Groundbreaking for Mississippi’s first pediatric skilled nursing facility

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders at the University Mississippi Medical Center and Children’s of Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant, First Lady Deborah Bryant, and patients broke ground on the state’s first skilled nursing facility for children.

The facility is located at 3881 Eastwood Drive in Jackson, minutes from the UMMC campus.

Leaders said the facility will help children and families transition from hospital care to home. It will also provide long-term care for some of Mississippi’s most vulnerable pediatric patients.

“This is the start of something new, historic and very close to all of our hearts,” said Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children’s of Mississippi. “We have patients at our children’s hospital who could live in a more home-like space if skilled nursing care was available. We want for these patients what we want for all children: health, happiness and for them to reach their full potential.”

The idea for the facility took root when Mississippi’s First Lady Deborah Bryant met Children’s of Mississippi patient DeAsia Scott, who has lived at the state’s only children’s hospital since being seriously injured in a car accident as a young child.

The two met during one of the First Lady’s visits to the children’s hospital. “I had no idea there were children who had been there most of their lives, and that just broke my heart,” Bryant said.

The new facility is being funded through bonds authorized by state legislation as well as through philanthropy. Mississippi Rep. Alyce G. Clarke was honored by name in the legislation for her efforts on such projects.

While the facility will be a skilled nursing facility, the space will have a home-like atmosphere, with areas for dinners and programs indoors, and outdoor space for recreation.

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