Pine Belt, MS

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Ribbon Cutting for New South Central Emergency Department, Medical Office Building, Wellness and Rehabilitation Center Held Dece

  January 09, 2020

Submitted by South Central Regional Medical Center

Doug Higginbotham, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, we celebrate the completion of a construction project that has been on the drawing board for more than 14 years. The process of acquiring the land these new facilities are located on today took us 11 years, and another year was required to design the project. During this period, we dealt with many individuals and agencies. As a result of their cooperation, we are here today celebrating the completion of a $33 million project that includes a new Emergency Department, Medical Office Building, Wellness Center, Rehabilitation Center, helicopter landing pad and additional parking. These facilities will benefit the residents of Jones County and surrounding counties for many years to come. The new Emergency Department opened on Thursday, December 12 at 3am. South Central Clinics and South Central Wellness Center and Rehabilitation Center moved the weeks following the opening.

Facility Names of Those Location in the Medical Office Complex include:
  • South Central General Surgery – Formerly Laurel Surgery Clinic
  • South Central Orthopedics
  • South Central Urology
  • South Central Obstetrics & Gynecology – Formerly OB-GYN Group of Laurel
  • South Central Pediatrics – Formerly Laurel Pediatric Clinic
  • South Central Wellness Center
  • South Central Rehabilitation Center
This project would not be possible without the help and support of the members of the Jones County Board of Supervisors—Jerome Wyatt, Johnny Burnett, Barry Saul, Danny Roy Spradley and David Scruggs, as well as the support of past members of the Board of Supervisors. The Jones County Board of Supervisors has always supported our institution in efforts to improve access to healthcare in Jones and surrounding counties. Members of the South Central Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees—George Walters, Victor Jones, Lewis Goins, Mike Lowe, Becky Brewer, Arthur Siggers, Jay Scoggin and Frank Therrell, past member of our board—spent numerous hours over the years making decisions to get us to this point. During the property acquisition and project development timeframe, South Central Regional Medical Center had the support of three Laurel mayors, Susan Vincent, Melvin Mack and Johnny Magee, as well as Laurel City Council members past and present. Their support came in the form of making some modifications to the “S” curve project and on land acquisition. We also worked with Tom King, Transportation Commissioner, the Corp of Engineers, the Mississippi State Department of Health, and numerous attorneys and financial advisors.

Laurel native Mike Foil of Foil-Wyatt Architects and Planners in Jackson was the architect for the project. He has worked with South Central for more than 30 years on various projects. Because of his knowledge of our operations, Foil was a valuable partner in designing the project. The firm has completed projects on over 30 university and hospital campuses throughout North America. Other members of the architectural and planning firm team who worked closely with us on this project include Justin Parker, Carley Dunaway, and Bob Pressley.

The successful bidder on the project was Mac’s Construction Company of Hattiesburg. Mac’s has a reputation as a quality organization that has done many large projects. Their goal was to provide our community a facility we could be proud of while providing uninterrupted patient care as well as staff and visitor safety throughout the construction project. They accomplished their goal. Andy Simmons, Hal McMann and Steve Hatten, all with Mac’s Construction, led the efforts on the project.

South Central Regional Medical Center qualified for loans from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. The funding source for the project was provided through two programs—a USDA Community Facility Direct Loan and the USDA Community Facility Guaranteed Loan. The loan covered the construction project, the furniture and equipment for the new areas, all current outstanding debt and the cost of the financial transaction. The annual debt service of the new financing was actually less than South Central’s existing debt service. The health system borrowed $66,500,000 of which $57,745,000 was a USDA Community Facility Direct Loan. The remaining loan of $8,755,000 was a USDA Community Facility Guaranteed Loan with a 90 percent USDA Guarantee. In order to finance the project during construction, South Central Regional Medical Center issued bond anticipation notes with a 3-year term. These bond anticipation notes were issued upon final approval from the USDA.  The USDA Community Facility Direct Loan was a 40 year fixed rate direct loan while the USDA Community Facility Guaranteed Loan was a 20-year loan. Monthly payments began upon execution of the documents. It is anticipated that upon maturity of the bonds, they will be paid off from proceeds of the USDA direct loan upon final USDA approval.  Representatives of the USDA who worked closely with South Central on the project include John Rounsaville, Nicole Barnes, Kodi Chambliss, Bettye Oliver, Patricia McDowell, Walter Dillon, Angela Long, and Letha Smith.

South Central Regional Medical Center has been in this community for more than 67 years. Today, the South Central Health System includes a 285-bed regional medical center, 23 medical clinics, a cancer center, 2 large nursing homes, an ambulance service, a wellness and rehabilitation center, a wound care center and numerous other programs and services. We are the second largest employer in Jones County with more than 2,100 employees and an economic impact to our local community annually of more than $200 million.  We are extremely proud of the new facilities that will allow us to improve access and care to the residents of Jones County and surrounding areas.

South Central Regional Medical Center appreciates the support of the community and looks forward to serving all. Back to Top

January 09, 2020


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