If you are a member of the media and would like a photograph to go with any of these articles, please contact Donna Simmons at 601-794-0219 or via e-mail at dsimmons@smsh.state.ms.us.

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.

 

South Mississippi State Hospital Names Cindy Hyden Employee of the Quarter

PURVIS, Miss. --  Cindy Hyden, a social worker at South Mississippi State Hospital, was recently named Employee of the Quarter at the Purvis facility.
Hyden moved to Mississippi from Santa Maria, California.  She currently resides in Petal.
Before coming to work at SMSH in 2004, Hyden worked at River Oak Center for Children in Sacramento, California.
“Cindy shows respect to the patients by protecting their confidentiality and protecting their rights as patients,” said Angela Savage, a fellow social worker at the hospital.
She is also a team player and helps out whenever asked; she is always available to fill in whenever needed.”
Hyden holds a Master’s degree in counseling from California State University – Sacramento and a Bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from California State University – Chico.  She attended Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria.
“I enjoy my coworkers, working with the patients and their families, and coordinating services and putting patient histories together,” said Hyden.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, working out and cooking.
South Mississippi State Hospital (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. The hospital’s Friends of SMSH organization recognizes an outstanding employee each quarter and provides service pins and incentive-related supplies and activities for hospital staff as well as needed services and events for patients.  Friends of SMSH is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding of mental health and the needs of individuals with mental illness, improving the quality of life for patients, and providing recognition and support for employees.

 

Hospital director announces retirement

PURVIS, Miss. -- Wynona Winfield, who has served as director at South Mississippi State Hospital since the facility’s opening in January 2000, recently announced that she will be retiring the end of June.

South Mississippi State Hospital in Purvis 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.

As director of SMSH, Winfield oversees all aspects of operations at the hospital. Prior to her appointment to this position, she served as director of North Mississippi State Hospital in Tupelo.  North and South Mississippi State Hospitals are Mississippi’s only regional, acute-care psychiatric hospitals operated by the Department of Mental Health.  Winfield was involved in the design, planning, construction, oversight, staffing, and opening operations of both hospitals.  Additionally, Winfield was involved in the prototypical design and program planning for the Department of Mental Health’s first crisis intervention center located in Corinth. This crisis center design has been duplicated in six other centers statewide.

Winfield, a Wayne County native, has been employed by the Department of Mental Health in management and administrative positions for more than 25 years, serving as communications director and assistant director at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield and as personnel director at East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian prior to the opening of North and South Mississippi State Hospitals.

Before serving with the Department of Mental Health, Winfield worked in both private and public sectors in public relations and communications. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communicative Arts from Mississippi College.  She is a certified mental health therapist, a certified public manager, a graduate of the State Executive Development Institute, and a licensed Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program Administrator.

Winfield has served as a member of the board of directors of the South Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross, member of the Funds Distribution Committee for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi, president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Association for Behavioral Healthcare management, president of the Mississippi Mental Health/Mental Retardation Council, chairman of the Board of the Mental Health Association of the Capital Area, a charter member of Women In Network, a  member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a board member of the Society for Behavioral Health. Winfield was recently inducted into the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Quarter Century Executive Forum.

Hospital staff and Friends of SMSH honored Winfield with a reception on June 29.

 

Dale certified as Licensed Department of Mental Health Administrator

PURVIS, Miss. --  Debbie Dale was recently certified as a Licensed Department of Mental Health Administrator with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH). She serves as Staff Development Director at South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH) in Purvis.  Dale, a Marion County resident, has been employed with SMSH since June 2004.
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.
 Dale graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.  She received her Masters of Education degree from William Carey College in 1996.  She has completed the Basic Supervisory Course, the Certified Public Manager program and the Department of Mental Health FOCUS program.  She has also served as a board member of the Pine Belt Mental Health Association for the last two and a half years.
The Licensed Mental Health Administrator program is a professional credentialing program designed for top-level mental health, intellectual developmental disabilities, or addiction program administrators within the DMH.  Acceptance into the program is through a selection process and requires a master’s degree or higher and completion of the Certified Public Manager and FOCUS programs.
FOCUS is an accelerated leadership program designed for the Mississippi DMH to develop leaders from within.  The overall goal of the program is to have the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. Dale completed the FOCUS program in November 2010.
Prior to her employment at SMSH, Dale taught at West Marion Primary School for eleven years and served on the State Department of Education School Assessment Team for five years.  She also worked for the University of Southern Mississippi as a School Improvement Representative and taught teacher continuing education classes for Mississippi State University at the Meridian Campus and at the University of Southern Mississippi. 

