Batson CEO gives exclusive look at $150 million expansion - - Jackson, MS

Batson CEO gives exclusive look at $150 million expansion

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

By 2018, Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson could look very different.

Batson's CEO, Guy Giesecke, says, "We've continued to grow quite a bit over the last several years. It's come to a point now where we need to expand our facility."

This conceptual artwork, exclusive to WLBT, shows a new $150 million facility, a new front door of sorts for thousands of children who need special care.

"If we're taking care of more patients at different parts of the state that hopefully don't come to the children's hospital a whole lot, then we're gonna have to make it as easy as possible for them to find where they're going," says Giesecke.

The new facility will go where a parking lot between Woodrow Wilson and Methodist hospital currently sits.

Giesecke says a new pediatric imaging center -- with CT, MRI and X-ray equipment -- plus more pediatric operating rooms, recovery rooms, and an expansion of the hospital's heart services is just part of what's in the works.

Jackson resident, Joyce Lumpkin, says, "If they can do it more in-depth and high tech, and get answers faster, it's easier on the family members, it's easier on that child, and Mississippi needs to be up to par as well as everybody else."

But to do that, they have to raise enough money.

Gov. Phil Bryant's office has said he supports $30 million in state borrowing spread over three years: $10 million each year.

That leaves $120 million in private funds that has to be raised.

Another Jackson resident, Ellen McLean says, "I think people are probably more willing to give to Blair Batson than some other things, and you have so many groups like the St. Paddy's Day Parade, the Zippity Doo Dah Parade, the runs. It gets a lot of support now, but I think people will reach deeper."

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