Leadership at UMMC


We as Mississippians have a great asset in the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). This entity, which has a budget almost as large as all eight public universities combined, is the state’s only academic health science center. UMMC is big business. With a budget of $1.3 billion and over 8,600 employees, UMMC represents 10% of the metro Jackson economy and 2% of the state economy. UMMC really has a multifold mission of education, patient care, research, diversity, and addressing disparity in health care in Mississippi. UMMC through its innovative small business initiatives is also creating a ripple effect in the local business community. UMMC also partners with health care providers around the state through its TelEmergency telemedicine program and the Med-Com program for coordinating transports to the state’s only level one trauma center.

I spent some time recently with Dr. Jimmy Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine, to learn more about the man at the helm of this organization and to learn more about the past, present, and future of this historic institution. In business lingo, Dr. Keeton is the CEO of UMMC, and reports to Dr. Dan Jones, chancellor at the University of Mississippi and ultimately the Institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Keeton brings a wealth of experience to this role which he was appointed to after Dr. Dan Jones was appointed to his role as chancellor. A graduate of the University of Mississippi undergraduate and medical schools, Dr. Keeton also completed his residencies in surgery and urology there. He continued his training in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in London, England, and he later served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Illinois. He served on the faculty at the University from 1973-75 and spent 27 years in private practice before returning to the faculty in 1998 full time. Later, he was appointed Dr. Jones’ chief of staff before his current appointment.

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