Medical office groundbreaking set

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Formal groundbreaking for a new medical office building adjacent to Natchez Regional Medical Center will be 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

The multi-story office building is the result of five years of

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planning and negotiating among Adams County supervisors, medical center trustees and doctors who are funding construction of the building, said Natchez Regional attorney Walter Brown.

&uot;The idea came up in 2000, and the hospital board and the county both discussed a bond issue for the building, but the trustees preferred the project come from the private sector,&uot; Brown said.

&uot;About three years ago, a group led by Dr. Kenneth Stubbs took

the lead,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s one of the biggest investments in health care since the renovation of the hospital that began back in 1990.&uot;

The building, expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million, will be four stories and 50,000 square feet. A covered walkway will connect the building to the hospital.

Located behind the Medical Arts Building, built in 1960, the new building will be built on land leased to the private investors by the Board of Supervisors.

Once the new building is complete, the old U-shaped, one-story office complex will be demolished and that space used as part of the new parking lot.

Jack Houghton, Natchez Regional’s chief executive officer, said the construction process &uot;may create a little hardship for the folks at the Medical Arts building, but we’ll work with them to try to make it as easy as possible.&uot;

Houghton said that excitement is mounting as construction begins.

&uot;There is all sorts of renewed interest in the building,&uot; he said. &uot;Some doctors were hesitant to commit until they knew it was coming together.&uot;

For Dr. Carl Passman, orthopedist, and his wife, Marcia Passman, physical therapist, the new building can’t come soon enough.

&uot;We are very excited about it,&uot; Marcia Passman said.

&uot;PT is going to have a therapeutic pool with a built-in treadmill. We’re tripling our PT space. It’s going to be exciting for all the rehab department,&uot; she added.

The Passman Haimson Orthopedic Sports and Rehabilitation Clinic includes the practices of Passman and orthopedist Dr. Robert Haimson and the rehabilitation department directed by Marcia Passman.

It will be on the first floor of the new office building.

&uot;It’s going to be nice,&uot; Carl Passman said.

&uot;We’ll have digital X-rays and a lot of improvements, including more exam rooms. We hope soon to bring in another doctor.&uot;

The project would not be happening without the hard work of Dr. Ken Stubbs, he said.

&uot;Ken has spearheaded this. It is largely his effort that is making this happen.&uot;

Stubbs was out of town and not available for comment on the upcoming groundbreaking and construction.

Brown said Stubbs led unselfishly and skillfully through all the negotiating that has taken place.

&uot;One of the best things about this is the commitment shown by some of the doctors,&uot; he said.

&uot;A great deal of their participation stems from their commitment to health care in the community.&uot;

Not only will doctors have modern new space for their offices and services, Brown said.

&uot;They will provide through the private sector something that will greatly enhance both hospitals and will improve medical care from the consumer stand point in that there will be so many doctors in one facility.&uot;

Adams County Supervisor Sammy Cauthen said he is &uot;glad to see it’s going to be a reality.

&uot;The building will be a great asset for the future of the hospital and will increase business at Natchez Regional,&uot; Cauthen said.