Now that Mississippi Baptist Health Systems has merged with the Baptist Memorial Health Care family, I would like to officially welcome our newest team members to the Baptist Leader. You will start receiving a letter from me every week with updates on issues affecting our organization. The email will also include links to articles about our initiatives and the accomplishments of our team members.
Growth has been a buzzword for us recently, as the Baptist Memorial Health Care system has merged with Mississippi Baptist Health Systems to form one of the country’s largest health care organizations. And while our combined organization is larger in size and scope, I’m focused on growth in other areas, as well.
As we grow, our facilities will grow in many ways. Combining the resources of two strong organizations will allow us to enhance the care we deliver in our hospitals through better technology, additional services and more doctors. We can also take advantage of the expertise and talent of new team members and share best practices from one hospital with our other facilities.
We want to give our hospitals all the services our communities can support so that our communities can grow, too. Even before this partnership, we had a $2.6 billion economic impact on the communities we serve. Now that we have a greater presence in this region, we can be an even bigger economic force. Year after year, through good times and bad, we have remained a fixture in rural, suburban and urban communities across West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas. That unwavering presence now will extend to central Mississippi.
Another big priority for me is your growth. We have the opportunity to learn from one another, and we will continue to invest in continuing education opportunities in many ways, including through our Baptist College of Health Sciences, the Baptist Management System and our Center for Education and Organizational Development. We will also expand our Baptist Cares initiative to our Mississippi Baptist hospitals, and we will all continue to learn how to put empathy at the center of all we do.
I hope you are as excited as I am about our future. Our growth will bring an unprecedented level of service and care to some of the poorest and most medically underserved areas of our country. We have the power to change the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens. And at the same time, we will grow as a team and individually as caregivers. This partnership is taking two great organizations and making them even better.