GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Representatives from Gulfport's two largest healthcare providers, Memorial Hospital and Garden Park Medical Center, met Tuesday to discuss the challenges they face. One of the main topics of discussion was a problem facing all hospitals in Mississippi: recruiting and retaining physicians.
There was also some positive news from each facility: Each is more storm-ready than ever before. Work is almost complete on Garden Park's $7 million water barrier.
"We took about $13 million damage in Katrina. We had about a foot of water in hospital. It's just a really devastating situation, so we built the water barrier for that," Garden Park CEO Randy Rogers said.
Memorial Hospital is now outfitted with two huge generators and fuel storage that can keep the hospital running for a week if needed.
"Previously, we had to basically block offload from one of the buildings and shift it around. We no longer have to do that," Memorial CEO Gary Marchand explained. "The good thing about that is we found a $3 million FEMA grant to help us do that. And when I say generator, think train locomotive."
Both Rogers and Marchand say their hospitals are equipped to provide higher quality healthcare than ever before here on the coast.