Health care a priority for region

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Tupelo and Lee County have a wealth of medical resources usually found only in much larger cities.

The county boasts more than 250 physicians representing 37 specialities. North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo is the nation’s largest non-metropolitian hospital and has repeatedly been recognized for its quality care.

In Lee County, the hospital system includes the 650-bed main unit, woman’s hospital, behavioral health center and a growing complement of outpatient services.

The hospital provides a number of community health services including wellness centers in Tupelo and Baldwyn, annual Live Well health fair and school nurse program.

Through its clinic system, NMMC also has two urgent care clinics, Med-Serve and Barnes Crossing Urgent Care, that offer extended hours and an alternative to the emergency room for medical care and minor emergencies.

Also in Tupelo, North Mississippi State Hospital provides inpatient and outpatient mental health services.


North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo,

general information: 377-3000

NMMC Behavioral Health Center 377-3161

NMMC Insurance Claims/Billing Department


NMMC Surgery Center 377-4700

NMMC Women’s Hospital 377-4800

North Mississippi State Hospital 690-4200


n People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) is offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, NMMC Wellness Center, Tupelo. Sponsor: American Arthritis Foundation. Certified instructors. Fee to non-members. Call 377-4141.

n Tan Su Karate: Thursdays, 6 p.m. for children, 7 p.m. for adults, NMMC Wellness Center, Tupelo. Mark Davidson instructor. $20/children, adults. Call 377-4141.

n Tupelo Parks and Recreation organizes a number of adult and children’s fitness and sports programs and operates parks, pools and recreational facilities in the city. Call 841-6440.


n ACTS Alcohol Chemical Treatment Series is a curriculum-based self-help, recovery and educational program for anyone wanting to recover from alcohol or drugs, and their families. ACTS meets from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church on North Veterans Boulevard, Tupelo. Free. Call 844-9637.

n Anger Management classes are offered free 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church on North Veterans Boulevard in Tupelo. Free. Call 844-9637.

n Comprehensive Diabetes Self-Management Program is offered every Tuesday through the Diabetes Treatment Center in Tupelo. The costs of the class are partially covered by Medicare, some private insurance and NMMC Diabetes Assistance Fund. Physician referral required. Call 377-2500 or (800) 843-3375.

n CPR and first aid classes are regularly offered through the American Red Cross, Northeast Mississippi chapter, 4127 West Side Drive. Call 680-6101.

n Educational opportunities for expectant parents are offered through the NMMC Women’s Hospital. Classes include Lamaze, Early Pregnancy Class, Preparation for Birth, Preparation for Cesarean Birth, Breastfeeding Class, Grandparenting Class, Sibling Class and Infant CPR. 377-4934 or (800) 843-3375.

n Family Education and Support Program offers eight programs throughout the year at North Mississippi State Hospital to help family members of people with mental illness. Call Kim Sistrunk 690-4343.

n Good Samaritan Free Clinic provides health care to working or temporarily unemployed Lee County residents who do not have health insurance. Call 844-3733.

n Immunization Clinic provides free childhood immunizations at 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Good Samaritan Free Clinic. Families whose health insurance does not cover immunizations are eligible; they do not have to meet other clinic eligibility requirements. Call 844-3733.

n Lee County Health Department, provides public health services for children and adults through the Mississippi Department of Health, 532 Church St., Tupelo. Call 841-9096.

n Life After Diagnosis meets at 5:30 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at the NMMC Breast Cancer Center, Eason Boulevard, Tupelo. The free series of educational programs designed for women dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. Call 377-4910 or (800) 843-3375.

n Mental health interviews by a licensed professional counselor are offered free through North Mississippi Medical Center Behavioral Health Center by appointment Monday-Friday at the Eason Boulevard center. Call (800) 843-3375.

n National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency provides free confidential information, assessments and treatment referrals for people struggling with addiction. Maintains listings of area support group meetings. Call 841-0403 or visit

n New Mom Tea and Social Hour is held quarterly at NMMC Wellness Center in Tupelo. The free fun and informative event is for women who have had babies in the past year and expecting moms. Call 377-4099 or (800) 843-3375.

n NMMC Breast Care Center is offering free, private sessions with a breast health specialist to help women learn proper breast self-examination skills. Classes are by appointment. Call (800) 843-3375.

n NMMC The Desk provides physician referrals and information on hospital health programs that are open to the public. Call (800) 843-3375.

n Nurse Link, a free health care information service provided by NMMC connects callers with a registered nurse from 7 a.m. to midnight. Call (800) 882-6274.

