November CONSULT

Main Content

Pediatricians sound off on Sanderson Tower’s expanded services

Published on Sunday, November 1, 2020

By: Annie Oeth, aoeth@umc.edu

With the opening of the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi this month, an addition to the state’s only children’s hospital, Mississippi’s pediatricians have more University of Mississippi Medical Center resources than ever for their patients.

Portrait of Anita Henderson
Henderson

“These new facilities will allow Children’s of Mississippi to care for patients with a more family-centered approach utilizing private NICU and PICU rooms,” said Dr. Anita Henderson, president-elect of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Hattiesburg Clinic pediatrician.

The seven-story Sanderson Tower opened Nov. 2 for patient care. Named for Joe Sanderson, Sanderson Farms CEO and board chair, and his wife, Kathy, the tower joins the Blair E. Batson Tower, named for UMMC’s first chair of pediatrics, to compose the children’s hospital.

Jessica Carter of Jackson plays with daughter Lyndsey Lee Carter in one of the new private NICU rooms in the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children's of Mississippi.
Jessica Carter of Jackson plays with daughter Lyndsey Lee Carter in one of the new private NICU rooms in the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children's of Mississippi.

Inside the Sanderson Tower, parents can stay with their babies as they grow stronger, thanks to two floors of private neonatal intensive care rooms. The tower also includes 32 private pediatric intensive care rooms, a dozen state-of-the-art surgical suites, a pediatric imaging center and an outpatient specialty clinic for follow-up care. These features complement the inpatient floors at the Batson Tower.

Henderson said the new Sanderson Tower means Children’s of Mississippi, a trusted ally in pediatric health care, has more advanced care options close to home for Mississippi families.

“Children’s of Mississippi is the only children’s hospital in the state, and they take that role seriously,” Henderson said. “They do not turn patients away. Whenever I have a sick patient, they are always willing to help and answer questions.

“The children’s hospital never says they are too full to accept my patients. I have never had to send a patient to another state.”

When Henderson’s daughter, Sadie, needed to see a pediatric urologist, “we chose Children’s of Mississippi. Drs. Mark Barraza and James Keeton performed her surgery when she was 4 and she has done beautifully since. In fact, she recently graduated from college!”

Portrait of Nikki Ivancic Currey
Currey

Dr. Nikki Ivancic Currey, who serves patients in the Tupelo area at the Ivancic Pediatric Clinic, said she is excited about what the new tower will mean for her patients who need care in Jackson.

“The Sanderson Tower is amazing,” said Ivancic, immediate past president of the Mississippi AAP chapter. “I think patients are going to love it. It is very kid-friendly.”

The spacious lobby has art and décor designed to engage pediatric patients of all ages and equipment sized for children.

“I was very impressed with the size of the building itself, and I’m so glad I got to come to see it,” she said. “The size of the exam rooms and the patient rooms in the PICU and NICU is jaw-dropping!”

In moves that have been rehearsed for months, medical teams escorted patients from the Batson PICU to the pediatric intensive care floor at the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower.
In moves that have been rehearsed for months, medical teams escorted patients from the Batson PICU to the pediatric intensive care floor at the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower.

Closer to home for Currey’s patients, Children’s of Mississippi also offers a specialty clinic in Tupelo for follow-up care. UMMC’s pediatric organization also includes clinics in Meridian, Grenada, Holmes County, Louisville, Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Henderson said these clinics make getting to appointments with specialists easier for her patients, too.

“As a community pediatrician, I also appreciate their commitment to caring for all the children of our state with outreach clinics in many cities, including Hattiesburg, where I practice,” she said. “This allows my patients to get subspecialty care closer to home and it allows their parents to miss less work and my patients to miss less school.”

The Sanderson Tower has plenty for parents to like as well, Currey said.

“Parents who take their children to the specialty clinic frequently are going to love the kiosks for checking in,” she said. “Anything that shortens your wait time with children is a plus.”

In 2016, the Sandersons launched the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, a philanthropic drive to help fund a children’s hospital expansion, with a $10 million personal gift. The campaign has raised more than 84 percent of its $100 million goal so far.


The above article appears in CONSULT, UMMC’s monthly e-newsletter sharing news about cutting-edge clinical and health science education advances and innovative biomedical research at the Medical Center and giving you tips and suggestions on how you and the people you love can live a healthier life. Click here and enter your email address to receive CONSULT free of charge. You may cancel at any time.