Till introduced as CEO at Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center ceremony


By Josh Troy

Clarksdale Advocate

Lorie Till was announced as the new CEO of Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center during a celebration of Coahoma County running its own hospital Monday morning. Till is a healthcare executive with experience in nursing, utilization, and hospital operations. She has 20 years of healthcare experience, has served as a chief nursing and operations officer, and the director of care coordination of a hospital system. Her experience also includes utilization management and providing value-based care and population health.

The celebration took place on hospital grounds with 457 attendees. Till, along with other community leaders, provided remarks. The Board of Supervisors agreed to buy out the lease Delta Health Systems and have Coahoma County run its own hospital. The County began overseeing the hospital on May 1, has been in a transition period, and Till was named the CEO.

“I love the community,” she said. “I love the population. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be here.” She thanked the Supervisors, the board of trustees, and staff. Staff had to move around four or five times. “It is endearing to know they are here, ready to travel with me and give me the support I need. And I can’t do it alone. Their support, as well as yours, the community, is what’s driving me.”

Till talked about her vision for Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center. “We are here to serve you,” she said. “This is our passion. My goal is to strive very hard to sustain this hospital and meet the needs of this community. My beliefs are very simple. It is to meet the needs of the community, disease prevention, education, and, above all, service to others.”

Sadguru Madhusudan Sai, founder of the Divine Will Foundation in 2013, philanthropist, humanitarian, and spiritual teacher, was the keynote speaker. The Divine Will Foundation provides and supports projects to serve those in need.

“I’m very happy to be here this morning in Clarksdale,” Sai said, adding he appreciated the hospitality in Clarksdale. “We’re here to leave no one behind. We must find a way to serve every patient.” Sai discussed the progress Coahoma County has made in providing healthcare to the community and said his organization is here to help. “The whole world is one family,” he said. “That is what we are here to do, to help each other, to serve each other and to care for each other as our own family.”

Jon Levingston, executive director of Crossroads Economic Partnership, also known as the Chamber of Commerce, looked ahead to the future of the hospital. “While we are aware of many of the acutely constrained conditions in which we work, we know that we can do better,” he said.

When Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center faced the possibility of closing, Levingston said there could have been an increase in mortality in the region and state. He noted the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors, which helped keep Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center open, owns the grounds of the hospital.

“We are proud to say to our community that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services to the citizens of Clarksdale and the Northwest Mississippi region of our state,” he said. “We are proud to say that our hospital now has outstanding leadership along with the trained and highly dedicated, loyal and capable employees. This day and these announcements you are about to hear are only the beginning.”

Levingston said community leaders have worked for the past year and a half to make sure the hospital will remain open. Bowen Flowers, chair of the Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center board, said he did not expect to serve in this capacity. “It was the last thing we expected to do, but we have come to believe, for the sake of our community and the well-being of our citizens, this is one of the most important things that we could do,” he said.

Flowers said the road ahead may not always be smooth and the journey may not always be easy, but the board will do everything it can to give high-quality healthcare. He thanked Levingston and Crossroads Economic Partnership attorney Ted Connell for their guidance.

Flowers also said Till has a passion for healthcare. “We are convinced she’s the right leader at just the right time,” Flowers said. Lela Keys, Tripp Hayes, Donell Harrell, and Alan Byrd are the other hospital board members. Coahoma County Board of Supervisors President Johnny Newson recognized all the Supervisors. Paul Pearson, Pat Davis, Derrell Washington, and Roosevelt Lee are the other Supervisors.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my board,” Newson said. “Working alone, nothing can be accomplished. However, if all of us are making the effort, making the sacrifices together, we could make miracles happen. And just look around. This is a miracle today.”

Newson said, a year and a half ago, it became apparent a change in the hospital administration was needed. He praised the board’s effort for accepting responsibility to make sure the hospital remains open. “We are blessed to have people in our community willing and able and dedicated and will dedicate their time and their intelligence to the well-being of our hospital,” he said.

Newson said there is a long way to go, but with the hospital having a good staff and leadership, high-quality healthcare. He added it was not an easy task to keep the hospital operating as the Supervisors had to fight for it in court in Nashville, Tenn. Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy thanked God the hospital is still operating and acknowledged Levingston. “Jon Levingston has worked awfully hard to continue to provide the very best to all of us,” said Espy, encouraging everyone to give Levingston a hand. “I see so many people that have propped this community up over the years and this hospital. But I want to share with you the sustainability of what has been possible here today. So many partners have played a very important role.” Espy acknowledged the Clarksdale commissioners. Bo Plunk, Jimmy Harris, Willie Turner, and Ed Seals are the commissioners. “It takes all of us to make this community thrive,” Espy said.


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