 

South Mississippi State Hospital Names Zoë Burke Employee of the Quarter

PURVIS, Miss. (June 8, 2011) -- Zoë Burke was recently named South Mississippi State Hospital’s first quarter Employee of the Quarter. She has served as a psychologist at the Purvis facility since January 2008.
Burke, currently a Lamar County resident, is a native of Gibraltar, Spain. She moved to Wiggins when she was eight and lived there until she graduated from Stone High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from William Carey University in 1996, and holds a Master’s degree in Gerontology and Counseling, which she earned from William Carey in 2006.
“Zoë is consistently one of the most compassionate mental health professionals I have known,” said Dr. Scott Willoughby, her supervisor and Program Director at SMSH. “She is a strong patient advocate and serves as a model at compassionate care for people with mental illness.”
Before coming to work at the State hospital in Purvis, Burke worked at Pine Belt Mental Health Care, an outpatient facility, for more than ten years, seven of which were spent at the organization’s Oasis Clubhouse. She served as an adult case manager there and as a MIMS case manager/clinician. 
“I love the inpatient setting – the ability to see progress within each patient from admission to discharge,” said Burke. “At SMSH, we are able to briefly be a part of the patients’ lives. It can be inspirational, fascinating, sad, challenging, frustrating (at times) and rewarding. We have the ability to provide hope, encouragement and support.
“I feel blessed to have such a great team to work with; to provide support, encouragement and challenge me to be my best,” she said.
In her spare time, Burke enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and watching movies.

 

South Mississippi State Hospital catchment area enlarged

PURVIS, Miss. (December 2010)  The Mississippi Department of Mental Health has revised the psychiatric services catchment areas for Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield and South Mississippi State Hospital in Purvis. Effective September 1, 2010, the catchment area for SMSH expanded to include Hancock, Harrison, Stone and Pearl River counties in addition to the nine counties the Purvis facility had been serving for the past decade. In mid-December, George and Jackson counties were added to the hospital's catchment area.

South Mississippi State Hospital in Purvis is an acute-care, regional psychiatric facility that provides services for adults with mental illness. Since it’s opening in 2000, SMSH has primarily served Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Perry, Greene, Wayne, Jones, Covington and Jefferson Davis counties. Mississippi counties are divided into regions that mirror those served by community mental health centers. With the addition of George and Jackson counties to it's area, South Mississippi State Hospital now serves Regions 12, 13 and 14.

The enlarged SMSH catchment area should also result in a savings to law enforcement officials in Regions 13 and 14 (Stone, Pearl River, Hancock, Harrison, George and Jackson counties) who have been transporting individuals committed for psychiatric treatment to Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield or East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian.

The primary purpose of SMSH being built in Purvis was to provide a continuum of services for the mentally ill within the patient’s region of residence.  This closer proximity allows family, friends and community to more actively support the treatment, recovery and aftercare of the patient.  The addition of these four new counties to the SMSH catchment area will give patients in those counties, along with their families, closer access to the psychiatric care they need.

Mental health officials at SMSH believe that family involvement in the patient’s care and discharge planning is important.  The hospital’s Social Services department hosts monthly family education meetings and works diligently to involve family members from admission through discharge and aftercare.

“We are excited to be able to offer psychiatric services to the patients in these coastal counties,” said Wynona Winfield, SMSH Director. “Rather than having to drive to MSH in Whitfield or EMSH in Meridian for treatment, care here in Purvis will be much more accessible for them and will allow their families to visit more frequently and participate in their care planning.”

 

DMH Awards Oil Spill Grant Funding for behavorial health

December 3, 2010 (Jackson, MS) – The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) recently awarded 14 grants to provide behavioral health services to individuals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill. Through the grant funding, a wide range of services will be provided such as substance abuse prevention and treatment, employment assistance for individuals with a mental illness, coping skills for families and children dealing with stress, anxiety and/or depression, domestic violence prevention and intervention, as well as general psychiatric interventions for those who have been affected by the oil spill.

