Children’s campaign gets boost from $1M The First gift
Published on Tuesday, July 6, 2021
By: Annie Oeth, firstname.lastname@example.org
The fund drive that made possible the construction of the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower at Children’s of Mississippi is $1 million closer to its goal, thanks to a gift from The First, A National Banking Association.
The donation to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi was announced June 29 during a news conference in the community room of the Sanderson Tower. Including this gift, the Campaign has raised more than 88 percent of its $100 million goal.
“Our company is thrilled to participate in and be a part of the campaign to grow and strengthen Children’s of Mississippi,” said M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, president and CEO of The First. “Our company is proud to support Kathy and Joe Sanderson‘s vision to further medical research and care specifically for the children of our state.”
Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair, professor and chair of pediatrics, said gifts such as this are critical to advancing pediatric care for the state’s children.
“The Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower, together with the Blair E. Batson Tower, is a resource for children and families throughout the state,” Taylor said. “We are already seeing the benefits of having this state-of-the-art facility to match the skills of our medical team, and those benefits will only grow as we continue to serve patients in the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower.”
The children of this state, Taylor said, “deserve to have the highest level of care close to home.”
Children’s of Mississippi, the pediatric arm of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, includes the children’s hospital on the UMMC campus as well as specialty clinics in Jackson, Tupelo, Biloxi, Hattiesburg and Meridian.
“We’re a hospital for the entire state,” she said.
The Sanderson Tower opened for patient care Nov. 2, 2020, more than doubling the square footage devoted to pediatric care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Inside the seven-story tower, two floors of neonatal intensive care rooms give the smallest and most critically ill babies in the state space to heal and grow. The rooms are large enough to allow parents to stay alongside their babies.
Larger private pediatric intensive care rooms fill another floor of the Sanderson Tower, providing space for parents as well as medical teams and life-saving equipment.
The Sanderson Tower also include a dozen larger surgical suites as well as an imaging center designed for children, complete with a CT scanner that looks like a sandcastle and MRI machines that look like a lighthouse and a ship.
Children’s of Mississippi patients go to follow-up visits at clinical designed for collaboration among pediatric specialties and convenience for families.
Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children’s of Mississippi, said parents are finding the new Sanderson Tower to be convenient and family friendly.
“The construction of this tower was made possible because of donations to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi,” he said. “We’re getting closer to the campaign’s $100 million goal, so this gift couldn’t have come at a better time. We extend our heartfelt thanks to The First for this incredible commitment to our state’s children and famlies.”
The Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi was launched by Sanderson Farms CEO and board chairman Joe Sanderson and his wife, Kathy, in 2016 as a philanthropic drive to help fund the children’s hospital’s $180 million expansion.
The Sandersons started the drive with a $10 million personal donation.
Joe Sanderson thanked The First for supporting children’s health care improvements in Mississippi.
“Providing the care children need close to home is good business,” Sanderson said. “Employers want the children of their workers to get the care they need in Mississippi instead of leaving the state. We are grateful that The First values the health of Mississippi’s children enough to make such a generous investment in the state’s future.”