n Parenting classes will be offered at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi on Magazine Street in Tupelo. Classes in Spanish offered at 6 p.m. Thursdays. Free. Childcare provided. Marriage education and fathers-only parenting classes also available. Call 844-0013.

n Parenting classes are offered 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church on North Veterans Boulevard in Tupelo. Call 844-9637.

n Region III Mental Health Services provides counseling services, chemical dependency resources and services. Part of the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health. Call 844-1717.

n Regional Rehabilitation Center provides long-term outpatient, therapeutic rehabilitation center that provides services free of charge to individuals with disabilities. Call 842-1891.

n Sisters Network, Tupelo chapter of the African-American breast cancer survivor’s support group, has resources available to help medically underserved women receive free mammograms and connect with resources for breast cancer patients. Call Edna Ware at 842-3440.

n Sav-A-Life offers confidential pregnancy testing, counseling and parenting classes. The organization also hosts Bible study/support groups at its office, 100 Parkgate Drive, Suite A-1C, Tupelo. Call 841-1517 or 871-9488.

n Tobacco cessation classes are offered as a free seven-week program through North Mississippi Medical Center. It includes free nicotine patches. Call (800) 843-3375 for times and locations of the next class.

n Women First Resource Center offers information and support for women with breast cancer as well as other health issues. 215 N. Gloster, Suite D, in Tupelo. Call 842-5725.

n Women’s Heart Program offers comprehensive cardiovascular screening and consultation at Cardiology Associates in Tupelo. Includes blood tests and non-invasive blood vessel elasticity screening. Cost $99. Call 620-6801 for information and appointment.

n Woman’s Place Lunchtime Learning Series, a free monthly women’s health seminar is held regularly at the First Baptist Church grand hall, Church St., Tupelo. Those who preregister receive a free lunch. Call (800) 843-3375.


n Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women working to solve their common problem of alcoholism. There are no dues or fees. There are 30 meetings each week in Tupelo. Newcomers meeting 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays at Helping Hands on South Church Street; 10:10 p.m. Fridays candlelight meeting at Helping Hands. Call 844-0374.

n Al-Anon is a fellowship of friends and relatives

of alcoholics. The group has meetings at several

locations throughout Tupelo:

– Regional Rehabilitation Center, 8 p.m. Sundays,

Mondays and Thursdays;

– First Presbyterian Church, 8 p.m. Tuesday

– Calvary Baptist Church, noon Wednesday

and Friday. Call 844-0374 or (888) 425-2666.

? Alateen is a fellowship of children of alcoholics.

The group meets at 8 p.m. every Sunday

at the Regional Rehabilitation Center, Tupelo. Call

844-0374 or (888) 425-2666.

n The Alzheimer’s Support Group meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Cedars Health Center Activity Room in Tupelo. Open to anyone who has a relative or friend suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or any dementia-related illness. Call Terri Armstrong at 844-1441.

n An Amputee Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Longtown Medical Park, 4381 S. Eason Blvd., Tupelo. Call 377-7225 or (800) 843-3375.

n Breast Cancer Support Group, meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month at

Women First Resource Center, 215 N. Gloster, Suite D, Tupelo. Call 842-5725.

n AWAKE, a sleep apnea support group, meets quarterly at NMMC’s Sleep Disorders Center. Participants are encouraged to bring CPAP machines to have pressure tested. Call 377-3258 or (800) 843-3375.

n The Cancer Support Group meets at 11 a.m. the first Friday of each month at Longtown

Medical Park, 4381 S. Eason Blvd., Tupelo. Lunch is provided for those who preregister. Call 377-4077 or (800) 843-3375.

n Celebrate Recovery meets at 7 p.m. Fridays in the youth building at West Jackson Street Baptist Church in Tupelo. The Bible-based group is open to those struggling with addiction, anger issues, grief, guilt, shame, financial loss, abuse, eating disorders or compulsive behaviors. Contact Neil Naron at 891-1773 or Susan Naron at 871-3872.

n A Congenital Heart Defects Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at NMMC Women’s Hospital, Classroom C in Tupelo. Contact Amanda Young at 963-0975.

n Congestive Heart Failure Support Group meets at 3 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month in Room 21 of the NMMC East Tower. Meeting is open to heart failure patients and their families. Call 377-7558 or (800) 843-3375.

n The Diabetes Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at North Mississippi Medical Center’s Diabetes Treatment Center classroom, located on the fi rst floor of the NMMC East Tower, 830 S. Gloster St. Call 377-2500 or (800) 843-3375.

