A $30,000 gift from South Central Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) will fund scholarships and program development for the Department of Medical Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Located in Laurel, Miss. SCRMC employs Southern Miss graduates in many of its laboratory departments as an integral part of the health care delivery system. “All of our current medical technologists are graduates of Southern Miss,” said Doug Higginbotham, executive director of SCRMC and a member of the Southern Miss College of Health Dean’s Advisory Council.
“We value the graduates the university produces, and want to ensure that the medical technology program stays viable in the future.”
Higginbotham has made the SCRMC board of trustees aware of how the university’s medical technology program has provided it and other medical service entities in the Pine Belt with capable and skilled graduates to fill important positions. Supporting the department with such contributions can help the program continue doing that in the future, he said.
“Our ability to meet our responsibility to our community to provide health care is entirely dependent on finding and retaining highly qualified staff,” said Higginbotham. “The Southern Miss College of Health, along with the junior and community colleges of our area, are our sources of those highly trained health care workers.”
Dr. Jane Hudson, chairperson and program director for the Department of Medical Technology, expressed gratitude for the partnership with SCRMC and the opportunity to continue providing excellence in patient care through the education of qualified medical technologists.
“South Central Regional Medical Center’s gift will enable us to continue to produce high-quality medical technologists to serve the citizens of Mississippi, which is critical because of an extreme shortage of medical technologists not only in Mississippi, but throughout the United States,” said Hudson.
According to Hudson, approximately 70 percent of the health care decisions made by the physician are based on laboratory information provided by medical technologists.
“Although not usually seen by the patient, the medical technologist is to the physician what the air controller is to the pilot.”
Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health where the program is housed, said the $30,000 gift will be applied to the medical technology development fund for discretionary use for future initiatives. “The generous gift of South Central Regional Medical Center is a powerful statement of support for the Department of Medical Technology in a time of financial challenge,” said Forster.
“It recognizes both the quality of the program and the real threat to the supply of competent professionals to Mississippi's health care workforce.”
“I’m very fortunate that I have the opportunity to work for a board of trustees that understands our success, and our future, revolves around our staff and that Southern Miss has been a tremendous asset to our organization,” said Higginbotham. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the College of Health.”
To make a gift in support of the Department of Medical Technology at Southern Miss, contact Meredith Cothern, development officer for the College of Health, at 601.266.6100. To learn more about the medical technology program at Southern Miss, online visit www.usm.edu/medtech
Southern Miss medical technology graduates working for South Central Regional (SCRMC) Medical Center in Laurel, include, from left Jodie Mancil; JoAnn Hegwood; Michael Reid; Linda Hall; and Pamela Shores.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.