Singing River Health execs call retirees to the table, discuss potential sale

Before the decision is made to sell or to keep Singing River Health System, the executive team is calling all its retirees to the table for a discussion.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 2:57 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Before the decision is made to sell or to keep Singing River Health System, the executive team is calling all its retirees to the table for a discussion.

The health care group held a closed meeting Tuesday at the Pascagoula Senior Center.

About 50 people from the retired Singing River Health community attended in person and over Zoom to learn more about what selling or keeping the establishment would mean for them.

“They’re, you know, the legendary people who allowed for Singing River to be what it is today, and they need to understand this information probably most of all and how it affects them,” CEO Tiffany Murdock told WLOX. “You know, it was just good to have a conversation with them. You know, change is really hard. And it’s scary. I mean, these people have been through a lot already.”

Becky Lyon, who retired 12 years ago as a nurse, said she wants what’s best for the health care system as well as the retirement she earned.

“I’m drawing a pension,” she said. “I’d like to be able to get my full pension. But, according to what she was saying, it would be like it is now. They say it’s 20% less than what it should be because of the money situation at the time. Well, I was hoping that eventually that maybe we might get the full amount, but who knows.”

During the meeting, Murdock said the current pension settlement will be honored no matter what.

“Obviously all pensioners would like the full pension to be brought back. Maybe one day,” Richard Lucas said. “But for now, to know that what pension is in place will be protected is a very positive thing.”

Lucas retired six years ago as the communications director.

He said selling is a move he never would have imagined, but times have changed.

“20 years ago, this, I personally believe, would have been a really bad idea. 10 years ago maybe,” he said. “But today, I think this is a good direction. It’s just the different health care climate we’re in.”

The community discussion will continue during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting at Pascagoula City Hall starting at 6 p.m.

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