O’Neill’s benefit to area med facilities is priceless

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Published: February 14,2010

Tags: Duane O'Neill, health care, Katrina, UMMC

Editor,

The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership (GJCP) serves the entire region in the very vital role of economic development. As one of the largest economic engines in the State of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) needs this partnership to grow and meet the health care needs of Mississippi, now and in the future.

During critical times, such as Katrina and the recent ice storm, the GJCP, through Duane O’Neill, assisted UMMC in its continuing ability to operate. During Katrina, O’Neill personally secured private sector support to establish a fueling station for employees at all area hospitals.

The GJCP, under the leadership of O’Neill, was also instrumental in organizing the state’s bid for the $500-million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). These efforts led to Mississippi being one of six potential final locations for the facility and put us on the map for innovation-based economic development.

The GJCP and O’Neill continue to actively lead the metro area business community in UMMC’s efforts to become a world-class research center by creating a state-of-the-art Biotechnology Research Park. This initiative will eventually create an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the entire state of Mississippi.

The GJCP is assisting UMMC in the development of a center for the study of obesity and metabolic disorders. As part of this effort, O’Neill is coordinating with the business community and state leaders to organize a Global Symposium on Obesity and its negative impact on health and the health care system.

UMMC’s 2010 fiscal year budget of $1.2 billion, less than one-fifth from state funds, is 10 percent of the Jackson metro economy and 2 percent of Mississippi’s economy. We’re fortunate the business community, as led and represented by O’Neill, works in such close collaboration with UMMC to meet its mission of health care for the citizens of Mississippi, provide research, and educate the health care professionals of the future.

David L. Powe, Ed.D.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs

Chief Administrative Officer, University of Miss. Medical Center

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