South Mississippi State Hospital
823 Highway 589, Purvis, Mississippi
601-794-0100 • (601) 794-0210 (FAX)
Respect • Compassion • Professionalism • Education • Teamwork • Trust • Communication

History of SMSH

The Mississippi State Legislature, through House Bill 960, passed the enabling legislation authorizing the construction of a regional psychiatric hospital. The 50-bed acute care facility, located in Purvis, Mississippi, was slated to offer treatment and services for mentally ill adult men and women in the southern part of the state. The catchment area for this new hospital was to be Region 12, which includes Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Perry, Greene, Wayne, Jones, Covington and Jefferson Davis counties.
Summer 1998

Construction began on South Mississippi State Hospital.

May 18, 2000
South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH) held its dedication ceremony. The administration building was named for Richard Rhoden, and the patient services building was named in honor of Senator James Bean.
June 12, 2000

SMSH received its first patient.

September 2000

SMSH opened the women’s unit.

Fall 2000

The SMSH warehouse opened.

May 2001
A groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin the construction of the Crisis Intervention Center (CIC) in Laurel.
June 14, 2001

SMSH completed its first Joint Commission (JC) survey.

June 16, 2001
SMSH received its first Joint Commission accreditation.
June 27, 2001
Friends of SMSH, Inc. was incorporated and is classified as a public charity under Section 509(a)(2).
Fall 2001

The SMSH cafeteria opened.

November 2001
SMSH converted to an all-male facility.
November 2001
SMSH received Medicare certification.
February 2002
The American Cancer Society honored SMSH for being a smoke-free facility.
December 2002
SMSH converted back to a co-ed facility.
December 2002
SMSH admitted its 1,000th patient.
March 2004
SMSH received an Askew award.
Spring 2004
Clint Ashley and Gwen Kelly graduated from the Department of Mental Health’s CPM program. CPM is a Certified Public Manager Program with Mississippi’s Department of Mental Health.
September 2004
The Crisis Intervention Center (CIC) dedication ceremony was held in Laurel, and eight beds were opened for patients.
September 20, 2004
The CIC took its first patient.
June 2005

SMSH held it’s five-year anniversary celebration.

August 30, 2005
SMSH patients and staff relocated to Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield due to structural damage to the Purvis facility caused by Hurricane Katrina.
September 2005
SMSH returned to full operation in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina damages.
September 2006
The remaining eight beds were opened at the CIC.
June 13, 2008
SMSH held first Memory Garden ceremony.
June 17, 2010

SMSH celebrated its ten-year anniversary.

July 1, 2010
The Crisis Intervention Center (CIC) in Laurel was transferred out from under the SMSH umbrella to be operated by Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources, the Region 12 community healthcare system.
September 2010
The SMSH catchment area was increased to include Pearl River, Stone, Harrison and Hancock counties.
December 2010
The SMSH catchment area was again increased to include George and Jackson counties.
January 30, 2011
The SMSH-operated Food & Nutrition Department dissolved, and food service at the hospital was contracted to Valley Foods.
June 30, 2011
Wynona Winfield, the only director SMSH had ever known, retired, leaving the hospital under the interim direction of Clint Ashley, Clinical Services Director, and Sabrina Young, Administrative Support Director, until a new director could be named by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
July 2011
Clint Ashley was named the second director of SMSH, effective August 1, 2011. Operation is expected to continue as it has.
August 1, 2011
Clint Ashley became the second director of SMSH.