HED: New committee formed to advise on regional needs of NMHS
By Marty Russell
An ad hoc committee of physicians from throughout North Mississippi Health Services’ affiliated hospitals and clinics has been formed to advise the corporation’s executive committee on needs in the region and to impose stricter review standards on physicians operating outside the system’s main hospital.
While North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo already has a medical staff committee, the new 12-member System Medical Staff Committee will be made up of physicians from outside the hospital to address the needs of NMHS’ broad system of clinics and hospitals. NMHS’ medical staff includes more than 275 physicians.
“What we have in place is an executive committee of the medical staff of North Mississippi Medical Center, which is just for the hospital,” explained Dr. Jeff Barber, NMHS president and chief executive officer. “What’s new is a committee of medical staff from throughout the system which has a broader area of responsibility … We need to look at the region from the perspective of how we’re doing in recruitment areas and needs for specific types of specialties.”
Dr. Roger Lowery, a Tupelo otolaryngologist and a member of the NMHS executive committee, will chair the new committee, which is expected to meet at least quarterly.
“What this will do is bring all of these physicians into a position where they can have input and have a voice on the board (of directors),” Lowery said.
For the patient, the new committee will mean increased confidence in their physician and better service, he said.
“It will give the patient two things,” Lowery said. “A better awareness that the doctor who’s taking care of them is a recognized member of the medical system.”
That will be accomplished by holding the doctors in NMHS’ outlying clinics and hospitals to the same credentialing review standards as doctors working for North Mississippi Medical Center.
The second benefit to the patient will be the ability of the new committee to bring needs ranging from equipment to personnel to the attention of the executive committee.
“If a patient needs a service that is not being provided then that doctor, through his representative (on the committee), can get that information to the board,” Lowery said.
In addition to Lowery, the other members of the System Medical Staff Committee are Dr. Johnny Bates of IMA Foundation in Hamilton, Ala.; Dr. Jim Brown of the IMA Foundation in Tupelo; Dr. Barry Jones of the Tupelo Family Medical Clinic; Dr. Charles Montgomery of North Mississippi Hematology and Oncology Associates in Tupelo; Dr. Charles Ozborn of the Eupora Family Medical Clinic; Dr. Scott Segars of the Segars Clinic in Iuka; Dr. John Shields of the Clinic for Women in West Point; Dr. James Shirley of Surgery Associates in Tupelo; Dr. Stephen Shirley of the New Albany Family Medical Clinic; Dr. Don Smith of the Okolona Family Medical Clinic; and Dr. Paul Whiteside, a private practice physician in Pontotoc.