December 19, 2014  

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Southern Miss Announces Campaign for New Health Services Facility

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An artist rendering of the proposed Moffitt Health Center.
An artist rendering of the proposed Moffitt Health Center.

The University of Southern Mississippi is on its way to transforming the quality of health care provided to students, faculty and staff -- thus a longtime vision of Student Health Services Director Dr. Virginia Moffitt Crawford and her family will soon become a reality.

On Thursday, March 7, the USM Foundation announced the Moffitt Health Center Campaign, which will aid in the relocation of the University’s Student Health Services to a new, state-of-the-art facility. The $1 million campaign has already received $750,000 in commitments toward the center.

The Moffitt Health Center, to be located on the first floor of Century Park South Building A, will allow Student Health Services to provide preventive care, health education services and co-curricular activities in a facility central to the heart of student living at Southern Miss.

“Under the leadership of Dr. Virginia Crawford, our students’ medical and health needs are well met,” said Dr. Joe Paul, Vice President for Student Affairs. “This new state-of-the-art health facility will enable us to serve our growing student body even better. It will be located in the heart of where many of our students live and will be easily accessible for our commuting students.”

Century Park South is the proposed residential living complex currently under development on the north side of the Hattiesburg campus just across West Fourth Street from the current Century Park residence halls. Century Park South will house 950 students and will also serve as the base of operations for the University’s Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program. Vann Hall, Scott Hall and part of Bond Hall are being razed to make way for the project.

The Moffitt Health Center would replace the Beedie Smith Health Clinic, a free-standing building that opened on the Hattiesburg campus in 1962.

As health care providers for the Southern Miss community, Student Health Services encounters more than 20,000 patient visits per year and continues to provide quality health care on a limited budget. Student Health Services however is presently restricted in achieving its vision for the future due to the limitations of its current building.

“While the cost of construction has been supported through the generosity of Dr. Crawford and her family, additional private dollars are needed to complete the project by purchasing furniture and equipment and enhancing the development of this important campus facility,” said Bob Pierce, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the USM Foundation. “Dr. Crawford has a vision for this new clinic, and she and her family are investing their contributions to ensure that vision come to fruition. It is incredibly admirable that she is so invested in Southern Miss that she not only gives of her time from a professional perspective, but she also gives of her own personal finances.”

Gifts to the Moffitt Health Center Campaign will allow the facility to increase the square footage dedicated to Student Health Services by 30 percent, providing much-needed space for more efficient laboratory and X-ray activity, larger health care provider work areas, a more accessible pharmacy and a dental care area. The $1 million campaign has already received an initial donation of $750,000.

The facility will also feature new classroom space, which will allow the staff to provide a broader range of health education opportunities. The patient environment will improve with the addition of separate sick visit and well visit waiting rooms and 15 private exam rooms that will increase efficiency and patient confidentiality.

“This facility insures that the next generations of Southern Miss students will have a wonderful place to receive health care while they are students here,” said Crawford. “This is a great way for me to recognize my family.  My dad, mom and brother were all well-respected physicians who contributed much to the state of Mississippi. Now a health care facility that bears their name will provide health services to students who will be the future leaders of Mississippi. I think they would be very proud of that.”

The University of Southern Mississippi's Student Health Services offers general medical care for all University students, faculty and staff. The 19-person staff treats acute and ongoing medical problems and offers preventive health service, including women’s health exams, cholesterol screening and a men’s health program. Student Health Services includes a laboratory, X-ray services, a pharmacy and the Office of Health Promotion in addition to patient care services.

For more information on the Moffitt Health Center Campaign, visit www.usmfoundation.com/moffitt