Governor Announces $10 Million in Grant Funds to Help Coast
Hospitals Recruit Healthcare Professionals
From: Office of the Governor
Filed 9/19/06 GCN
Governor Haley Barbour announced he is setting aside $10 million of social
service block grant funds to help hospitals along the Mississippi Gulf
Coast recruit and retain health care professionals.
"Reserving these funds for the hospitals directly affected by Hurricane
Katrina is imperative for boosting trauma care and other areas of health
services that are vital to a strong health care infrastructure for
citizens of the Gulf Coast," Governor Barbour said.
"The availability of this grant money addresses an important set of
recommendations brought forth by the Health and Human Services Committee
of the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal," said
Chris Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Singing River Hospital System,
who chaired the committee. "The committee members recognized that
workforce retention and recruitment would be critical to health care
providers in meeting the many medical needs of their communities. Governor
Barbour's commitment to the Gulf Coast's recovery has been evident, not
just in words, but also very much in action."
The social services block grant funds will be available to the following
hospitals: Singing River Hospital System (including Singing River Hospital
and Ocean Springs Hospital), Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Memorial
Hospital at Gulfport, Hancock Medical Center, Garden Park Medical Center
and Gulf Coast Medical Center.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport
Gary Marchand said, "These new monies will help Memorial offset the costs
we have added in facing the challenges of retaining our most valuable
assets, our employees and our physicians. We very much appreciate the
Governor's assistance in protecting Memorial's patient care services."
"Governor Barbour is acutely aware the Coast is still having significant
issues with meeting its healthcare needs post-Katrina. Many of our
healthcare providers lost their homes and left the area as a result of the
storm," said William Peaks, CEO of Garden Park Medical Center. "We are
extremely appreciative of the Governor's continued efforts to secure
funding to help the medical community rebuild. These funds will be
extremely helpful to us in recruiting and retaining qualified medical
providers to serve our communities and ensure we are meeting the Coast's
Chief Executive Officer of Biloxi Regional Medical Center Tim Mitchell
said, "The news of these monies being available to assist coast hospitals
with recruiting physicians and professional staff is great news for
everyone. We certainly want to express our appreciation to Governor
Barbour for making this happen. The monies will tremendously help the
Coast hospitals continue to provide care to the citizens of the
communities in which we live as well as make an impact on the re-building
efforts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast."
"These funds will be very beneficial to both Gulf Coast Medical Center and
Gulf Oaks Hospital in helping us to provide needed services to our
community," said Brenda Whitwell, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Coast
Medical Center. "We are currently expanding our staffing and services to
meet the needs of the community and this funding will be instrumental in
helping the hospital move forward. We would like to thank Governor Barbour
for his work to support the Gulf Coast Hospitals."
These SSBG funds are part of the more than $128 million Mississippi
received through a Supplemental Appropriation Bill for Katrina relief. The
bill was approved by Congress, signed by the President of the United
States, and appropriated to the U. S. Department of Health and Human
Services. When the funds were appropriated to the state, Governor Haley
Barbour designated DHS as the state agency responsible to receive and
distribute hurricane monies.