A completely renovated Emergency Department and rehabilitative therapy offerings at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Holmes County means so much more than enhanced health care, residents there say.
“For UMMC to make this investment is really good for the county,” said Charlie Joiner of West, the Holmes County administrator and one of dozens of people who Friday toured the refurbished hospital in Lexington. “It's a promise from UMMC that they're going to be there for us.”
Eddie Holman (right), X-ray supervisor at UMMC Holmes County, explains services offered in the Lexington hospital's new Emergency Department to Charlie Joiner, the Holmes County administrator.
UMMC Holmes County CEO David Putt and hospital administrators held an open house to showcase $4 million in ongoing refurbishments that in large part target the ED and rehabilitative services. Over the next year, work will include new clinic and respiratory therapy space and renovations to both the laboratory and radiology departments.
The most recent changes allow physical, occupational and speech therapy patients to enjoy three private treatment rooms, an exercise area with state-of-the-art equipment, and a designated kid-friendly area where local students can receive that specialized care.
The Emergency Department is a mainstay of the 25-bed critical access facility originally built in 1950 as Holmes County Community Hospital. It provides care to a growing number of residents from the Holmes County region north to Grenada.
Elizabeth Adcock, manager of performance improvement at UMMC Holmes County, shows off the Lexington hospital's new Emergency Department to a crowd of local residents during a Jan. 15 open house.
“This gives us about three times the space we had in the other area of the hospital for rehab services, as well as giving us a state-of-the-art ED,” said David Putt, CEO of both UMMC Holmes County and its sister hospital, UMMC Grenada.
Three private treatment rooms give patients the seclusion they need while undergoing rehabilitation, said Mike Lowe, UMMC Holmes County director of rehabilitative services. The new gym area also allows patients to move about more freely and includes additional treatment mats, several televisions, two Schwinn aerodynamic bicycles, an elliptical machine, recumbent bicycle, weight machine and treadmill.
Lexington Mayor Clint Cobbins said the hospital has transformed not just recently, but over the past decade. “This is a great asset, not only in medical care, but to our community,” he said. “We can now do more advanced medicine.”
Kevin Cook (left), CEO of University Hospitals and Health System, and David Putt, CEO of UMMC Holmes County and UMMC Grenada, get a tour of the Lexington hospital's new Emergency Department triage room from registered nurse Lakessha Head.
The ED, on track to open to patients by the end of February, was completely remodeled, making it more functional with six treatment rooms, a private triage area, plus a two-bed trauma room. Its temporary headquarters at the back of the hospital is being converted into respiratory therapy treatment rooms and clinic space for specialists from UMMC Grenada who periodically see patients at the Holmes County hospital, said Paige Lawrence, the hospital's clinical director.
“We're so proud of it,” Lawrence said of the renovations.
Elizabeth Adcock, manager of performance improvement at UMMC Holmes County, shows off the Lexington hospital's new Emergency Department to Lexington Police Department investigator John Newton (left) and Chief Robert Kirkland Sr.
Lexington Police Chief Robert Kirkland Sr. and Investigator John Newton walked through the ED as Elizabeth Adcock, the hospital's manager of performance improvement, explained the changes, including the continued use of telemergency, which allows health-care providers in the state's rural hospitals, especially those in an emergency room, to consult with doctors at UMMC through a video network.
“This is going to be our new triage area where we bring patients in and see what we need to do,” Adcock said. “The treatment rooms are so big. There will be a lot of room, and we have monitors on the walls so that we can call in to doctors in Jackson.”
Also on the tour was Kevin Cook, CEO of University Hospitals and Health System. “It looks phenomenal,” he said of the work.
“It's a huge improvement, and it helps us to take care of the community. It increases our capacity, and it's a much better environment for providers.”