Grants were awarded to the following providers:

“Our goal is to use the funds from this initial contribution by BP to provide comprehensive behavioral health services on the MS Gulf Coast to as many individuals that have been affected by the oil spill as possible,” said Scott Sumrall, DMH Director of Disaster Preparedness and Response. “We reviewed many grant proposals from all types of programs and for all types of services to ensure the behavioral health needs of these residents are met.”

In October, Gulf Coast residents had a chance to share their mental health and environmental needs and concerns with state and federal officials during a household survey to measure how residents are reacting to the oil spill. DMH, the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Office of Epidemiology (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted 173 interviews for a behavioral health needs assessment in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties. The assessment found that 24.5% of respondents reported one or more symptoms of depression and 31.5 % of respondents reported one or more symptoms of anxiety. Decreased income since the oil spill was reported by 35.7% of households. 
BP provided $12 million to DMH to support its efforts to help Mississippi residents in the coastal communities access appropriate behavioral health services. The funding will help residents link up with support that is available through providers in their communities.

For more information about services available in your area, contact the Oil Spill Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

 

South Mississippi State Hospital Names Kelly McDaniel Employee of the Quarter

PURVIS, Miss. (October 2010)--  Kelly McDaniel was recently named South Mississippi State Hospital’s third quarter Employee of the Quarter.  She has served as the facility’s personnel officer since November 2007.
McDaniel is a native of Wiggins.  She attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Mississippi State University before beginning her career in human resources at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.
“Kelly treats all employees with fairness, dignity and respect; she is a joy to work with,” said Sabrina Young, SMSH administrative support director. “. . . Kelly always represents SMSH in a professional manner.”
South Mississippi State Hospital (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.

The hospital’s Friends of South Mississippi State Hospital organization recognizes an outstanding employee each quarter and provides service pins and incentive-related supplies and activities for hospital staff as well as needed services and events for patients.  Friends of SMSH is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding of mental health and the needs of individuals with mental illness, improving the quality of life for patients, and providing recognition and support for employees.

Those who nominated McDaniel for the honor commended her communication skills as well as her willingness to help whenever and wherever needed. Her supervisor affirmed that she works within and above the value system the hospital operates under – Communication, Compassion, Education, Professionalism, Respect, Teamwork and Trust.

“Kelly has done an excellent job handling benefits this past year,” said Gwen Kelly, human resources director. “I hear her talking with employees regularly helping and educating them on the benefits they have.
“She is always looking to put others before herself, and there has never been a time when she has been asked to pitch in, whether in HR or in another department, that she hasn’t done so and worked exceedingly well with others.”

McDaniel headed more than one planning committee for the hospital’s ten-year anniversary celebration in June. She has also been involved in initiating and implementing multiple fund-raisers for Friends of SMSH.
In her spare time, McDaniel enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.

 

New psychiatrist on staff at SMSH

PURVIS, Miss.(October 2010) -- South Mississippi State Hospital recently welcomed Dr. Siddeeqah Bilal to the licensed professional staff on the Purvis campus.

Dr. Bilal holds a B.S. degree from Tougaloo College and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan.  She received her medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she did her psychiatry residency training.  She also received the Nina Moffit M.D. Award in 2009 and the William L. Jaquith Award in 2010.

A genuine interest in seeing patients improve while working with their families to achieve that objective was one reason Dr. Bilal chose psychiatry as a profession.

“I love the family involvement it takes to get the best outcomes,” she said. “It takes a full team to do well in this profession, and I like that. It is always interesting to see the difference in patients when they enter and leave the hospital.”

“(Dr. Bilal) works so well with the staff and patients,” said Gwen Kelly, Human Resources Director.  “She is a great asset to SMSH.”

Dr. Bilal expressed her appreciation for being selected to fill the position she now holds saying, “I love it here. There is a special environment here like no other, and it only takes working at other psychiatric facilities to see the difference.”

She further noted her positive impression of the SMSH staff and their genuine interest in and caring attitudes toward the patients.

“I am most impressed with the ATTs (active treatment technicians),” she said. “. . . their interactions with the patients are some of our most important on the unit.”

“These patients need advocates, and I see myself as one,” she said.

Originally from Columbia, Miss., Dr. Bilal said coming back to South Mississippi is like coming home after a 15-year break.

"We are very pleased to have Dr. Bilal on our staff,” said Wynona Winfield, hospital director.  “We have been associated with her throughout the latter part of her residency at UMC and were very encouraged to know that she wanted to return to south Mississippi to live and work.  She is definitely a significant addition to our team in times when the demand for our services is increasing."

