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franklin county times

East Mississippi State Hospital names
new director, plans more construction

By Staff
LOOKING AT PLANS Charles A. Carlisle, left, director of East Mississippi State Hospital, and Larry McKnight, chief administrative officer of the hospital, look over hospital statistics and plans for the future in a boardroom on the main campus. Photo by Anna Wright/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 14, 2004
East Mississippi State Hospital has a new director and is working to move in a more decentralized direction.
Charles A. Carlisle, 40, became the hospital's director in April, after serving under Dr. Ramiro J. Martinez as assistant director for two years.
Martinez, a psychiatrist, stepped down from the director's position he'd held for 16 years to become a full-time staff physician at the hospital.
Carlisle holds a master's degree in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University and is working on his doctorate in public administration.
Also new at the hospital is the position of chief administrative officer, held by Larry McKnight, who has a master's in public administration.
Carlisle said the Mississippi Department of Mental Health recognizes the value in having people trained in public administration to handle the hospital's operations, including its work with the Legislature and other government entities, personnel issues and the budget process.
Changes in structure
As director, Carlisle said he works with the clinical side of the hospital while McKnight's responsibilities are focused on the day-to-day operation of the hospital, including the business office, payroll, dietary and maintenance services, and security.
Security has changed at the hospital recently to address the Mississippi Department of Health's concerns regarding the Reginald P. White Skilled Care Facility, the nursing home located on the hospital's main campus.
The hospital received notice in March from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the nursing home was in danger of losing its ability to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Carlisle said the concerns had to do with contact between nursing home patients from some psychiatric patients.
He added that the hospital's nursing home has met its criteria for Medicaid and Medicare licensing and that another survey will be forthcoming.
New buildings
Construction of a new nursing home on an 18-acre site near the Jaycee Soccer Complex in Meridian is expected to be finished in April. The new nursing home will have 240 beds. The estimated cost of the project is $14.5 million.
Two years ago, the hospital opened new adolescent units away from the main campus that house up to 50 male patients. Phase two of that construction, still in the planning stages, is to add two new units to house another 50 adolescents.
Originally established in 1882, the hospital is licensed for 415 psychiatric beds, 35 chemical dependency beds and 228 nursing home beds. The hospital provides services to 31 counties, accepts direct psychiatric admissions from 18 counties and admits adolescent male substance abuse patients from the entire state.
McKnight said decentralizing the different elements of the hospital, like the nursing home and adolescent units from the main campus will allow residents to be in the least restrictive settings possible.

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