Bids to buy Singing River Health System due in less than a month
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - In less than a month, potential buyers of the Singing River Health System have to submit their bids to the county.
In the meantime, it’s business as usual for the leadership and staff.
On Wednesday, CEO Tiffany Murdock told the Moss Point Area Council of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce that the decision came from a position of strength, not weakness.
Murdock is in good spirits - for a lot of reasons.
The health system is healthy, and that’s exactly the reason to sell it now.
“It’s not a cheap industry anymore, and for it to be put on the taxpayers in Jackson and Harrison counties, it wasn’t fair,” she said. “And we wanted to do it from a place of strength. We didn’t want to do it when we were bankrupt or if that was a possibility. We wanted to do it because we want to grow.”
Murdock presented a state of the health system to the council and, in that, she gave a recap of 2022 with this headline:
“Unwavering change but strength and growth.”
SRHS is the second largest employer in Jackson County with about 3,500 employees with locations in Ocean Springs, Pascagoula and Gulfport.
That’s why a sale is such a big deal.
“I feel like it would be nothing but a good decision as well as seeing the leadership, the love, the humility that they have,” said area council manager Joshua Borden. “I feel like they would make anything in their best interests to further our community as well as the direction of the health system.”
Murdock said the key is a new owner that will be a partner with the same goal.
“What we want with a sale is for someone to come in and collaborate with us and commit to the mission of improving health and saving lives and taking care of employees, our patients and our community,” she said.
Murdock added she’s not approaching this from a self-preservation perspective.
“You know, people ask me all the time, ‘Oh, gosh, does that mean you’re not going to have a job?’ What I tell them every single time is that you don’t want me in this position if I’m making decisions about this health system to keep my job. You want me in this position to make decisions to keep the 4,000 other people’s jobs in this health system viable.”
Jackson County Supervisor Randy Bosarge said the county has not yet received any bids for the purchase but expects most to come closer to the deadline on March 10.
The goal is for Jackson County supervisors to select the best bid and begin negotiations with that group by April 14 and potentially have a sale by this fall.
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