Anderson Regional partnering with UMMC

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Anderson Regional Health System is teaming up with the largest medical center in the state.

The hospital made the announcement Tuesday that it would be forming an affiliation with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Anderson Regional's decision to form an affiliation with UMMC has been an idea in the making for the past year. CEO John Anderson says one of the biggest benefits will be for the hospital's younger patients.

"University, with the children's hospital there, allows us to bring specialty care, specialized physicians to the community and advance the care for pediatrics here locally," Anderson explains.

Bringing in pediatric specialists means patients at Anderson Regional can access that same level of care without leaving Meridian.

"We want to be able to take care of more kids locally rather than have them travel, and the inconvenience of travel for the children, obviously, and the parents," Anderson says.

It also means using UMMC as a physician pipeline. Recruiting doctors is a constant need for the area, and Anderson says this partnership will allow UMMC to expand its educational training by putting medical residents and fellows here in Meridian.

"It allows for those relationships to be built," he says. "Then, hopefully, we'll be able to recruit those physicians to come to Meridian, which would be a big benefit."

This isn't a merger or acquisition. Anderson says it's simply a collaborative effort between the two facilities.

"This is being able to partner with a somewhat like-minded institution and being able to advance local care, and that's what we all are working toward," he says.

This affiliation is effective immediately.