The Junior League of Jackson, for decades a strong supporter of children’s health, has made commitments totaling $1 million to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, a philanthropic effort to fund expansion of pediatric facilities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The nonprofit organization’s gift includes a $400,000 donation to the Campaign in May. Since then, the group has pledged another $600,000, bringing their giving to $1 million. So far, more than $60 million has been raised toward the Campaign’s $100 million goal.
“The Junior League of Jackson, from its very beginning, has been focused on improving the lives of children in Mississippi,” said Heidi Noel, JLJ president. “Our efforts and gifts are focused on an enduring impact, one that will help children and families now and in the future. This project, updating and expanding pediatric facilities, will do just that, and it is a project we are proud to support through philanthropy and awareness.”
The Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi construction plans include an enlarged and renovated neonatal intensive care unit, more rooms for the pediatric intensive care unit, more operating rooms and the creation of an imaging clinic especially for pediatric patients. A new pediatric clinic will make care for outpatients more convenient and comfortable for families. Expansion of the Children’s Heart Center is also on the drawing board.
“With these generous gifts, the Junior League of Jackson is making a lasting investment in the lives of Mississippi children,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “We are so grateful the legacy of the Junior League of Jackson’s philanthropic support of UMMC and Batson Children’s Hospital.”
Pediatric cardiology is among departments that will put the Junior League of Jackson’s philanthropy to good use.
“Having additional operating rooms, more space for critical care and an imaging center dedicated to pediatric patients will only increase the advances we are already making in treatment of congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Brian Kogon, professor and chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
The Junior League of Jackson is a longtime supporter of pediatric care at UMMC, raising the funds used to construct the Children’s Cancer Center, which opened 1991, and sending hundreds of volunteers to Batson Children’s Hospital over the years for programs ranging from Rockin’ Mamas in the neonatal intensive care unit to car seat safety and parties for patients.
Having a facility ready to care for the state’s sick and injured children is vital to families in Mississippi, said Dr. Mary Taylor, interim chair of Pediatrics. “In the effort to provide the best of care to our children, it is critical to have allies. We are thankful for the friendship of the Junior League of Jackson.”
Story and photos courtesy of University of Mississippi Medical Center