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DAVID MAGEE: New BMH-NM will make history

Anyone who wonders why a fabulous new hospital opening in a community like Oxford is such a big deal hasn’t really lived.

That’s because experience teaches one with enough years on this earth that eventually all of the most important people and parts of our lives will intersect in a cornerstone community hospital.

When looking back at the current Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi facility in Oxford, due to close in late November 2017 before starting a new life as a University of Mississippi building, I am reminded of most everything and everybody that is important to me in this world intersecting there at different touchstone moments.

For instance, when my first child was born there in 1990 to the physician hands of a longtime community and personal friend, I remember walking my son swaddled in a blanket out to a few waiting friends and family, feeling as if I were standing on a mountaintop.

When my mother was hospitalized quite sick almost a decade ago, I remember the incredible and caring work done by longtime friend and physician Dr. Todd Threadgill —work that literally saved her life.

I remember when another child suffered an accident and was so still for days in intensive care that doctors were not sure he would make it. But then he woke up by lifting a finger, was nursed back to care, and soon walked out healthy and well.

And, I remember when an aging family member whose time had come passed there, and how we were surrounded by family and friends, since so many working at the hospital are just that, making a difficult moment much better.

Such history gives one context, explaining why a new hospital is so important for the community. It is where our babies will be born, where our family members will be saved, or the place where we turn in times of emergency for trusted care.

So when I walked through the warm, well-designed and appointed halls of the new BMH-NM hospital in Oxford recently on a tour, I could not help but look into labor and delivery rooms, not yet furnished, and think of so many babies that will be brought into life there in the years to come.

And, I could not help when looking into bright operating rooms and thinking of my friends, and yours, doing valuable work in there to save lives once our new hospital opens in late November 2017.

The words state-of-the-art can be cliché, but that’s what the facility is, because it was designed with considerable staff input to make sure the flow of patients and medical professionals is optimized. Nurses will be closer to patients and all times and patients will be closer to needed staff and services.

And, while it is the people not the facility that truly define a great hospital, we can be comforted that our new facility will be one of the best, able to serve our community well for its touchstone healthcare moments decades into the future.

David Magee is Publisher of The Oxford Eagle. He can be reached at david.magee@oxfordeagle.com.