South Central Welcomed Senator Hyde-Smith During Recent Visit

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was in Laurel Tuesday meeting with physician and administrative leaders at South Central Regional Medical Center. During her visit, the Senator and SCRMC leadership discussed a wide-variety of issues and success stories surrounding the health system and Mississippi hospitals alike. Additionally, she received a facility tour, met staff and spoke with many about a major hot topic in the state: keeping care local. 
With access to care continuing to be a state-wide matter, community hospitals like SCRMC play a greater role than ever before. Through its consortium relationships with Covington County Hospital, Magee General Hospital, Simpson General Hospital, and soon-to-open Smith County Hospital, South Central has a front-row seat to the need and the challenges facing the industry. 
“Access continues to be difficult among mid-size and large facilities, although it is primarily thought of as a small hospital issue,” stated Gregg Gibbes, CEO and President of SCRMC and consortium hospitals CCH, MGH and SGH. Senator Hyde-Smith and South Central leaders discussed their common understanding of the emotional and financial stress that accompanies every out-of-state transfer, which are an unfortunate reality because of frequent lack of beds in key facilities. 
“One of South Central’s major goals in working with its consortium hospitals is to create more capacity and decrease the need for patients to leave their communities and the state, which make it difficult for loved ones and families,” stated Gibbes.
Dr. Jeremy Rogers, the Medical Director for the SCRMC Emergency Room, shared the accomplishment of reverse transfers, which have been quite successful between SCRMC and the consortium hospitals. “Under certain circumstances, when South Central is at maximum capacity and specific level of care criteria is met, the patient has the choice to transfer to one of the partner hospitals. This offers the patient the chance to move to a private room more quickly and comfortably.”
Sherry Brewer, the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, discussed South Central’s commitment to prioritize incoming transfers from the partner hospitals, which also plays a role in relieving some of the out-of-state transfers those smaller facilities faced prior to their formalized relationship with South Central.  “If we get a call from one of our sister hospitals, we make it a priority to say ‘yes’ we have a space for your patient,” stated Brewer. “We do everything we can to take the patients, and it’s been amazing to see the trust and collaboration that has formed as well as the benefits to the patients and families. It has truly strengthened all of the hospitals.” 
Gibbes also shared the hospital’s plans to start a physician residency program in 2025, plans to integrate additional technology into patient rooms and other care areas, upcoming capital improvement projects and several other strategic initiatives.  The Senator was caught up to speed on some of the hospital’s most recent accomplishments among which included the newly opened Cancer Center and Infusion Center, the Emergency Department’s consistently high patient satisfaction rate, and the newly re-opened Third West Wing Floor that created additional capacity for acute care patients. 
“We appreciate the Senator’s dedication to serving as a voice for healthcare and for taking time to hear the positive change happening in our community and partner hospitals,” noted Gibbes. “We can always rely on Senator Hyde-Smith and her staff to recognize our needs; she has demonstrated time and time again that she is a champion for us on a national level.”