A new state-of-the- art unit is about to come online at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Officials say it will hopefully prevent Mississippians from having to leave the state for certain medical care. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Dr. Gailen Marshall, is medical director of the new Clinical Research and Trial Unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He's explaining how two of the units 22 hospital rooms are designed to accommodate severely obese patients.
"There's a rack to be able to move them if they're not mobile and that movement can actually go a shower and bathroom facility," said Marshall.
Marshall says researchers will conduct cutting-edge studies and experiment with treatments for people with illnesses that range from asthma and diabetes to rare forms of cancer. He says Mississippians experience more severe illnesses than people in other parts of the country.
"It seems to be unique components of these illnesses for our citizens. They're more likely to develop these, they're more likely to be severe. They're more likely to use more medications and sadly in some instances, they're more likely to die from these illnesses," said Marshall.
Marshall says their research will study why that's the case and what can be done about it. Heather Vaughn is the research nurse in charge of day to day operations. She says she's taking on the job because-
"It's important to me. It's important to make sure that the residents of Mississippi have somewhere they can come where there's knowledgeable individuals that can help them seek out more information about whatever it is they're going through in that moment," said Marshall.
Vaughn says they will also be looking for people to volunteer to participate in studies. The Clinical Research and Trials Unit opens October first and was paid for by an $8 million bond.