Singing River Health System's ER celebrates 50 years of service - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Singing River Health System's ER celebrates 50 years of service

Singing River Heath System ER staff celebrates 50 years of service. (Photo source: WLOX) Singing River Heath System ER staff celebrates 50 years of service. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

It’s a rare milestone. Wednesday, Singing River Health System celebrated its 50th anniversary of emergency room service.

It was a big day not only for ER staff, but it was also a celebration for Linda Epting. She and her family have used this ER for nearly 48 years, and, especially, within the last year.

“Had it not been for the doctors and nurses in ER here since January, I would have lost my husband several times,” Epting said. “I thank God for you all. I thank God for Singing River Hospital.”

Her friend, Susan Russell, is chief nursing officer for the system. Her family has also benefited from the ER.

“It would be easier to say who had not used the emergency department on both facilities,” Russell said. “I have family who have gone to both facilities, and like Ms. Epting, they have benefited, and they are alive today because of the services we provide here.”

Singing River’s ER was the first to open full-time in the state. In those 50 years, the ER department has continued to grow in staff, equipment, and patients. Between Ocean Springs and Pascagoula, more than 100,000 patients have gone through those doors every year.

Dr. Ben Hudson and Dr. Greg Patino started in the ER 12 years ago, right before Hurricane Katrina.

“If you were here during Katrina, you knew you needed the emergency department,” Hudson said.

They say it’s among the best in the country.

“All physicians board certified in emergency medicine,” Hudson said. “So, that means if you come here, you get the same quality that you would get if you went to any major city in the United States.”

Patino agreed.

“We’ve made a commitment to try to elevate emergency medicine to its top tier here on the coast. So, we continue to try to recruit excellent physicians and to provide the best services we can,” Patino said.

CEO Kevin Holland said this is a rare occasion.

“You just don’t see that many dynamics in health care where you’ve got a 50-year relationship with a group of physicians,” Holland said. “We’re very honored to be able to celebrate this milestone with them.”

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