December Giving and Growing

The Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower is shown in this nighttime time-lapse photo.
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Dream come true: Sanderson Tower now open

Published on Tuesday, December 8, 2020


Years of design and construction paired with the generosity of philanthropists across the state have made the dream of a state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Mississippi come true.

The Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower opened to patient care on Nov. 2, changing forever the level of pediatric care offered to Mississippi children.

Across disciplines, the Children’s of Mississippi team worked together to open the children’s hospital expansion, moving 12 critically ill children to the pediatric intensive care floor on Nov. 3 and 67 babies and their parents to private neonatal intensive care rooms on Nov. 4.

By the end of November, more than 130 operations wereperformed inside the tower’s dozen advanced surgical suites. In itspediatric imaging center, as many as 220 children had MRI andCT scans. More than 1,000 children received expert care at theSanderson Tower’s outpatient specialty clinic.

“We now have a children’s hospital that is second to none and a facility that will be a place of hope and healing for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair and professor and chair of pediatrics.

The tower, named for Joe Sanderson Jr., Sanderson Farms CEO and board chair, and his wife, Kathy, joins the Blair E. Batson Tower, named for UMMC’s first pediatrics chair, to form the state’s only children’s hospital.

“The opening of this new facility means that the highest level of care will be there for the children of our state and for children yet to be born,” Joe Sanderson said via video during the Oct. 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new tower.

Kathy Sanderson added, “It’s thrilling to think that patients and their families are coming through the doorway to the hospital to receive the care they need. Joe and I could not be more excited about this facility and couldn’t be any prouder of the medical team that are treating children there.”

While the Sanderson Tower has opened, the Campaign forChildren’s of Mississippi, the philanthropic drive to help fund the expansion, is still underway. The effort, started by the Sandersons in 2016 with a personal gift of $10 million, has raised almost 85 percent of its $100 million goal so far.