Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A New Member of the UMMC Family

Published in VC's Notes on September 04, 2013
A New Member of the UMMC Family

On Sept. 1, we added a new member to the family!  On that day we welcomed Grenada Lake Medical Center into the fold of UMMC-affiliated institutions.

At its August meeting our governing board, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, gave us the green light to begin managing GLMC Sept. 1 and to enter a lease to become fully responsible for the operation of the 156-bed hospital Jan. 1, 2014. 

This is the second community hospital addition to the UMMC family, the first being Holmes County Hospital in Lexington, which we acquired in 1997.

As recently as a year ago, leasing GLMC was not in our plans.  But then the Grenada County Board of Supervisors decided to seek a long-term partner to operate the hospital.  This was something that we thought carefully about, and we decided that in terms of our overall mission of improving the health of Mississippi, having a presence in Grenada made a lot of sense.  The supervisors evidently saw it the same way, since they selected us as their partner, and we’re grateful for that.

There are always a lot of unknowns when you consider a partnership of this kind.  Throughout this process, it gave me a lot of confidence that I already knew a lot about that part of Mississippi, since I grew up in neighboring Carroll County.  I went to Grenada schools and still regularly keep in touch with family and friends there.  The area served by the hospital will always be home to me. 

All the building blocks are in place for a vibrant hospital and health-care sector in Grenada.  The city has a strong physician community with a large range of specialties.  The hospital has many experienced employees and a sound physical plant.  To date, we’ve received nothing but encouragement from the providers, the employees and the citizens about this new chapter in the life of their community.

What we will provide is a commitment to make the hospital the best it can be as a full-fledged member of the UMMC family.  We’ll be extending many of the resources at our disposal to create a health-care hub in that part of the state.  From that hub we can offer many of the services and activities we can do here, especially through our ever-increasing use of telemedicine.

In addition, the prospect of putting residents and other learners in Grenada is exciting.  As we continue to grow our residency programs, we will need to identify new venues to train our students, especially in community settings that more closely resemble the environments where many of our graduates will ultimately practice.  This won’t happen overnight, but it’s definitely on our long-term to-do list.

Over the next four months, we will be busy transitioning GLMC to the UMMC health system.  Many of our senior managers will be shuttling back and forth to establish operational links with the facility.  David Putt, director of network relations for UMMC, will be “our man in Grenada” as interim CEO under the leadership of Kevin Cook, CEO of our adult hospital.

A lot of work has already been done to get us to this point, but there will be much more in store as we welcome this important new addition to our UMMC family. 



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