University Of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)
As Mississippi’s only academic medical center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has many “only’s.” We are now proud to add to that list that we are the only hospital in the state designated as a Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Champion!
Mississippi is known for its southern cuisine. Did you know that Mississippi ranks first in total U.S. catfish production contributing more than 75% of all catfish consumed in the nation? From tailgating to family reunions, food is at the epicenter of our culture. As one might speculate, the cardinal sin in Mississippi that will never be forgiven is to run out of food!
The consumption of many favorites enriched in high fructose, saturated fats, and foods high in salt content often comes with a huge price. The onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular events make up a large percentage of the care we provide to patients. Like any other state, Mississippi has its share of unique challenges, and it is evident that we have work to do, but there is hope!
UMMC has a great opportunity to help influence and be the conduit for change. It was the reason our Chief Nursing Executive Officer, Terri Gillespie, decided that we would participate in the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation initiative. It is also the right time. UMMC offers cutting-edge technology with our advancements in telehealth and it has been instrumental in improving access. Our six-story Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research is a premier foundation for research in our state, and we could not be more excited to collaborate our efforts with the Mayo Clinic.
Our new $73 million School of Medicine with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories catapults our Medical Center training in health care. It is also how UMMC will continue to impact the state’s economy as the generator of over $2 million. In addition, a $150 million expansion to the only pediatric hospital in the state will be a focal point in improving the health of Mississippi for generations to come. With all this said, it is evident that we are serious about improving the health to nearly 3 million residents and neighboring states.
UMMC nurses appreciate and enjoy many health benefits. As a matter of fact, our nurses requested improvements to our health culture, and leaders responded. Medical Center nurses can take advantage of healthier lunch/vending options, discounted membership to several locally owned UMMC gyms, a local farmers market, and participation in UMMC Everyday Wellness, a program dedicated solely to improving health for employees. The UMMC Office of Wellbeing is inspirational in offering meaningful programs through various media streams. On-site meetings via guided lunch/learn sessions are also instrumental in shepherding employees toward a healthier lifestyle.
In addition, safety is a priority, not only for patients, but also for all members of our health system. Plans for the future call for our Office of Wellbeing to partner with a multidisciplinary team to initiate a second victim program. Every day, health care professionals face the risk of traumatic events — such as an unexpected death, a medical error, or an unplanned transfer to the ICU. Yet few hospitals have programs to support “second victims.” Too often, these employees experience self-doubt, burnout and other problems that cause personal anguish and hinder their ability to deliver safe, compassionate care.
The Caring for the Caregiver program guides hospitals to set up peer-responder programs that deliver “psychological first aid and emotional support” to health care professionals following difficult events. Modeled on the Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) team at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the program prepares employees to provide skilled, nonjudgmental and confidential support to individuals and groups. The program was developed by Dr. Albert Wu, a professor and internist at Johns Hopkins University. We are hopeful that this new venture in collaboration with our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will provide a quick response to the needs of our employees at no additional cost.
Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation is a good fit for UMMC’s culture. It’s another alternative that our employees have utilized as a resource. The Office of Nursing Quality, Development and Professional Practice has been instrumental in bringing attention to this unique platform. We feel strongly that by focusing our efforts on building a culture of health-conscious nurses and employees, we will continue to encourage a stronger and healthier community.
As Mississippi’s only Level I Trauma Center, our workforce is dedicated to fulfilling a purpose. Ultimately, our aim is to continue providing the best care and to achieve the overall UMMC mission of a healthier Mississippi.
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