Health Officials OK $36M Tupelo, MS, Hospital Expansion

Mon September 29, 2003 - Southeast Edition

TUPELO, MS (AP) State health officials this week approved a $36 million expansion at North Mississippi Medical Center.

The state Health Department recently approved the certificate of need for construction of a west patient tower and expansion of a parking garage.

The proposed west tower will create larger patient rooms and add 10 rehab beds to the hospital. Construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2005, NMMC vice president Bruce Ridgway said.

After the new patient rooms are built in the tower, the hospital plans to renovate the old patient rooms for other uses.

The project would add another five-level parking garage next to the existing employee garage, Ridgway said. Construction of the garage is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2004.

To control costs, avoid duplication of services and protect existing health care providers from competition, Mississippi and many other states control the building of hospitals and other major health care facilities through the issuance of certificates of need.

They do so, in part, by using a complex mathematical formula that takes into account population, health needs, existing services and other factors within geographic regions.