The private, 15-bed center will operate at Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in partnership with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga.
Mississippi has not had an inpatient burn facility since the Mississippi Firefighters' Memorial Burn Center in Greenville closed in mid-2005 because of budget and staffing shortfalls. Patients were then transported to burn centers around the South for treatment.
The Brandon facility, which will be named the Joseph M. Still Burn and Reconstructive Centers Inc. at Crossgates River Oaks Hospital, developed from the outpatient burn clinic that opened at Crossgates River Oaks in March 2008. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The evolving of the center was the plan from the beginning; it just happened much sooner than we thought it would," said Dr. R. Fred Mullins, medical director of Augusta's Still Burn Center, a 59-bed unit that admits more than 3,000 patients each year from several southern states.
"You have to take baby steps. We'll expand this center as we need to."
The number of people staffing the new center will "depend on the needs," Mullins said.