By: Barry R. Moss, Chief Executive Officer, Merit Health Jackson Market
I write today with hope for the future and gratitude for the resilience of our provider teams at Merit Health. The pandemic has demonstrated how interconnected we all are, the impact each one of us can have and the benefit of working together for a common cause. We care deeply about our community and remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver safe, quality healthcare services.
The arc of life is always present in a hospital, but its frailty has been very clear this past year. Nearly 515,000 patients received the medical care they needed thanks to our physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, lab techs, housekeepers, food service workers and other providers who have worked tirelessly to maintain a safe environment. Our family of caregivers put aside their personal fears and concerns and came to help every single day, with bravery and courage.
More than 3,000 babies took their first breaths in our childbirth units and we celebrated with their moms. More than 414,000 walked away in better shape than when they came in – with less pain following a joint replacement, a heart beating in rhythm after receiving a pacemaker or a smile of relief when their screening mammogram or colonoscopy was clear.
With pride and relief we cheered over 3,100 patients who left for home after beating COVID-19. But there have been times of sadness too, as our caregivers helped patients transition at the end of life and comforted the loved ones who grieved for their loss.
Helping people get well and live healthier is rewarding work, and we are grateful for the trust every patient places in us. And we feel the support of the community as you’ve extended your thanks and encouragement through prayers, first responder parades, signs, mask donations, meals and more.
Led by a local administration and advisory board of community leaders and physicians, we are putting our resources toward increased medical services, facilities and technologies that are important to our patients. Access has been enhanced through telemedicine, making it easier than ever to see the doctor when you’re in the comfort of home.
We value our relationship with Jackson and the surrounding communities. The more than $20 million in taxes we paid last year support critical infrastructure such as first responders, schools and roads. Wages and benefits for our provider team generate buying power for local goods and services and help drive the local economy. And we deliver care for our most vulnerable residents, last year providing more than $255 million of charity and uncompensated care.
Hope is on the horizon as COVID-19 vaccinations are underway and we look forward to a time when we can all gather. Until then, keep up the safe practices – wear a mask or face covering, maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands. By following these simple acts we can do extraordinary things.
About Merit Health
Merit Health serves the healthcare needs of residents of Mississippi through its 9 affiliated hospitals. The healthcare system offers a wide array of services including orthopedics, cardiology, women’s health, emergency departments and broad diagnostic medical and surgical services. The network has more than 1,800 licensed beds, more than 2.500 physicians on the combined active medical staffs, more than 3,000 employees, more than 40,000 admissions and more than 250,000 emergency department visits each year.