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Posts Tagged ‘University of Mississippi’

UMMC can help pull state from historic economic woes

March 25th, 2011 Comments off

Colleges and universities, in general, are great economic engines for the cities and communities they are in.
Just ask people in places like Lorman or Cleveland or Columbus what life would be like without Alcorn State, Delta State and Mississippi University for Women (a.k.a. Reneau University).
Combine the economic development of a college setting with medical training for a state with a shortage of doctors and University of Mississippi Medical Center is nearly a perfect vehicle for Mississippi to recharge its economy.
Already, UMMC is the second largest employer (nearly 9,000 employees) in the state, behind Northrup Grumman.
However, when approached with economic impact numbers recently, many in the Mississippi Legislature were not aware of what UMMC meant to the business of Mississippi.
According to numbers provided by UMMC, it has an annual economic impact of $2.1 billion on the state with more than 17,000 jobs generated. It also pays more than $216 million in taxes to the state every year.
There are detractors, and there are those who would play down the impact UMMC has on economic development, and there are those who would argue UMMC creates a competitive imbalance with private hospitals throughout the state.
Neither of those opinions hold a lot of water.
Healthcare is big business in Mississippi and across the United States.
Some numbers show that 17 percent of the GDP is healthcare.
In Mississippi, as we know, the health of our citizens is rated as the worst in the country. We lead the nation in obesity.  Mississippi also ranks first, uh last, in the nation for high blood pressure, diabetes and adult inactivity.
The Delta and Southwest Mississippi are Ground Zero for those problems, which is also Ground Zero for a shortage of doctors, which, not so amazingly, Mississippi leads the nation in.
UMMC could be the answer on multiple levels. The medical school has a plan for putting more doctors on the ground in rural areas.
That helps the economy, including employment, income, retail sales, and sales tax collection.
In many Mississippi Delta counties already, the hospital is the No. 1 employer, and that’s with a shortage of doctors.
The bottom line is more doctors means more money, more jobs and a better economic outlook, as well as a better health care outlook for Mississippi.
In the end, that means there is less money spent on the health-related illnesses we have in Mississippi.
If UMMC can do all it is doing now, just think what it can do if the legislature, actually were to view it as the economic engine that it is.
It boggles the mind.

Contact MBJ editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or call him at (601) 364-1018.

Quit hatin’ on the bear …

October 22nd, 2010 Comments off

OK, let’s get something straight from the very beginning.

It didn’t matter what leaders at Ole Miss did in regard to selecting an on-field mascot for the athletics teams, a lot of people weren’t going to be happy.

That the black bear is the choice is of no consequence.

Did y’all really want the on-field mascot to be Hotty Toddy or a Land Shark?

Yeah, Ackbar from Star Wars would have been funny and cool, though.

Still and yet, the real issue is the term “on-field”.

Ole Miss’ moniker isn’t changing. It is the Rebels.

The Ole Miss Rebels, not the Black Bears.

It’s no different than the Philadelphia Phillies having the Phillie Phanatic as their on-field mascot. When the Phanatic was introduced in 1978 as the official mascot of the team, there was no freaking out and running naked through the streets … at least about that issue.

The Phanatic — like Wally the Green Monster for the Boston Red Sox — is a fun, loveable creature to hang around and entertain fans at games, much like the original San Diego Chicken.

The bear (notice the lower case ‘b’) is the same.

It’s there for your kids to love and have their picture taken with in The Grove before the game.

It’s there to hang out with the cherleaders and do goofy stuff on the field.

It’s there to jump off a mini-tramp and perform nasty slam dunks at basketball games or play silly tricks on umpires at baseball games.

The bear is named Rebel, which doesn’t make the bear a Rebel. Obviously the Phantatic is not a Phillie and Wally is not a Red Sox.

Get a grip people!