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UMMC establishes multidisciplinary teaching campus in Colony Park

By: Rachel Vanderford


UMMC establishes multidisciplinary teaching campus in Colony Park
The 131,000 square-foot educational campus at Colony Park will house a medical office building, multispecialty ambulatory surgical center, imaging center and multimedia classrooms.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is enhancing its educational infrastructure by establishing a multidisciplinary teaching campus in Ridgeland's Colony Park.


This expansion marks a significant step forward in UMMC's commitment to fostering excellence in medical education, research and health care delivery. The development of the Colony Park educational campus will help equip the next generation of health care professionals with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to meet the evolving needs of our communities.


As the health care landscape continues to progress, it's imperative that medical education keeps stride with the changes. This new campus will increase academic opportunities for UMMC students and trainees in facilities with health care settings that more closely match those of the providers in which many will eventually be employed outside the academic medical center structure.


"Because surgery centers are the model, and we have not had one, a lot of our trainees leave UMMC and have never seen that," said Dr. Alan Jones, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs. "They don't know the difference in operations because right now, we do all our ambulatory surgeries in the day surgery center at the hospital. From an educational standpoint for both our students and our residents, they need a learning environment that mirrors where they will be practicing."


 The plan for the approximately 131,000 square-foot educational campus, located on the west side of I-55 North, north of Renaissance at Colony Park, consists of a medical office building, multispecialty ambulatory surgical center, imaging center and multimedia classrooms. When complete, the building will feature two wings with a central lobby entrance. A one-story ambulatory surgery center will be on the right when entering, and a three-story medical office building will be on the left.  


"This new campus with the outpatient surgery center represents a great opportunity to strengthen both our educational and clinical missions at UMMC," said Dr. Christopher Anderson, James D. Hardy professor and chair of the Department of Surgery and chief of the Division of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery. "For patients requiring outpatient surgery, this campus will improve their experience significantly while simultaneously improving the educational exposure of our surgery and anesthesia residents and our medical students."


UMMC establishes multidisciplinary teaching campus in Colony Park
Construction on the new Colony Park campus is slated to be complete by January 2026.

The surgical center will have six operating rooms and two procedure rooms as well as diagnostic imaging capabilities including MRI, PET, CT, X-ray and ultrasound. It will feature state-of-the-art facilities for support services, including a full-service lab, pre-operation testing and post-op clinics, occupational therapy and physical therapy, pharmacy and sterile processing. Cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and plastic surgery are among the specialties that will be represented in the office building.


"Ambulatory surgery centers are ubiquitous in the community and in health systems," said Jones. "They are designed so that a patient has easy access to ambulatory procedures. It's a smaller setting that is easier to navigate and the cost structure is lower. What's unique about this one is that it's a multispecialty center. You can come and get eye surgery one day and hand surgery the next." 


With the evolution of health care offerings and finances, insurance companies are now encouraging patients to undergo these types of procedures in an ambulatory surgery center rather than in hospitals. 


"They expect health systems to have this type of an environment when it comes to these relatively minor surgeries," said Jones. "It's a lower cost structure than a hospital and payers don't want to pay a hospital rate for an ambulatory surgery. From a health care perspective, being able to offer that to our patients is better."


Construction on the new campus is slated to be complete by January 2026 and is expected to begin operating in the months to follow. 

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