Eventually, Dr. Bilal would like to do a missionary trip with her children. She sees herself as a servant and believes that is one reason she is so drawn to the field of psychiatry.  She describes herself as a down-to-earth, genuinely happy mother of two (Lela is 5, and Lauryn is 2).

 

South Mississippi State Hospital achieves Joint Commission accreditation

PURVIS, Miss. (September 2010) – By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission‘s national standards for health care quality and safety, South Mississippi State Hospital has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™.
“We sought accreditation for our organization because we want to demonstrate our commitment to patient safety and quality care,” said Wynona Winfield, SMSH Director. “We view obtaining Joint Commission accreditation as another step toward achieving excellence.”
The Joint Commission conducted an unannounced, on-site evaluation of South Mississippi State Hospital recently. The accreditation award recognizes the hospital’s dedication to complying with the Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards on a continuous basis.
South Mississippi State Hospital is an acute-care, regional psychiatric facility in Purvis that provides services for adults with mental illness. Since it’s opening in 2000, SMSH has primarily served Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Perry, Greene, Wayne, Jones, Covington, Jefferson Davis, Harrison, Hancock, Stone and Pearl River counties.
“South Mississippi State Hospital’s accreditation achievement is a demonstration of the organization’s leadership and staff commitment to excellence,” said Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D., executive director of the Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program at The Joint Commission. “Joint Commission accreditation requires organization-wide dedication to providing safe, client-focused care, treatment and services.”
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 9,500 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,300 other health care organizations that provide long-term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,000 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

 

South Mississippi State Hospital addressing weight gain and obesity issues

PURVIS, Miss. (August 2010)   About the time Mississippi began its six-year run as the “most obese state in the U.S.,” South Mississippi State Hospital began addressing weight gain issues in patients. Since Summer 2009, those efforts have been increased and are showing promising results.

South Mississippi State Hospital in Purvis 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 and Jefferson Davis counties.

Some medications used to treat mental illness have been shown to cause weight gain. Between October 2002 and March 2003, a team of SMSH employees studied a group of patients who met certain criteria and found that patients in the study group gained an average of 10 to 20 pounds during a four- to eight-week stay at SMSH. As a result of the study, the team recommended that improvements be made in the areas of equipment and education, dietary plans and recreational offerings at the Purvis facility.

Following the study, changes were made to patient diets, the clinical dietitian began to counsel patients with a higher body mass index, and recreational therapists incorporated more exercise into the recreational program and began tracking patient participation.  The team reported that these measures decreased weight gain by an average of five pounds per patient.

By 2009, Mississippi had been given top ranking in the Obesity in America studies for several years. Dr. Kevin Passer, a psychiatrist at SMSH, began voicing concerns over continued frequent patient weight gains, lipid elevations and glucose elevations.

"I am always on the look out for weight control issues with our patients, so with assistance from Norma Brewer, our clinical dietician as well as other mental health professionals at SMSH, I led an interdisciplinary team toward developing and implementing a new nutrition plan for our patients,” said Dr. Passer. “Now, instead of gaining, our patients, on the average, are losing weight during their stay with us. We hope we can help them learn new ways to keep the weight off."

Although Mississippi gets top billing in this undesirable ranking with a 33.8 percent obesity rate, according to the report on msn.com, every state has a significant obesity problem.  Colorado was ranked as the lowest state with a 19.1 percent rate, so there is still a weight problem even at the lowest level in the nation.

“We reviewed the menus that were in place at SMSH and began identifying ways to make them even lower in fat and sugar,” said Brewer.

The following patient diet changes have been implemented:

“We’re glad to find that even with the dietary changes, patient satisfaction ratings have remained very high, including evaluations of dietary services,” said Dr. Scott Willoughby, SMSH clinical psychologist.

Data is currently being analyzed to determine statistical significance, but preliminary results show that weight gains are lower, lipid elevations have decreased and blood sugars are better controlled. Most importantly, South Mississippi State Hospital is providing meals that set an example for patients to follow after discharge.  These diet changes, combined with education about diet and exercise, equip patients with the tools needed to live healthier and begin to break the obesity pattern.

SOURCE:  http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100261061&GT1=3

Contributors:  Norma Brewer, SMSH Clinical Dietitian, and Scott Willoughby, PhD, SMSH Program Director