Officials with the University of Mississippi Medical Center are unveiling a plan to expand the state's only children's hospital. Officials say the expansion will give the hospital a much needed update.
The new facility will be located next to Batson Children's Hospital on the UMMC campus in Jackson. It'll include an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, more operating rooms and the creation of an imaging clinic specifically for children.
Doctor Renate Savich is the Director of Newborn Medicine and Neonatal Internsive Care
"As you know, Mississippi ranks 50th in neonatal mortality and prematurity," says Savich. "A lot of bad outcomes that we were hoping that with this new facility we could improve upon."
The cost of the project will range between $150 and 200 million. University officials say they will ask state leaders for bonds and additional funds.
But UMMC Head, Doctor Louann Woodward says a majority of the funding will come from fundraising.
"We are planning a $100 million capital campaign which is a really big deal," Woodward says. "No matter which way you slice and dice this, this is a lot of money. But it is what we need to do. It's the right thing to do for the children of Mississippi. The health of Mississippi and the future of Mississippi does not depend on us. It depends on the children.
University officials say they would like to break ground on the new facility in 2017.