Ribbon to be cut tomorrow on Sanderson Tower
Published on Monday, October 12, 2020
By: Annie Oeth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow morning brings a celebration more than four years in the making, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s seven-story Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, in-person attendance will be limited at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony, but employees, supporters of Children’s of Mississippi, patients and their families can watch the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/childrensofms.
“This is such a milestone for the Medical Center, for pediatrics and for the state,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
Patient care will begin at the Sanderson Tower in phases beginning with Levels G, B, and 1 – the tower’s lobby, its multidisciplinary outpatient specialty clinic and its surgical floor, respectively – on Nov. 2.
Pediatric intensive care patients will move into Level 3 on Nov. 3, and the two floors of private neonatal intensive care rooms on Levels 4 and 5 will open Nov. 4. Level 2 is mechanical space.
“This is an exciting time, something that we’ve looked forward to for years,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair, professor and chair of Pediatrics. “Tomorrow is a celebration for the completion of the Sanderson Tower but also for what it means for our patients. This world-class facility will match the skills of our medical team. This level of care will be available right here in Mississippi, close to home for our patients and ready for the treatment of illnesses and injuries.”
The Sanderson Tower is named for Joe Sanderson Jr., CEO and board chairman of Sanderson Farms, and his wife, Kathy. The couple, in 2016, launched the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, the philanthropic drive to build the pediatric expansion, with a $10 million personal gift. Since then, the Sandersons have chaired the campaign, which has raised more than 83 percent of its $100 million goal.
“This tower is an achievement, not of bricks and mortar, but of vision and of the generosity of so many Mississippians,” Joe Sanderson said. “Tomorrow’s celebration will be a great day for all Mississippi families.”
Kathy Sanderson said that, even though they will be participating virtually, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be moving.
“Knowing that, soon, children from all over Mississippi will be receiving the best care inside this tower is inspiring for us, and emotion-filled,” she said.
The Sandersons first learned of the level of care at Children’s of Mississippi when their granddaughter, Sophie Creath, as a young child needed care for chronic pancreatitis.
“After witnessing the competent and compassionate care at Children’s of Mississippi, we realized the importance of this children’s hospital,” she said. “They provide the kind of care that every parent or grandparent would want for their own child.”
Ground was broken on the project Dec. 1, 2017, with site work and construction starting in early 2018. By June 2019, the tower had reached its full seven-story height, and work moved indoors. Patient care areas, work spaces and family rooms have taken shape during the past year.
As the Sanderson Tower’s areas of care were being completed, departments throughout Children’s of Mississippi were carefully planning their move into the expansion.
More than a year before the move, key tasks, and the right timing and order of these jobs, were identified in meetings among hundreds of Children’s of Mississippi leaders.
“Together as a children’s health organization, we’ve worked across disciplines to coordinate our actions for a seamless move into the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower,” said Chris Collado, clinical liaison for the project.
As moving day approaches, the Children’s of Mississippi team has been working to make the experiences of patients and their families in the new Kathy and Joe Sanderson ones of caring and comfort, said Guy Giesecke, the organization’s CEO.
“Tomorrow’s ceremony will be a milestone,” he said, “We’re celebrating the end of the construction phase of this project, but we’re also preparing for the day when we will be caring for patients and their families in the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower.”