CHARLESTON, Miss., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tallahatchie General Hospital, with funding from Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises, announced today plans to build a Wellness Center in Charleston, Miss. The plans follow results of the University of Mississippi Community Health Needs Assessment in 2012, funded by Kennedy and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, which identified health, wellness, environmental and nutrition needs for Tallahatchie County residents.
"For over a decade, I've owned property in Tallahatchie County and have spent many days enjoying that property's bounty. For years, I've been trying to find the right way to give back to this community," said Kennedy. "We have worked closely with Jim Blackwood at Tallahatchie General and Catherine Woodyard of the University of Mississippi, who led the study. I'm pleased we are announcing plans to build a health and wellness center that will serve everyone who calls Tallahatchie County home."
"I can't thank Jim enough for not only asking 'what can I do to help our community,' but also for joining us on creating a wellness center that simply was not possible a couple of years ago," said Jim Blackwood, administrator of Tallahatchie General Hospital.
The Center for Health Behavior Research at the University of Mississippi conducted the study, which was directed by Woodyard, a doctoral candidate at the time. The findings show that residents of Charleston and Tallahatchie County lack healthy food options and access to health education professionals, and need more resources for wellness, exercise and recreation. Woodyard said the new facility will address these critical needs and help improve the health and well-being of residents.
"The findings from the needs assessment identified community needs, environmental concerns and priority health issues. Our assessment found that similar to other rural areas, adults and young people in Charleston and Tallahatchie County suffer from a shortage of health education and lack resources to help them live healthier lives. The partnership between Jim Kennedy and Tallahatchie General Hospital is something we hope other communities will mirror in the future," said Woodyard. "We are also hopeful that the partnership between the community and the University of Mississippi will continue to grow."
Woodyard will lead the new center by serving as its executive director.
Blackwood said the planned center will be approximately 20,000 square feet and will house exercise equipment, recreation space, health education and disease prevention programs, youth programs and employee wellness programs for local businesses. In addition, the wellness center will employee health and fitness professionals, as well as support staff. A site for the center's location is still being considered and will be announced later this year.
About Tallahatchie General Hospital
Tallahatchie General Hospital is an eighteen-bed Critical Access Hospital with Acute and Swingbed (Rehab) rooms. Other services offered are emergency, lab, a new radiology room, new CT scanner, in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation services and The Horizon, an out-patient Geri-Psych Services.
The Tallahatchie Extended Care Facility is a 98-bed nursing home with 94 PRIVATE rooms and two double occupancy rooms. Forty of the private rooms are set aside for the Special Care Unit.
SOURCE Tallahatchie General Hospital