady increase in patient volume, both in admissions and outpatient treatment. Ditto for clinic visits and Emergency Department traffic.

The challenge: Health-care workers, both clinical and nonclinical, must use available manpower, space and resources to continue providing quality care to patients as University Hospital stays at or near capacity.

"For July through December, we've seen steadily increasing volume in the Emergency Department, inpatient admissions, and other visits," said Dr. Alan Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

In fact, through December 2014, the University of Mississippi Medical Center had recorded a 9 percent hike in inpatient admissions during the previous year, said Kevin Cook, CEO of University Hospitals and Health System.

"I firmly believe that the community votes with its feet," Cook said. "When more people come in your door, I see that as a vote of confidence.

"It's a nice problem to have."

In a January memo to the UMMC family, Dr. LouAnn Woodward said the Medical Center is analyzing the full spectrum of hospital capacity.

In recent months, "we have seen increased patient volumes in nearly every patient care setting, exceeding volume levels previously experienced," said Woodward, who succeeded Dr. James Keeton as vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school on March 1. "For a variety of reasons, however, the increased volumes have created capacity issues.

"We have experienced capacity and flow challenges in all areas of the hospital, including ICUs, inpatient units, operating rooms and the Emergency Department."

Those increases in volume are straining the system, Jones and Woodward said.

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Turning up the volume: Patient numbers reaching all-time highs

Visionary woman, clinical mentor earn distinction

Visionary woman, clinical mentor earn distinction

The Women's Foundation of Mississippi and the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation each recently recognized a member of the Medical Center faculty for distinguished service.

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Maryland pediatrician, UMMC alum join Medical Center faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

 

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Maryland pediatrician, UMMC alum join Medical Center faculty
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