Woman during surgery.

In Pursuit of Excellence

Annual Report 2021-2022

Annual Report 2021-2022

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Patient Care Achievements

From setting historic milestones to expanding our services to Mississippians who need our care, the University of Mississippi Medical Center fully embraces our goal of a healthier state. The progress toward that goal relies on the skill and expertise of our caregivers and the improvements we make to our clinics and hospitals. Excellence is the target for every patient, every day. 

Graphic of three photos depicting patient care at UMMC.

UMMC’s landmark 3,000th transplant: Only child gives mom a kidney

When her kidney failure got to the point that Tawanna Davis was attached to a dialysis machine three times a week, she knew the next step was a transplant. 

On June 28, her 25-year-old son and only child, Quinten Hogan, made that possible when his left kidney was nestled into his mom’s abdomen. Not only did 45-year-old Davis get a second chance at life, she and her son made history at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

Davis received the 3,000th organ transplanted at the state’s sole academic medical center and transplant program. The first came in June 1963, when Dr. James Hardy performed the world’s first human lung transplant.

“Any day that you do a live donor surgery, it’s a great day,” said Dr. Christopher Anderson, the James D. Hardy professor and chair of UMMC’s Department of Surgery. “Living donation is such a wonderful gift. It changes many lives – not just the recipient and the donor, but the whole family.” 

Anderson removed Hogan’s kidney; Dr. Felicitas Koller, associate professor of transplant surgery, implanted it next to Davis’ two diseased organs. 

“To do a live donor transplant on this occasion was extra special,” Anderson said. “This is a landmark number, and it’s telling that the majority of those have been done in the last decade. It speaks to the institutional commitment for transplant in the state of Mississippi.” 

From left, Quinten Hogan; Hogan's mom, Tawanna Davis; and Hogan's girlfriend, Taylor Brown, share a moment following Davis' transplant surgery. Hogan donated his left kidney to his mom.
From left, Quinten Hogan; Hogan's mom, Tawanna Davis; and Hogan's girlfriend, Taylor Brown, share a moment following Davis' transplant surgery. Hogan donated his left kidney to his mom.

Transplant Program Accolades

Graphic of three photos depicting patient care at UMMC.

The liver transplant program was listed in the top three in the country by a federally contracted organization that compares transplant centers nationally. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients listed the Medical Center above some significantly larger programs such as the Mayo Clinic hospitals in Jacksonville, Fla., and Phoenix, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans.

Two transplant programs – liver and kidney, and bone marrow - at the University of Mississippi Medical Center achieved Center of Excellence level from Optum, a transplant insurance network. It’s the highest level given by the Optum Transplant Network, a leading information and technology-enabled health services business. The Optum Transplant Network helps hospitals address the high variable costs and clinical complexity of transplant cases.

Patient Care Achievements

  • UMMC physicians and practitioners began providing care in North Mississippi Medical Center’s 34-bed neonatal intensive care unit, which offers care to babies born at NMMC Women’s Hospital as well as those transferred from other north Mississippi hospitals. The only Level III NICU in north Mississippi, the unit offers around-the-clock care to babies in semiprivate rooms where parents can stay with their babies if they choose.
  • Collage of two photos. Top: Daniel Waltman, molecular pathology specialist, prepares plates loaded with DNA fragments, known as a library, before the samples go onto the next-generation sequencing machine. Bottom: The molecular pathology team at UMMC is celebrating the capacity to perform for the first time in-house genetic testing for certain cancers using next generation sequencing, a technique that can scan for many different genes at once.A new laboratory procedure at the University of Mississippi Medical Center allowed physicians to assess DNA samples from some cancer patients faster and more cost-efficiently than before, all in-house. The Department of Pathology opened its clinical next-generation sequencing machine, a first-in-the-state resource.
  • A new larger and more technologically advanced catheterization laboratory opened at Children’s of Mississippi, allowing the children’s hospital’s smallest patients to get the cardiac diagnostic care and treatment they need.
  • Jenna McWilliams Sills, registered respiratory therapist supervisor, and Dariane Dardar, registered respiratory therapist, are Children’s of Mississippi’s recipients of the FACES Foundation’s PHIL Award.
    The PHIL Award, the FACES Foundation’s signature program, is the only nationally recognized hospital-based recognition program honoring outstanding respiratory therapists who provide exemplary care and treatment.
  • UMMC’s first transplant infectious diseases physicians joined the Medical Center to lay the groundwork for offering transplants to patients with HIV or AIDS.
  • The Center for Telehealth offered remote monitoring of diabetes patients through a partnership between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and North Mississippi Primary Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves multiple cities in that region.
  • The UMMC Stroke Center was honored with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines-Gold Plus Achievement Award.
  • Palliative and complex care for patients in Mississippi’s only children’s hospital won a bronze award in the Tipping Point Challenge, a national competition sponsored by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the John A. Hartford Foundation. Children’s of Mississippi’s entry, “From Service to Center: Leading Palliative Innovations for Complex Populations,” was one of more than 100 initiatives submitted from hospitals, health systems and clinics around the country.
  • UMMC launched a new initiative that brings together research, education and health care to find ways to offer life-changing treatments for patients struggling with addictions. The new Center for Innovation and Discovery in Addictions, or CIDA, takes a comprehensive approach to addictive disorders – an approach that isn’t limited to clinical services, or to training or research. The vision is for CIDA to focus on the entire span, from basic research to clinical services to patients and families.
  • The 21st annual Mississippi Miracles Radiothon raised $441,544 for the state’s only children’s hospital.
  • UMMC was named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The designation goes to breast imaging centers that are fully accredited in all ACR breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules including the ACR mammography accreditation program, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided breast biopsy and breast MRI.
  • UMMC’s Lifestyle Medicine program was invited to become a founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Health Systems Council. The Council is a collaborative learning community of health systems that integrate lifestyle medicine programs into their organizations and have made a commitment to enhance their efforts by embracing strategies that are most effective in promoting health.
  • The Office of Well-being received a $3 million federal award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration and is part of an overall $103 million in awards. Ten institutions, including UMMC, were funded through the grant category “Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professionals Workforce Program.”
Collage of two photos side by side. On the left, Children's of Mississippi patient DeNahri Middleton smiles during a radio interview. On the right, Pearl school nurses, standing, from left, Brandi Chambers, Kelley Smith, Aly Weems, Julie Thornton and Melissa Roberts watch as UMMC School of Nursing educators Jolie D'Antonio and Shanda Walenta, seated, right, go over telehealth technology.

