Biloxi Getting New $132 Million HospitalBy Rhonda Miller | Published 04 Oct 2011 09:14pm |
Biloxi is getting a new hospital to replace one damaged by Hurricane Katrina. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports area leaders announcing the project Tuesday said the hospital is expected to bring better health in more ways than one.
At the announcement on the hospital site just off Interstate 10, the area president of Health Management Associates, Joe Pinion, said the facility will make health care more accessible to a population that’s moved away from flood areas.
"This is out of the tidal flood plain and if we have another storm, and I’m sure we will be at some point in time, this would insure there would be a facility on this side of the bay. If the bridges go out, we’ll have health care out here," Pinion said.
This will be Health Management Associates’ second hospital in the city, along with Biloxi Regional Medical Center, a few blocks from the beach.
The health care company is one of the state’s largest employers with 10 hospitals, including five in Jackson and one in Natchez.
Mississippi is one of the unhealthiest states in the country, and physical therapist Tammy Rouse said this is one step toward getting off the bottom of the list.
"Absolutely, I think that the more accessibility that patients have to health care, the more that they will seek it out and help them to become healthier Mississippians," Rouse said.
With the region in the doldrums from a string of disasters, Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rocko said the new hospital will be a shot in the arm.
"I think this will not only help people physically, but emotionally, to know someone is staying here, investing $132 million in our community, providing jobs and also tax dollars to our schools and also for projects throughout the community," said Rocko.
Once it’s completed in 2014, Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway said the new hospital will be a beacon for quality health care.
"It’s right in the middle between Mobile and New Orleans, on Interstate 10," said Holloway. "We want to be able to serve the community.".
The hospital will generate a substantial number of construction jobs, in addition to long-term jobs in health care.
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