Keesler Medical Center Rebounds

"I've been waiting two years to wash Katrina behind me and get going with it," said Dr. Keith Berry, as he told visitors about the new refractive surgery center about to open.

Dr. Berry exemplifies the enthusiasm shared by the medical staff. He's excited about moving his laser eye surgery department into a brand new, more spacious facility next month.

"Maximizing the human weapon system. Getting people to the war zone and to their duty locations with as optimal vision as possible," he explained.

Dr. Mike Bashford proudly showed off the new family birthing center. Obstetrics is another department that's been completely rebuilt since the storm.

Baby Alandra was a recent delivery. She arrived early, and became a patient in the new neo-natal intensive care unit.

"This is very important. These babies would all have to get transferred out if we didn't have this here," said Dr. Susan Dotzler, who helps run the department.

The man in charge of the medical center's recovery is confident and optimistic. Not only are specialties returning, there are future plans for expansion.

"Building a new medical tower where we'll have an update with new modern operating rooms, and pre and post op for CT, cardio vascular and thorasic surgery. New in patient rooms," said Gen. Douglas Robb, commander of the 81st Medical Group.

The head of radiology is happy with a new state of the art MRI and a two million dollar oncology radiation unit.

Dr. Russ Gelormini enjoyed showing off the new high tech equipment.

"We're all very happy with our recovery. And I can say that radiology has recovered to a full diagnostic capability," he said.

Teaching is one of the primary missions of Keesler Medical Center. The facility has a cooperative agreement with the University of Mississippi. The university helps train Keesler residents, while Keesler in turn provides training for Ole Miss medical students.