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Heart for service + love of people = volunteers of the year

Heart for service + love of people = volunteers of the year

They don't do it for the free parking, and they don't do it for the meal voucher. They don't do it for the chance to rock that fashionable blue apron. They do it for the people.

Volunteers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, whether at Batson, Wiser or Conerly, give of their time to touch lives and make a difference in a patient's day.

Volunteers may serve as patient navigators, greeting new patients in their rooms. They might don the hat of courier and deliver mail or flowers to a patient's room. Whether volunteers serve as a liaison to a patient's family, man a desk or host bingo night, they are appreciated.

Three volunteers were recognized at the reception honoring UMMC's Volunteers of the Year, held in the volunteer services office on Friday, Nov. 13. From the Jackson campus were Jeanette Winstead and Sarah Barrow. Florine Lewis is Volunteer of the Year for UMMC Holmes County in Lexington.

Jeanette Winstead lives with her husband, Jack, near the Ross Barnett Reservoir and has been volunteering for two years in the PICU waiting room. She retired from working 20 years as administrative assistant to the late Honorable Charles Clark, who served as a federal judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“I was retired for some time, and I just wanted to do something that I thought made a difference,” said Winstead. She sees volunteering as “an opportunity to love on people when they are in some of the worst situations.”

Winstead frequently plays the role of parent liaison, letting the parents know when visitors arrive in the waiting room while they are in the unit with their children. “It is heartbreaking at times, but you feel like you might do a little good for someone.”

Winstead and her husband also volunteer for Friends of Mississippi Veterans, visiting nursing homes for veterans in Mississippi.

Sarah Barrow, from Madison, is a sophomore at Mississippi College who heard about the volunteer program through a friend. “Service is one of my passions, so I felt volunteering would be a great outlet for me to serve others.”

Barrow plans to pursue a nursing career in the future and felt the hospital environment would be ideal to gain experience. She volunteers in several departments, including greeting visitors to the emergency department, answering the phone in pharmacy administration, assisting with administrative duties in human resources and visiting patients in the Within Reach program.

Barrow said that volunteering has taught her the importance of collaboration within the hospital network and how to better communicate and interact with people.

“I have had the opportunity to create relationships with the employees who I have volunteered for, as well as the other volunteers I have served with,” said Barrow. “The employees radiate a positive and dedicated spirit, which has encouraged me and, I am sure, all those around them.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as a volunteer, for the encouragement I have received from the Volunteer Services staff, and for the opportunity to be in such a learning environment.”

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SOD dean candidate's focus: collaborative leadership, dentistry's future

SOD dean candidate's focus: collaborative leadership, dentistry's future

Dr. Janet Southerland is all about community, collaboration and 21st century dentistry.

The professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry spoke with students, faculty and staff Thursday night in a town hall meeting on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Southerland is one of two remaining candidates in the search for dean of the UMMC School of Dentistry.

She opened the meeting by describing the SOD as a “flagship for oral health care in the state of Mississippi as well as the region.” Southerland said she will endeavor to bring innovation and new ideas to the profession of dentistry and is enthusiastic about how technology should be incorporated into the education process to train “dentists of the future.” 

Topics that were brought up during the question and answer session included school culture, class size, accreditation, fundraising and RVUs, and Southerland addressed them all.

She categorized her leadership approach as collaborative and engaging. “I think that in order to get to the place you need to, you have to have a variety of people providing input,” said Southerland. “You have to ask the questions and give people the opportunity to provide ideas.”

Class size can be a hot topic when it comes to the School of Dentistry. Southerland feels that a larger class can better meet the needs of the state in terms of education, research and public health. The needs of the state are not strictly for the school to graduate clinicians, she said.

“There is a need to train a different cadre of providers,” said Southerland. “We need scholars and educators. We need researchers. We need a broad spectrum of individuals, and we are going to have to recruit different types of students to fill those roles.

Southerland said that before increasing class size, the first step must be to evaluate the infrastructure to ensure that the space, faculty and other resources are in place to support an increased student population.

When considering the value of faculty practice, Southerland said one must not overlook that UMMC is an educational institution. Teaching, service, research and other scholarly activity should be associated with the Relative Value Unit (RVU) - a measure of productivity - rather than revenue only. “If the only thing that is tied to an RVU is a dollar, you are going to get exactly what you're asking for.”

Southerland said she feels it's important for the SOD to have a seat at the table as part of the Medical Center administration.

“I think that if you are not at the table, you are not going to be heard. And if you are not in the room, nobody's going to miss you,” said Southerland. “It's very important that the school have a place at the table in the different committees where decisions are made about financing, about changing structures or revising policies and procedures. 

“When that happens, you get a much better result, a more robust response.”

To watch the full video of Dr. Southerland's town hall meeting, click here. To give feedback about this candidate, click here.

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Extra staff, efficiency make for shorter ED waits

After patients arrive at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Emergency Department, they'll see a physician, on average, within 20 minutes.

That's well below the national rate of 32 minutes at hospitals with “very high” patient volume, meaning 60,000-plus people come through their emergency rooms per year. At UMMC, that number is about 70,000, said Dr. Alan Jones, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

That wait-time statistic comes not just from how many people crowd the ED at a particular time, but through hard work and forward-thinking by Jones and his staff. It's part of an ongoing effort to decrease ED wait times, and to improve efficiency so that throughput of patients will yield better patient care and best use of both hospital and ED beds.

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Extra staff, efficiency make for shorter ED waits

Departure lounge new amenity for discharged patients

Departure lounge new amenity for discharged patients

When inpatients in the University of Mississippi Medical Center are well enough to leave, they're ready to go home - but sometimes, their transportation is late or not yet arranged.

A new feature at the Medical Center, however, is giving many discharged patients a comfortable and convenient option as they wait. It's called a departure lounge, and the need for it arose from the large number of patients - about 40 percent - who wait two or more hours for their rides, said Cissy Lee, nurse manager for orthopaedics.

“About 48 percent of our patients reside outside a 50-mile radius,” Lee said. And when patients must wait for rides, their beds aren't available for those waiting to be admitted, whether for scheduled procedures or those being admitted through the Emergency Department. Patients leaving the Medical Center's post-anesthesia care unit and operating rooms also need placement in a bed, Lee said.

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Fall faculty meeting, SOD dean candidate talk top weekly agenda

A number of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming week at the Medical Center.

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Fall faculty meeting, SOD dean candidate talk top weekly agenda
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