Health Industry in Meridian, MS

By Kevin Litwin on May 15, 2014 at 6:00 am EST
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East Mississippi’s plentiful medical-care options not only make residents feel good about calling Meridian and Lauderdale County home, but also provide numerous employment opportunities that boost the region's economic vitality.

Rush Health Systems – which includes seven hospitals and 28 physician-practice clinics – employs 3,300 workers, while Anderson Regional Medical Center has 1,600 employees, and East Mississippi State Hospital has 1,500. Alliance Health Center employs 385.

Also contributing to the medical betterment and overall economy are facilities such as Pine Grove Outreach Center (behavioral health and addiction services) and Weems Community Mental Health Center.

"All of these top medical facilities provide quality treatment and services not only to residents of Meridian and Lauderdale County, but also to people throughout east central Mississippi and west central Alabama," says Wade Jones, president of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. "The health industry remains vital to this region, with 900 physicians and a total of 6,000 medical-based employees."

Cancer, Heart, Psychiatric Services

With a history dating to 1928, Anderson Regional remains the largest area hospital, with 400 beds. It features north and south campuses while housing the region's sole comprehensive cancer center, and also offers services such as pain management, wound healing, a Level III trauma ER and a medically based fitness center.

The 215-bed Rush Foundation Hospital traces its roots to 1915. Today, Rush Health Systems also operates The Specialty Hospital of Meridian, a long-term, acute-care facility; five critical-access hospitals; a 40-provider physician-management company, and Rush Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician practice. Other services include Rush Heart Institute, the Family Birth Center, Rush GI Lab, Wound Care and Hyperbarics, Rush Sports Medicine Team, The Vein Center at Rush and more.

East Mississippi State Hospital is the state’s second-largest mental health hospital, while Alliance Health also serves patients with mental health or substance-abuse issues.

"Anderson Regional and Rush Foundation are our acute-care hospitals in Meridian, and both have greatly extended their services throughout the region with the acquisition and establishment of several medical clinics," Jones says. "Those clinics help address immediate primary care needs in many small rural communities within about a 65-mile radius of Meridian, including nine counties in Mississippi and three in Alabama."

Advanced and Effective

Jones adds that the medical facilities in East Mississippi also champion wellness for residents, especially important given increasing CDC statistics on obesity and reports about the associated quality of life and economic impact.

"The hospitals provide a number of on-site health education opportunities, as well as at a variety of classes in convenient settings. Plus, their staff members volunteer in many programs and activities throughout the community," Jones says. "The health-care facilities are good neighbors and community supporters within East Mississippi, and the industry means so much to our overall economy. We are lucky to have an advanced, impactful health-care industry right here in Meridian and Lauderdale County."

Find more on what it's like to live in Meridian, Miss.

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It's staggering the quality entertainment the [MSU Riley Center] has brought to Meridian. We are fortunate to experience this here without having to travel to larger markets. Instead, we benefit from tourists coming to us.

Wink Glover, longtime Meridianite