n The Disability Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at LIFE office, Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo. People with all kinds of physical and mental disabilities are welcome. Call Michael Sullivan at 844-6633.

n Family Education and Support Group for families coping with mental illness meets at noon the first Saturday of the month except in January, July, September and December in the conference room at the North Mississippi State Hospital. Contact Kim Sistrunk at 690-4262 or

n A Fibromyalgia Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at the Women First Resource Center 215 N. Gloster, Suite D, in Tupelo. Call 842-5725.

n Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery support group for people with a gambling problem, is in the process of establishing regular meetings in the Tupelo area. Call Jerry at 231-1744.

n The Gastric Bypass Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month in Room 27 of NMMC’s East Tower Education Center. Call 690-6600.

n Man-to-Man prostate cancer support groupmeets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month in the NMMC East Tower education center, Room 21, Tupelo. Call 377-3985 or (800) 843-3375.

n Mississippi Council of the Blind of North Mississippi meets at 10 a.m. the first Saturday of each month at the REACH Center for the Blind on Pegram Blvd., Tupelo. The organization is open to the blind or visually impaired, and sighted people. Call Bonnie Carnathan at 963-7136 or Tammy Cantrell at 620-7577.

n Mended Hearts Inc.-Tupelo, a support group for people who have had heart-bypass surgery, heart disease or other physical ailments of the heart, meets at 6 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at Room 21 of the NMMC East Tower Education Center. Dinner available for $9; RSVP required for dinner. Call Roy McAlilly at 620-6430.

n Mother to Mother Breastfeeding support group meets at 10:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month in the nursery at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 1400 Clayton Ave. The meetings are organized by La Leche League of Tupelo-Lee County. Babies and toddlers welcome. Contact Stacey at 837-8791 or

n The Multiple Sclerosis Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each

month at NMMC’s Longtown Medical Park, 4381 S. Eason Blvd. For more information, call 377-4058 or (800) 843-3375.

n Narcotics Anonymous, a community based association of recovering drug addicts, meets at noon, Monday through Saturday; at 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 10 p.m. Friday and at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday at 815 Harrison St., Tupelo;Another group meets at 6 p.m. Monday and Thursday, noon Wednesday, 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. at 314 S. Church St., Tupelo. Call 841-9998 or toll-free (866) 841-9998 for more information.

n The Osteoporosis Support Group meets at noon the third Tuesday of each month at North

Mississippi Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, Longtown Medical Park, 4381 S.Eason Blvd. Call 377-4352 and (800) 843-3375.

n The Ostomy Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month in North

Mississippi Medical Center’s East Tower Education Center, 830 S. Gloster St. For more information, call 377-2395 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-


n The Perinatal Loss Support Group will meet from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Haney-McCullar Chapel at NMMC’s Women’s Hospital for families who have experienced the death of a baby. The group meets the third Tuesday of every month. Call (662) 377-4956 or (800) 843-3375.

n Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries which offers support for those healing after abortion meets in the area for on going-support and retreats throughout the year.For more information, please visit or contact Barb Baumann at 231-1983, or toll-free at (877) 467-3463, www.rachelsvineyard. org.

n RESOLVE, the national infertility support group, meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the NMMC Wellness Center, Tupelo. Call Lisa Lindsey at 728-8502.

n Second Chance Transplant Awareness Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month except for June at Shonesys on North Gloster Street, Tupelo. Call Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Tupelo office 841-1960.

n A Sexual Addiction Support Group meets in Tupelo. Call 841-0403.

n Sisters Network Tupelo chapter of the African-American breast cancer survivor’s support group, meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month at the Link Centre in Tupelo. Call Edna Ware at 842-3440.

n T.A.A.P. (Teen Addiction Awareness Program) is a free 10-week program offered by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence building, 200 N. Spring St., Tupelo. The program, which meets for 90 minutes once a week, is open to teens age 13-18. There will be educational sessions on every aspect of drug and alcohol use and abuse. Call NCADD at 841-0403 or

n TOPS No. MS301, a weight loss support group, meets at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday at 2894 Highway 178 East in Skyline. Open to men, women and children over the age of 8. Weigh-ins begin at 5 p.m. Call Elsie at 620-1721 or Nita at 891-8651.

n Tupelo Lost Chords Club meets at noon the fourth Thursday of each month at the Longtown Medical Park conference room at 4381 S. Eason Blvd. The club is open to all laryngectomees, spouses of laryngectomees and interested professionals. Call Lisa Herrington at 377-7225.

Click video to hear audio