It’s Finally Fall, and Other Topics
Thank goodness, it seems like it’s finally fall, and not a moment too soon. Summer lingered a little too long for my taste. Now let’s hope the cooler temperatures hang around for a while before we plunge into winter.
Today I’ll touch on a few reminders and other topics that have come across my desk lately.
If it’s fall, it must be time for the flu shot. And indeed, staff from our Office of Student Employee Health, along with a cast of student volunteers, is wrapping up a week-long Flu Blitz today. As of yesterday, 7,942 UMMC personnel had been vaccinated. Thanks to all those who participated in the blitz, both on the giving and receiving end!
The deadline to receive the mandatory flu vaccine, a health requirement for all UMMC employees, students and volunteers, is Friday, Dec. 7. Vaccinations are provided free of charge in Student Employee Health. Please get your flu shot to protect yourself and our patients.
The other thing I’ve grown accustomed to this time of year is the Sanderson Farms Championship, a PGA TOUR golf tournament that benefits Friends of Children’s Hospital. I hope you are able to get out to the Country Club of Jackson next week to take in some of the spectacular professional golf or related activities, beginning with the pro-am on Wednesday. For a full schedule of the week’s events, visit the tournament website.
The host for the tournament, Century Club Charities, has for many years made Friends of Children’s Hospital the primary beneficiary of the event, donating more than a million dollars in each of the last four years. I’m grateful for their support, and am also thankful for the many Medical Center employees who volunteer to help during the tournament. To volunteer, email Kacie Towels at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathryne Lewis at email@example.com.
Another major event on the calendar next week is the concert to benefit The MIND Center. The MIND Center’s amazing Advisory Board has continued its string of successes by recruiting another legendary pop star with enduring appeal, Cyndi Lauper. Her hits, “True Colors,” “Time After Time” and especially “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” are American standards. The concert is set for next Thursday, Oct. 25, at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson. Medical Center employees can receive a $10 discount off each ticket purchased. To receive the discount, enter the code "UMMC2018" when purchasing tickets online through Ardenland.
We’ve heard a number of complaints about vehicle backups on North State Street since the installation of the new pedestrian crossing lights on State Street, including the HAWK signal at lower Stadium Drive. Most of these comments came after rush hour last Monday afternoon. It’s almost certain that Monday was an anomaly, since I-55 was backed up in both directions after a pedestrian was hit and killed while attempting to cross the interstate at the Fortification Street exit. Many drivers exited I-55 in search of alternative routes, adding to the rush hour congestion on Woodrow Wilson Avenue, North State Street, Old Canton Road and Lakeland Drive.
Despite that unusual and sad circumstance, we have contacted the city of Jackson about working with us to synchronize traffic lights during the morning and evening commutes and to make sure our pedestrian crossing signals are optimized to coordinate with traffic flows while keeping pedestrians safe. We will also be taking this issue up with the newly formed Capitol Complex Improvement District, of which UMMC is a member.
Finally, if you hadn’t noticed, we have a statewide election coming up Tuesday, Nov. 6. I encourage every one of you to exercise your right and responsibility of citizenship and vote for the candidates of your choice. As a reminder, please be cautious about engaging in political discussions at work with co-workers, students and especially with our patients and visitors. In today’s intensely polarized political climate, even the most innocent comments can be misconstrued. The best course is to steer clear of such talk and focus on our work.
I’ll end with a big thanks to all of you for your tireless service toward achieving our goal of A Healthier Mississippi.