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Author Archives: Becky Gillette

Intense state lobbying efforts convince legislators to change the Mississippi flag

By BECKY GILLETTE In the middle of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has hit Mississippi particularly hard, the Mississippi Legislature took up one of the most divisive issues in the state’s history. Just a week before an historic vote on Sunday, June 28, to remove the Mississippi state flag—the last state flag in the U.S. that included the ...

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There are safe options for healthcare at hospitals and clinics

By BECKY GILLETTE Avoiding clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals because of the fear of catching the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially deadly choice. The Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) and Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) have recently started a campaign called Prepared to Care aimed at letting people in the state know there is a wide range of safe ...

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Avoidance of receiving timely medical care more dangerous than COVID-19 exposure

By BECKY GILLETTE Some people, particularly those who are older, may be more afraid of catching the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than they are of dying from a heart attack or stroke. Rates of hospitalizations for heart failure at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) were down as much as 80 percent at one point falling after the state ...

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Former “King of Torts” Dickie Scruggs has a new mission to promote adult education

By BECKY GILLETTE The life of Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs has been a wild ride. Once known as the “King of Torts,” he had phenomenal success with mass tort litigation on asbestos exposure in shipyard workers and then against Big Tobacco. In 1998, he won a $246 billion settlement from four of the largest tobacco companies. Scruggs said he feels ...

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CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS — How to protect yourself, your co-workers, and your patients

By BECKY GILLETTE Healthcare data breaches reached record levels in April 2019, with 44 attacks affecting nearly 687,000 people. Security breaches can lead to serious consequences, including complete system or network shutdown and life-and-death situations. Much like we encourage patients to practice good personal hygiene to promote health and well-being, healthcare organizations and nurses must practice good cyber hygiene. Cybersecurity ...

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Hackers and phishers haven’t taken a COVID-19 break and continue to be a major threat

By BECKY GILLETTE The past couple months have seen a huge shift towards people working remotely in order to stem the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite widespread business disruption, hackers, spammers and phishers have not let up on efforts to wreak havoc on businesses. “A hacker’s job is to hack,” said Marti Jordan, Ph.D., FNP-BC, a visiting assistant ...

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Banks operating in Mississippi have helped customers receive billions in SBA support

By BECKY GILLETTE The first round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) provided by the Small Business Administration resulted in 20,784 loans for $2.5 billion to Mississippi businesses and non-profits. SBA Mississippi District Director Janita R. Stewart said that represented an astronomical number of loans. A total equal to 14 years of SBA loans were made in less than 14 days, ...

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Hancock Whitney donates $2.5 million to help the most vulnerable in South Mississippi

By BECKY GILLETTE Many of Hancock’s branches were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but the bank set up card tables and tents in parking lots to give people access to money in their accounts. They even made millions in loans on Post-It notes. Since then Hancock acquired Whitney Bank. And now Hancock Whitney has stepped up to the plate to help ...

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Mississippi businesses received $2.4 billion in first round of SBA PPP funding

By BECKY GILLETTE Mississippi District Director Small Business Administration Janita R. Stewart said here in Mississippi, about 280 in and out-of-state bank and non-bank lending institutions participation in the first round of Payroll Protection Program making 20,784 loans for $2,481,000,606 billion to Mississippi businesses and non-profits. “During round 1 of PPP, an astronomical number worth a total of 14 years ...

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Hospitals in Mississippi innovate for comprehensive COVID-19 response

By BECKY GILLETTE Hospitals in Mississippi have been proactive working to address the largest public health emergency in a little more than 100 years. Some of the innovative things medical providers have been doing in Mississippi to prepare for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) include the University of Mississippi Medical Center inventing a ventilator than can be built from $50 with ...

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