|If you are a member of the media and would like additional photographs or to go with any of these articles, need a source for something you are working on, or would like an interview, please contact Donna Simmons at 601-794-0219 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Mississippi State Hospital welcomes new doctor to staff
Purvis, Miss. -- (February 2012) J. Allen Harris, MD, has joined the staff of South Mississippi State Hospital as Clinical Director.
“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Harris on staff at SMSH,” said Clint Ashley, hospital director. “He has much to share with our staff and our patients – experience, compassion and a desire to give back.”
Harris, a Fort Worth native, attended University of Texas at Arlington but was accepted into medical school prior to completing his course of study in premed biology. He earned his doctorate of medicine in 1983 from University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio. Harris’ post-graduate training included an internship and residency in internal medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center Teaching Hospitals, San Antonio.
After practicing in Longview,Texas, Harris returned to school for psychiatric training at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. Because of his sensitive temperament and need for closeness, Harris said he should have been in psychiatry all along.
“I feel blessed to be in this field,” he said. “It provides an opportunity to help hurting patients. It is fascinating, personally fulfilling and never gets old.”
Harris describes himself as a teacher and looks forward to working with medical students from William Carey University’s new osteopathic medicine program when they come to SMSH for psychiatric rotations.
“It is refreshing to work with patients who are often forgotten and get the leftovers,” said Harris. “They deserve the best in our profession.”
Harris and his wife have five children and three grandchildren. He enjoys golf, making Doc’s Texas Barbecue (from his father’s secret recipe), and exercise and is a huge Dallas Mavericks fan.
South Mississippi State Hospital staff complete state management program
Purvis, Miss. -- (February 2012) Two South Mississippi State Hospital staff members recently completed the Mississippi State Personnel Board’s Certified Supervisory Management Program. Andy Tucker, SMSH Fiscal Services Director, and Arif Kamal, SMSH Active Treatment Technician Supervisor, both of Hattiesburg, completed the first half of the State Personnel Board’s Certified Public Manager Program. Completion of the first half of the program earns participants a CSM designation. They are now eligible to apply for second level -- the CPM Program, from which Tucker says he plans to graduate in June 2012.
Candidates for the Mississippi CPM Program must be employed by or with a Mississippi governmental organization and should be in a supervisory or managerial position. The CPM Program is built on the philosophy that the study of management can impact certain skills, attitudes and behaviors that characterize successful management. The program combines state-of-the-art theory with practical training. The designation as a “Certified Public Manager” is viewed as a professional credential involving study, practice, application and testing. The CPM Program requires completion of six levels of one-week courses, two outside readings, professional development electives, selected required electives, three job-related projects, examinations on core courses and an executive seminar.
Tucker holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Mississippi State University. He has completed the Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s Basic Supervisory Course and FOCUS Program. Both the CSM/CPM program and FOCUS are advanced DMH management training initiatives. Tucker served as Purchasing Director at the hospital from January 2000, prior to the facility’s opening in May of that year, until he was promoted to his current position as Fiscal Services Director in September 2010.
“I have enjoyed meeting people from other agencies and learning more about how state government works,” said Tucker. “Some of the classes are really interesting.”
Kamal is a native of Bangladesh in southeast Asia. He came to the University of Southern Mississippi in Fall 1997 and received a Master of Public Health degree in Fall 1999. He has been employed by SMSH since May 2000, prior to the hospital receiving its first patient. Kamal also graduated from the John C. Stennis State Executive Development Institute of Government in May 2008.
“Working together as a team, using a decision-making model and open communication were the most valued and applicable skills I learned during CPM Levels I-III,” said Kamal.
The CPM Program has received favorable attention nationwide as a training system that measures, as well as develops, professional competency in the field of public management. By increasing the productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of state employees, CPM helps enhance the overall quality and image of state government operations. The Mississippi CPM Program is a member of the National CPM Consortium and is administered under the authority of the Mississippi State Personnel Board.
South Mississippi State Hospital names Brown Employee of the Quarter
PURVIS, Miss. (January 2012) -- South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH) recently named Brown, PMHNP-BC, Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Brown contracted to SMSH as an RN from July 2006 until he earned his PMHNP license. After passing his psychiatric nurse practitioner exam in June 2010, he came to work at SMSH full-time. Brown holds associate degrees from Mississippi Delta Community College in Liberal Arts and in Nursing. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi in May 2004 and a Masters in Nursing in May 2009.
“He attempts to establish rapport with each and every patient, acknowledging that he values and respects their opinions and feedback regarding their treatment program,” Brown’s nominator wrote about him. “He is always willing to help wherever it is needed, . . . he maintains his composure and always presents himself in a professional manner.”
Brown’s soft-spoken manner and sense of humor along with his work ethic and pleasing personality have garnered him respect across the campus.
“I like that my job gives me the ability to serve others,” said Brown.
SMSH Social Work Supervisor honored by Southern Miss
PURVIS, Miss. -- (December 2011) Angela Savage, a Licensed Masters Social Worker and social work supervisor at South Mississippi State Hospital in Purvis, was recently named Field Instructor of the Year 2011 by the University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work.
