NMHS hospitals gradually adding employees, services after coronavirus concerns

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — There are plenty of open parking spaces at the largest rural hospital in America.

The hope is, however, that those spaces will soon be full at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and other North Mississippi Health Services hospitals.

Open parking spaces at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo on April 30, 2020 (Craig Ford)

Elective surgeries returned this week at the Tupelo hospital and will return next week to NMHS hospitals in Amory and West Point.

Something else is coming back along with that.

“We’ll return some of the first employees out from furlough next week to address our needs in surgery and procedural services,” said NMHS CEO Shane Spees.

Some employees went on furlough and senior managers took pay cuts when the hospital system stopped many surgeries and other procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. 

As for when other workers return and when pay is restored, Spees would not speculate. He did say it would depend on how soon more patients return and how quickly the demand for services picks up.

“A lot of that hinges, I believe, on the public’s reassurance that it’s safe to access care in a health care facility,” added Spees.