In Pursuit of Excellence
Annual Report 2021-2022
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.
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.”
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.
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.