On our last visit to the Delta in January, we met with Governor Haley Barbour. At that meeting, Governor Barbour thanked Project HOPE for our previous work in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and our support of the Coastal Family Health Centers in establishing a permanent health clinic in Moss Point. He encouraged Project HOPE to work with the Delta Health Alliance (DHA) to help further improve health in the Mississippi Delta.
On this visit to the Delta, we invited along some of our dedicated corporate partners. We wanted to show our partners the needs, the progress and the great work that is being done to better the health of those living in the Delta, and to explore our intersections of interests, to find ways that we can all work together.
Our delegation met with Governor Barbour on the 19th floor of a Jackson office building. The panoramic view offered a clear vista of the state’s capital and a glimpse of the Delta region beyond.
Governor Barbour was impressed with the interest of the partners Project HOPE brought to the table. Our delegation included Leslie Hardy, Vice President, The Merck Company Foundation; Glen Golemi, CEO, Gulf States Region UnitedHealth Group; Frank Sample, CEO, Philips VISICU; Laure Park, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Citizenship Officer, Quest Diagnostics; Dr. Delaney Gracy, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Children's Health Fund; Frank Wesley, Senior Regional Director, Children's Health Fund; Christopher Estep, Senior Manager, HR, Baxter International; Jim Peloquin, District Manager, Walgreens; as well as Elyse Marcellino and JoAnn Clark, representatives from Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran’s office.
While Governor Barbour’s term in office is up at the end of this year, he told me and the delegation that his commitment to improving health in the Mississippi will continue. He also expressed interest in meeting with other HOPE partners later this year.
“We are proud of the work being accomplished, and we are hopeful,” he said.
Later in the evening, we heard the same words of encouragement and support from Mississippi's Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant.
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