New annex for RRMC means jobs, progress, officials say

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From left, Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce interim executive director Doug Kamien, Dr. Briggs Hopson Jr., Dr. John Barnes, Dr. Paul W. Pierce IV, Mayor George Flaggs Jr., Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, River Region CEO Doug Sills, state Rep. Alex Monsour, Warren County Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale, state Sen. Briggs Hopson III and state Rep. Oscar Denton break ground Monday on a 63,000 square-foot medical annex building in front of River Region Medical Center. Work is set to begin March 1 and wrap up by May 2015.

From left, Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce interim executive director Doug Kamien, Dr. Briggs Hopson Jr., Dr. John Barnes, Dr. Paul W. Pierce IV, Mayor George Flaggs Jr., Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, River Region CEO Doug Sills, state Rep. Alex Monsour, Warren County Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale, state Sen. Briggs Hopson III and state Rep. Oscar Denton break ground Monday on a 63,000 square-foot medical annex building in front of River Region Medical Center. Work is set to begin March 1 and wrap up by May 2015.

Construction on a new medical building in front of River Region Medical Center began officially Monday with a turn of shovels and predictions of a higher level of medical care for the facility’s multistate patient base. 

The $13.2 million, 63,000 square-foot annex in front of the main campus on U.S. North is expected to be done by May 2015 and house medical services currently operating at River Region West on North Frontage Road and at The Street Clinic on McAuley Drive. Phases of structural work are set to begin March 1.

A slate of state and local officials spoke about the benefits of the first major addition to River Region’s footprint since its opening in 2002 in terms of economic and business development.

“It means these doctors coming out of the University of Mississippi Medical Center will have a j-o-b when they graduate from college,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said during a pre-groundbreaking ceremony.

State Sen. Briggs Hopson III, R-Vicksburg, the son of longtime Vicksburg surgeon Dr. Briggs Hopson Jr., said the facility would be “as good as any in the state of Mississippi.”  Warren County Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale told about 100 people gathered on the hospital’s front lawn that the annex construction is a sign of a “get-er-done” attitude on new commercial development in Warren County.

Physicians in those areas slated to move into the new building include Drs. Tulio Figarola and Bill Porter, orthopedics and sports medicine, Drs. Gordon Sluis and Thomas Moore, pediatrics, Dr. Timothy Kerut, allergy, Drs. Al Windham and Fred Lorenz, ear/nose/throat, Dr. David Fagan, urology, Dr. Dedri Ivory, rheumatology, Dr. Robert Strong, pain management, Dr. Feras Hamadeh, pulmonology, Drs. Gloria Butler, Walter Johnston and Tom Sligh, primary care.

“Of course, we are actively recruiting in many specialty areas, so there will be additions to this list,” said hospital spokeswoman Heather Butler.

After the ceremony, River Region CEO Doug Sills said other moves are possible, including more primary care physicians at the West Campus. No specifics have been announced publicly on the fate of the Street Clinic building after the new complex opens.

The planned addition to River Region’s main campus and closure of The Street Clinic comes about six years after Marian Hill chemical dependency unit moved from the clinic to the hospital’s West Campus on North Frontage Road.

Physicians slated to move

• Drs. Tulio Figarola, Bill Porter ……….orthopedics & sports medicine

• Drs. Gordon Sluis, Thomas Moore……….pediatrics

• Dr. Timothy Kerut………allergy

• Drs. Al Windham, Fred Lorenz……….ear/nose/throat

• Dr. David Fagan………urology

• Dr. Dedri Ivory……….rheumatology

• Dr. Robert Strong………..pain management

• Dr. Feras Hamadeh…………..pulmonology

• Drs. Gloria Butler, Walter Johnston, Tom Sligh…………primary care