Leading in Health Care 

  • Dodie McElmurray, CEO of UMMC Grenada and UMMC Holmes County, was one of four national health care leaders elected to serve on the board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
  • Dr. Felicitas Koller, associate professor of transplant surgery, won the Dr. Sally Abston Distinguished Member Award bestowed by the Association of Women Surgeons Foundation.
  • Dr. April Carson, an epidemiologist with an established history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease research, was named the new director of the Jackson Heart Study. The JHS is the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of cardiovascular health in African Americans. Funded by the NHLBI and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, JHS is a collaboration between the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi State Department of Health and 5,300 Jackson-area participants.
  • Dr. Sara Gleason, professor and interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, was named to the Mississippi State Board of Mental Health.
  • Dr. Zeb Henson was named chief of medical staff
  • New clinical chairs:
    • Dr. Rich Duszak, chair of the Department of Radiology
    • Dr. Bob Brodell, chair of the Department of Pathology
    • Dr. Jeremy Jackson, interim chair of the Department of Dermatology
    • Dr. Michael Hall, chair of the Department of Medicine
    • Dr. Sara Gleason, interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry
    • Dr. Anand Prem, interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology 
  • Clinical Affiliations: 
    • Active Clinical Affiliations during 2021-2022
      • Anderson Regional Medical Center; Gulfport Memorial Hospital; Affinity Medical Group/Vantage Health; North Mississippi Medical Center; Oktibbeha County Hospital; Methodist Rehabilitation Center; OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville. 

Dr. Rohan Jagtap positions a computer screen in front of patient Carol Hoover as she undergoes a cone beam CT scan at the School of Dentistry.

UMMC’s Response to the COVID-19 Delta Variant Surge

In mid-August 2021, the Delta variant of COVID-19 triggered an unrelenting increase in patient cases at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, causing a logjam in the Adult Emergency Department. 

“If you think about the entire state as being one huge health system trying to function in unison, when your input is more than your capacity, you’re in a disaster situation. That’s what we are experiencing now,” said Dr. Kendall McKenzie, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. 

UMMC opened a 20-bed field hospital in a parking garage on August 13, 2021. The mobile hospital tent was staffed by a medical team including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and other medical professionals from the National Disaster Medical System, sent to Mississippi through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Around the same time, UMMC opened a monoclonal antibody (MAB) infusion clinic to mitigate serious illness for COVID-19 patients. 

Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that provides medical aid to people and areas in need, set up a field hospital to offer supplemental hospital care for adult patients in the parking garage near Children’s of Mississippi’s Sanderson Tower. 

In the early cases of COVID-19, most children infected did not show symptoms that developed into serious health conditions. That changed in late summer 2021, as nationally and in Mississippi, the Delta variant of COVID-19 drove up the number of children hospitalized at Children’s of Mississippi. 

With hundreds of adult and pediatric patients circulating through the hospitals, UMMC caregivers rallied to save lives and to provide the best care for those hospitalized. 

Two images side by side. On the left, Certified medical assistant BAnca Wallace administers a COVID-19 test to employee Kelsie Huffman. On the right, Registered nurse Helen Ann Campbell checks on Keelyn Green, a Jackson high-schooler recovering at Children's of Mississippi from a serious bout with COVID-19.