Health Care

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One of the best ways to stay healthy is making time to care for the mind, body and soul. There are numerous healthcare providers in Greater Hattiesburg that help the community stay fit, happy and well. Aside from these hospitals and clinics, there are also gyms, nature trails and parks, among others.

Forrest General Hospital is the flagship hospital of Forrest Health, a network of hospitals and facilities in south Mississippi. The hospital is a 512-bed, full-service healthcare facility, offering a variety of highly specialized services including advanced treatment options for heart and vascular care, cancer, behavioral health, women’s health, pediatrics, emergency—including the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, and orthopedics.

The Orthopedic Institute, a part of Forrest General, is the only stand-alone orthopedic hospital in the southern region, providing expert care and treatment, including robotic-assisted surgeries.

“Caring for our patients and our communities is what we do. We are committed to providing resources to improve the wellness of our communities; we continue to expand services to reach rural populations; and we invest in the latest technologies that give our patients the best chance for improved health and healing,” said Andy Woodard, President of Forrest Health.

In addition, the provider boasts the Forrest Health Spirit of Women program.

“Our goal with this program is to encourage women to take action for their own health,” said Forrest Health Vice President Millie Swan. “Our program provides women in the area entertainment as well as helpful healthcare information. We want to begin a relationship with women early and carry that through all stages of life.”

Spirit of Women, with over 8,000 members, is a vital resource for women of all ages in the area.

Members are privy to health education events, health screenings, entertainment, and discounts to over 100 retail businesses.

Merit Health Wesley offers patients 211 beds and numerous services and specialties, such as cardiology, robotic surgery, emergency medicine, wound care, pain management and women’s services.

“Merit Health Wesley is a person-centered care facility,” said Phebe McKay, chief nursing officer. “We believe in providing for a patient’s mind, body and spirit to complete the healing process.”

With a wide range of quality facilities and services, the center provides the public more options for complete health, from high-intensity interval training to relaxing massage therapy. It even offers nutrition classes.

Hattiesburg Clinic, which boasts more than 400 physicians and providers, delivers cost effective and efficient treatment for myriad illnesses and ailments. The clinic offers services for cancer, pediatrics, dermatology, diabetes, surgery, heart and vascular, imaging, neurology and physical therapy, to name a few.

Hattiesburg Clinic is also committed to preventative medicine and well-being. The clinic’s Rise and Shine Half-Marathon and 5K is always well attended, and it is a great way to be active. In 2017, the race had more than 600 participants, and it had even more in 2018.

The Rise & Shine Expo takes place the same weekend as the marathon and 5K, offering a free, family-friendly event. Attendees can participate in activities for adults and children, browse health, fitness and wellness exhibits, enter for prizes and so much more.

South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH) is an acute-care, regional psychiatric hospital for court-committed adults who live in south Mississippi. Patient care at SMSH is structured around an interdisciplinary treatment team model that includes patient participation. SMSH encourages community members to learn more about mental health to help reduce stereotypes so those with a mental illness diagnosis seek treatment earlier. The 50-bed
regional hospital is located in Purvis and operates under the umbrella of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

“We provide speakers to civic/community organizations and participate in an educational program about mental illness and suicide prevention for adolescents and young adults that is available for classrooms, youth groups or any other group interested in learning more about mental health and suicide prevention,” said Donna Boutwell, SMSH public relations director.

Hattiesburg is home to Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, an extension of Forrest General Hospital. Pine Grove provides services for children, adolescents and adults, offering inpatient, outpatient, residential, and partial hospitalization levels of care. Pine Grove is nationally and
internationally respected for their high quality behavioral health care and addiction treatment services, earning the organization a reputation for being one of the nation’s most comprehensive treatment campuses.

“We have programs that treat gender-specific chemical addiction, including a specialized track for co-occurring eating
disorders,” said Colleen M. Munkel, director of business development at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services. “Additionally, Pine Grove offers a substance abuse healing program for adults age 40 plus, programs specifically for professionals and a sexual
addiction treatment program.”

In addition, Pine Grove frequently partners with the community, offering classes and training for educators and leaders on behavioral health care topics to positively impact the public and promote awareness about mental health and addiction.

Aside from taking care of one’s mental state, nutrition and diet play a vital role in leading a healthy lifestyle. Through the Clean Kitchen program, brought to the area by trainers at Versus Strength and Conditioning, people learn more about planning and executing a healthier eating regimen.

The program expanded to an online program and now offers three 12-week challenges each year that teaches people self-sufficient, healthy eating habits.

“Everyone knows what they should eat, but all the knowledge in the world means nothing without action,” said Jamie Page, a coach at Clean Kitchen. “So we help people put knowledge to action in baby steps. We created the program because many of our clients just did not understand how to make ‘healthy eating’ habits stick and what those actions looked like daily.”

Exercise is a key factor in leading a healthy lifestyle too, and greater Hattiesburg is the site of many gyms, fitness clubs and more, such as CycleBar, Anatomies and Planet Fitness. Jump’ In Gymnastics & Tumbling is a great way for children to get in some exercise, have fun and make friends. Updown Trampoline Park is a 45,000 square-foot, active entertainment venue and is fun for all ages. Who knew exercise could be so fun?

Sometimes exercising the body (and mind) takes place outside of a gym or fitness center. The great outdoors boast miles upon miles of trails for hiking, biking, running/walking and horseback riding. One of the best places in greater Hattiesburg to do this is Longleaf Trace, South Mississippi’s premier running, biking, hiking, equestrian trail. Leading a healthy life is made easy thanks to providers, resources and programs in greater Hattiesburg.