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Ground breaks for a new medical facility for sick children

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Ground breaks for a new medical facility for sick children
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MPB News

Mississippi will soon open its first-ever pediatric skilled nursing facility for children with chronic illnesses. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports from its groundbreaking ceremony.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is breaking ground for a new pediatric medical facility in Jackson. The goal is to provide long-term care for children with chronic and complex illnesses who require technology, medication and frequent hospitalizations.

Dr. Christian Paine is with UMMC. He says it's important they create a home-like environment

"Whether that's art therapy or music therapy, rehabilitation, chaplains, child life specialists-- really giving them a chance to grow and be themselves rather than someone just in a hospital," said Paine.

First Lady Deborah Bryant is also at the forefront of the project. She says resources and staff available at the facility will also help patients and their families to transition from inpatient care back to their homes.

"So this will give an opportunity for these parents to be able to care for their children here and continue to have their jobs. And this will give them an opportunity to continue on a different life but in a normal setting," said Bryant.

DeAsia Scott is a patient at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Scott is one of four who will be transitioning into the 20 bed facility in 2021 when it's expected to open. She says she has high hopes for the new medical facility.

"May it be a home of healing, hope and shelter," said Scott.

The legislature appropriated 12 million dollars for the project and the facility will be named for Representative Alyce G. Clarke.

Ashley Norwood, MPB News.