July 18, 2022 – Update to SRHS-Pensioner-Memo

TO: Singing River Health System Pensioners
FROM: Tiffany Murdock, CEO, Singing River Health System
DATE: Monday, July 18
RE: Update on Board of Supervisors Meeting

Dear Singing River Health System Retiree,

I am writing to provide an update on our plans to secure the future of the Singing River Health System and healthcare for our communities in Jackson County and along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

As I shared last month, the Singing River Board of Trustees passed a resolution to pursue a fully integrated model with a like-minded healthcare organization that will invest in and grows our system. Today, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors approved this resolution to pursue this path.

As you are aware, the healthcare industry has continually changed over the last decade, with community hospitals like ours facing the strongest headwinds. As stated in the Raymond James report that was shared at the BOS meeting on July 5th, some of the challenges we face include:

  • Mississippi has the second-worst overall health ranking in the U.S., the highest poverty rate in the country, and an uninsured population significantly above national averages.
  • Mississippi is one of 12 states that did not adopt a Medicaid expansion, which means the amount of income that would have gone to health systems in our state is slated to decrease, significantly impacting hospitals like Singing River that provide significant care for underinsured and uninsured populations.
  • Like many community hospitals across the country, Singing River faces staffing shortages and must focus on retaining staff long-term while attracting new talent to serve our communities.

To stay ahead of these challenges, we must find solutions for advancements in technology, how we pay and get paid for services, the way we deliver care, and the ongoing challenge of staffing shortages, not to mention the impact of the pandemic. We are also looking for a partner who shares our vision to expand access to care, recognizes the value of our culture, and equips us with the tools to preserve what makes us unique while enhancing our services to better care for our patients.

The next step in the formal process includes the Board of Supervisors holding a public hearing for community input and consideration.

What This Means to You

Our commitment to our patients and communities doesn’t change as part of this process – and our priority will continue to be providing exceptional care to all those we serve. This process will not impact our daily operations or the services we provide. This process will also not impact your pension and we will continue to fund the pension for current employees and our valued retirees as we do today.

As we move through the steps of this exciting exploration process, we have developed a website SingingRiverForward.com to keep you informed about our work to ensure a strong future for Singing River Health System right here in the local community.

We know you will have additional questions about what this means and we are committed to sharing timely updates as we progress. Please join us for a Town Hall:

  • Tuesday, August 2nd at 8:00 am at the Senior Center – Jackson County, 1912 Live Oak Avenue, Pascagoula, MS.

I look forward to sharing more about this exciting journey as we work toward a brighter future for our communities along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

Tiffany Murdock
Singing River Health System