By Michaela Gibson Morris
TUPELO – New North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo leader Tim Moore is rooted in health care.
Twenty-seven years ago, Moore spent a summer working as an orderly at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian to improve his chances of getting into the competitive radiologic technician program at Meridian Community College.
“I learned an awful lot about health care,” Moore said. “I’ve seen the hospital from top to bottom. That time (as an orderly) gave me as strong a connection to patients as anything I’ve ever done.”
Earlier this month, Moore, who had served as the North Mississippi Health Services vice president for community hospitals since April 2012, was named president of NMMC-Tupelo, succeeding Steve Altmiller, who has become the chief executive for three-hospital Good Shepherd system in Longview, Texas.
While it’s not clear exactly how health care is going to evolve over the next decade, Moore expects to see an expanded use of outpatient services, tighter reimbursement tied to documentation and quality measures.
“It’s a challenge that everybody in health care is racing to get to,” Moore said. “We have some very interesting years ahead of us.”
NMMC-Tupelo and North Mississippi Health Services are uniquely positioned for the challenges and opportunities coming in health care.
“We have the tools and philosophy in place to get us there faster,” Moore said.
Moore’s professional journey has taken him from orderly to hospital administration. But he had early lessons in the servant leadership from his father, Elder Hilton Moore, a longtime Baptist minister.
“I think a owe a lot of my success to the lessons he taught me early,” said Moore, noting that his father is still serving three churches in east central Mississippi at the age of 83. “He’s probably the most disciplined individual I know.”
As a youngster growing up in Forest in central Mississippi, Tim Moore was interested in medicine, but not in 10 years of school after high school graduation. He started to pursue a business career, but something was missing. The radiologic technician program opened the door back to health care.
“I wound up going to school a lot longer,” said Moore, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State and a master’s from the University of New Orleans. “But I’ve never looked back.”
Moore worked as an X-ray and nuclear medicine technician for five years at Meridian area hospitals; it’s an experience he holds dear.
“I was able to make connections with patients,” as a radiology tech, Moore said. “I never lose sight of why we’re here.”
During his time as a nuclear medicine technician at Rush, he connected with then-hospital administrator Wallace Strickland, who is now president of Rush Health System, and he had the opportunity to be a part of resolving an issue between a physicians group and the nuclear medicine department.
Those experiences opened the door into hospital management, starting as a personnel director and then vice president of ancillary services at Rush.
“I felt like I could make a impact on patient care at a higher level,” Moore said.
His journey took him to Greenwood Leflore hospital and then to NMMC-West Point in 2003. Moore still has warm memories of his time in West Point.
“They have a wonderful staff, physicians and board, and the community is very supportive,” Moore said. “It’s a shining star.”
His time there allowed him to build a relationship with now-retired, longtime NMMC leader Gerald Wages, who he also considers a mentor. He has followed in Wages’ footsteps, guiding NMMC community hospitals and in Mississippi Hospital Association leadership – Moore is the chairman-elect for the MHA board.
“I still call Gerald,” Moore said.
In 2007, Moore returned to the Rush system, as a regional vice president, before taking on a similar role for North Mississippi Health Services in 2012.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my opportunities to see different aspects of health care,” Moore said.