Baptist reveals hospital plans

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Baptist Memorial Health Care officials on Friday showed city of Oxford and Lafayette County officials preliminary plans for the new hospital they’ve promised to build in Oxford.
A best-case scenario, said Baptist spokesman Dick Cowart, could have the new hospital open as early as late 2016.
“On behalf of Baptist, we remain very excited about this, about what it will mean for health care in north Mississippi,” he said.
The Memphis-based nonprofit, which operates hospitals and clinics across the Mid-South, has bought 150 acres for the new facility just west of the existing hospital. No plans have been made for the current facility.
The new hospital will face north, with entrances off South Lamar Boulevard and Old Taylor Roads, which will be connected with an extension of Belk Boulevard. It will offer 1,830 surface parking spaces.
Patient rooms will have more space to accommodate family members, and outpatient services will be near the front of the hospital. Acute-care services such as surgery, labor and delivery, endoscopy, cath labs and interventional radiology will be clustered together one floor above the emergency department for fast transfers and isolation from public areas.
More patient rooms will be intensive-care and step-down units, and both outpatient and inpatient discharges will have a dedicated exit instead of leaving through public lobbies.
Baptist will file its Certificate of Need application on June 29. Upon its expected approval, site and building plans will undergo more detailed review.
The site’s inclusion in the city limits is required by the purchase contract under which Baptist bought the existing hospital last year. A suit to stop the inclusion was filed, and trial is set for October.
“It’s not going to stop the CON process. I think everybody feels every criteria for inclusion is met,” Cowart said.
He asked both boards for a letter of support for the certificate of need application.
“We’re glad to do this publicly,” Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson said.
errol.castens@journalinc.com