SMSH is a 50-bed acute care facility in Purvis, that offers mental health treatment and services for adults in the southern part of the state.
Savage has worked in the Social Services Department at SMSH since October 2007. She previously worked at two other Department of Mental Health facilities – Ellisville State School and North Mississippi State Hospital in Tupelo as well as in the School of Social Work at the Southern Miss.
A 1997 graduate of Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Savage earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 and graduated with her Master’s in 2006. She served on several committees and societies and graduated with honors from her undergraduate and graduate programs.
Field instructors for the Southern Miss School of Social Work prepare and provide students with social work values, ethics, knowledge, skills and cultural competencies in working with a wide range of clientele. Generally, field instructors are social workers who are employed in social agencies or other institutions and have some experience in supervision and recognition for competence in their work. They must be willing to accept and apply the educational objectives of the curriculum of the School of Social Work. They are considered part-time faculty by the School even though their time and expertise are donated.
Savage has been serving as a field instructor for the Southern Miss program for approximately three years. She is also involved with other parts of the program as a guest speaker.
She is a native of New Albany and currently resides in Petal. Savage enjoys reading magazines, watching the Amazing Race and spending time with her family. She has been married to Howard Savage, Jr. for twelve years. The couple has three children: Amara, Amarion, and Amaya.
South Mississippi State Hospital’s Public Relations Program Receives Awards
PURVIS, Miss. (November 2011) – South Mississippi State Hospital’s director of public relations, Donna Simmons, was recently honored for outstanding work by the Mississippi Hospital Association’s (MHA) Society for Health Care Marketing and Public Relations.
At the 24th Annual Maggie Awards in Madison on November 3, South Mississippi State Hospital received a Maggie Award in the Special Events category for the hospital’s Butterfly Effects event, honoring the hospital’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in 2010. The Butterfly Effects event also won Best of Show Overall.
The Maggie Awards program recognizes outstanding marketing and communication work submitted by professionals from the health care sector in Mississippi. This year, there were over 200 entries submitted from hospitals, health systems, and other health care organizations from across the state. Only the top two entries in each category won awards, and in order to receive a Maggie award, an entry had to rank "excellent" in the judges' scoring system.
Simmons also received the Junior Professional of the Year Award during the society’s annual meeting. This award is given each year to an outstanding professional in the field of health care marketing and public relations. It is based on accomplishments and experience, focusing on professionalism, creativity, contributions to the organization and communities served, as well as a continued dedication to learning and furthering the field of marketing and public relations.
Simmons has been employed with the South Mississippi State Hospital since February 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Southern Mississippi and an Associate of Arts degree in Marketing and Management Technology from Jones County Junior College. She is a member of the Area Development Partnership, Friends of SMSH, the Pinebelt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, and the Mississippi Hospital Association.
South Mississippi State Hospital names April Holder Employee of the Quarter
PURVIS, Miss. -- April Holder, RN, was recently named Employee of the Quarter at South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH).
Holder, a Lamar County resident, worked on the cardiac unit at Wesley Medical Center before coming to work at SMSH in 2006.
“She finishes her work, assists others, and does an excellent job showing new employees how to complete tasks efficiently,” Holder’s nominator wrote about her.
She is trusted by her peers to get her work done while maintaining order in the department and has even recently filled in for the nurse executive in her absence. Holder earned an Associates Degree in Nursing from Pearl River Community College.
“I enjoy working and taking care of people who really need our help,” said Holder. “I also enjoy the people I work with. It’s great to have that because it helps to make a tough day easy!”
In her spare time, she likes to volunteer at her children’s school. Holder is married and has a six-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. She enjoys spending time with her family and making them happy.
|New director named at South Mississippi State Hospital
PURVIS, Miss. (August 9, 2011)– Clint Ashley has been appointed Director of South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH) in Purvis.
SMSH is an acute-care, regional psychiatric facility that provides services for adults with mental illness. SMSH serves Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Perry, Greene, Wayne, Jones, Covington, Jefferson Davis, Stone, Pearl River, George, Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties.
“I have great confidence in Mr. Ashley’s ability to provide the leadership needed for SMSH to continue providing the excellent service your communities have come to expect and for which they respect you so much,” said Ed LeGrand, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
Ashley has been employed with the hospital since February 2000, just prior to the facility’s opening in June of that year. At the time of his appointment to the director position, Ashley was serving as the hospital’s Clinical Support Director. During his eleven-year tenure with SMSH, Ashley has also served as Director of Risk Management and Security and as Director of the off-campus Crisis Intervention Center in Laurel, which was then a division of SMSH.
He holds a Master of Science Degree in Workforce Training and Development from The University of Southern Mississippi and is a 2003 graduate of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government. He completed the Mississippi State Certified Public Managers Program in 2002 and was awarded the National Askew Award for best model project. His undergraduate degrees include a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from The University of Mississippi, an Associate of Arts Degree from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and an Associate of Science Degree in Information Systems Technology from Jones County Junior College. He is a member of the Mississippi Hospital Association, Seminary Baptist Church and Friends of SMSH.
Ashley is a native of Copiah County. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Covington County with their three children, Jarred, Julia and Kelsey. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, church activities, outdoor activities and Ole Miss football.