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Baptist burn center receives verification from Department of Health

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center
Photo courtesy of Mississippi Baptist Medical Center

Baptist Medical Center in Jackson has officially been designated by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) as a Level III trauma and primary pediatric center and burn center.

A Level III trauma center is an acute care facility with the commitment, resources, and specialties to provide initial resuscitation of trauma patients. Baptist is among 15 facilities the MSDH recognizes with this designation in the region. The Jackson hospital is the second in the region to be officially verified as a burn center this year.

“Being designated as a trauma and burn center is a historic achievement for Mississippi Baptist Medical Center and the state of Mississippi,” Bobbie Ware, CEO and administrator of Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, said. “For the first time in Mississippi history, residents will have access to a community or academic hospital for burn care in Jackson. With Dr. Derek Culnan, the state’s most decorated and experienced burn surgeon leading our burn program, we are confident Mississippians will have access to incomparable care.”

Culnan, a longtime burn doctor, has treated 927 patients and conducted 1,059 surgeries since his former employer, Merit Health Central, closed its burn center in November 2022. At the time, it was the only burn center in Mississippi.

“This designation confirms we have the people, experience, training, and passion to provide the best burn care at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center with Mississippi Burn, Hand, and Reconstruction Centers,” Culnan said. “Burn care is a very specialized realm of health care. Our experience allows us the opportunity to provide prompt, efficient treatment for injuries with the long-term goal of producing the best outcomes for our patients.”

The burn center at Baptist includes emergency medicine physicians, plastic surgeons, intensivists, hospitalists, anesthesiologists, physical and occupational therapists, and other specialties.

Baptist joins the University of Mississippi Medical Center as the state’s lone burn centers, although UMMC has recently been under fire for deficiencies in its care.

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