• WTWZ

Merit Health has Broad Impact on Central Mississippi


Over the course of a year, the impact of the Merit Health network of hospitals and Merit Health Medical Group adds up as the skilled and compassionate hands of physicians, nurses and other team members deliver safe, quality care around the clock every day. Beyond clinical care, Merit Health is a major employer and regularly invests resources to expand and enhance the services available locally. The overall community benefit each year is significant and totaled more than $258.6 million in 2021.


Last year, the hospitals and clinics delivered care with more than 492,000 patient visits as the pandemic heightened the need for medical care. The pandemic has heightened the need for medical care and Merit Health safely delivered a full complement of services while supporting COVID inpatients since March 2020.


“We provided quality care for patients with COVID and also for other members of our community who had a broad range of medical needs,” said Barry Moss, Vice President of Operations, Merit Health, Region 4. “Our communities are truly fortunate to have this resilient and committed team of clinicians and caregivers here in Central Mississippi who make a difference for so many patients each day. We helped people get well and live healthier, and that was evident in so many ways - patients went home in better shape with less pain following surgery or a smile of relief when their screening mammogram or colonoscopy was clear.”


Employees and medical staff brought their skills and compassion to support more than 15,000 inpatient admissions and performed more than 23,000 surgeries. The network also delivered joy to local families as more than 3,000 babies were born.

Merit Health continues to grow and evolve as they put resources toward increased services, facilities and technologies that are important to their patients. These include the enhancement of behavioral health services through the addition of adult intensive outpatient therapy at Merit Health Rankin and the opening of an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program at Merit Health Central. They expanded the continuum of care for patients with Merit Health Madison’s new swing-bed service which allows patients to transition from acute care to a skilled nursing facility care without leaving the hospital. Advanced treatment for early-stage breast cancer patients through single-dose intraoperative radiotherapy is offered at Merit Health Woman’s Hospital and new robotic surgical systems with 3D capability were obtained at Merit Health River Oaks, which support faster recovery and precise planning, measurement and alignment for the best possible outcomes.


Since 2021, more than 3,000 hearts beat stronger following cardiac catheterization at the network’s chest pain accredited hospitals. Merit Health Heart is supported by 13 cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons within Merit Health Medical Group, who work with specialists in imaging and nutrition to prevent and treat heart disease through advanced care and services to our patients.


Missisissippi’s only designated burn center, located at Merit Health Central, treated more than 72,000 patients in the outpatient clinic. Providers performed 2,700 burn and hand surgeries and admitted 1,000 for inpatient treatment.

Merit Health’s five Emergency departments helped patients receive quality care quickly. In 2021, Merit Health hospitals accepted 2,500 transfers of patients from across the region in need of a higher level of care and treated more than 87,000 ER patients.


As Merit Health works to continuously meet patients’ needs, it also gives back to the broader Central Mississippi region. The health system provided over $230.1 million in charity and uncompensated care for the community’s most vulnerable. And the $22.4 million paid in property, sales and GRT taxes helps support civic resources and services.


The hospitals’ payroll of more than $178.9 million ripples across the local economy as employees buy goods and services.


Moss continued, “We are part of this community and we are committed to doing all we can to provide excellent healthcare services and to making Central Mississippi a healthier, better community for all.


To help the community live healthier, Merit Health launched a free e-newsletter last year with a monthly dose of health and wellness inspiration sent directly to your inbox. Sign up at https://bit.ly/36fimcA.