Contact : (228) 467-8600

All posts by Tom Carlton

Hurricane Nate

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017


Stay tuned to your local news and be informed about possible flooded roads after the arrival of Hurricane Nate.

Hancock Medical Clinics are open Monday for normal operations.

For Hancock Medical Employees:

Normal operations are in place at the hospital.

Thanks to everyone for your service to the communities we serve.


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Lola Mullinix, Diamondhead, MS

For more information, please call 228.467.8600


Lola Mullinix, Diamondhead, MS

Lola Mulinix moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Charleston, West Virginia 25 years ago, and she is a founding member of the Diamondhead Lion’s Club. Through her affiliation with Lions International, she lives the organization’s “We Serve” motto every day in her adopted Mississippi hometown. While staying active helping others, Lola depends on local healthcare at Hancock Medical Center.

“I’ve never hesitated to use our local facilities. I find the personal touch that I receive at Hancock Medical to be an asset to our community.”

The treatment she receives from doctors and staff, Lola said, is second to none.

“Everyone is nice and helpful and very conscientious about the services they provide. Even the administrator taking time to visit with folks means a lot.”

Lola says there’s a real personal touch that she feels whenever she needs services, and she says Hancock Medical has always been there for her.

“I love my local care, and it is comforting to know there is a network of specialists at Ochsner if needed,” says Lola. “The personal touch I receive at Hancock Medical is why I come back whenever I need healthcare services.”



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Meet CNO Kim Varnado

Kim Varnado, RN, BSN is the Chief Nursing Officer at Hancock Medical Center. She grew up in Picayune and most recently worked as the CNO at Highland Community Hospital in Picayune. Prior to that, she worked in the Ochsner Health System at Ochsner Medical Center Northshore.

Varnado has over 23 years of nursing and progressive leadership experience. She has served in both Administrative and Clinical leadership roles. Her past areas of accountability include Nursing Services, Case Management, Quality and Risk, and Patient Advocacy. She has overseen multiple service lines – including Cardiology, ICU, Day Surgery, PACU, and Infusion Services.

A graduate of Picayune Memorial High School, Varnado completed her Associate Degree in Nursing from Pearl River Community College, and her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Phoenix in 2013. She is a graduate of the Pearl River County Partners in Leadership and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nursing.

“It’s an exciting time to join Hancock Medical,” she said. “We have opportunities every day to make a difference in the lives of our patients and in our community.”

Varnado is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Mississippi Nurses Association, the Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) and the MHA Organization of Nurse Executives.

She is married to Ryan and they have two children. She is enjoying getting to know Hancock County and the residents served at Hancock Medical.

“Kim is a dedicated nursing professional, committed to quality patient care, and developing the clinical excellence of our staff,” said CEO Alan Hodges. “I am very excited to welcome her to our team here at Hancock Medical Center.”

Hancock Medical is a not-for-profit hospital managed by the Ochsner Health System and is accredited by The Joint Commission. A dedicated group of more than 100 physicians representing a broad spectrum of medical specialties make up the hospital’s active and consulting medical staffs. Combined with the dedication of more than 300 professional staff members, the Hancock Medical health care team strives to provide the highest quality medical care for the communities it serves. The hospital mission is to be the community’s health resource.

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Little Hats, Big Hearts

Each baby born in February at Hancock Medical receives a red hat as part of the American Heart Association’s “Little Hats, Big Hearts” awareness campaign to bring awareness to heart disease and congenital heart defects. Hancock Medical supports the American Heart Association in its commitment to helping every baby gain or maintain ideal cardiovascular health.

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The Gentle Cesarean

When Dr. Noel Duplantier discussed the option of a “gentle cesarean” with expecting mother Sonia Valentine, she was excited to try it to enhance the bonding experience with her newborn.

“My son, Amir, was immediately placed on my chest and I was able to begin the skin to skin bonding process immediately,” Valentine said. “I got to hear his first breath, his first cry and I didn’t have to wait to meet him.”

With the birth of her first son, Valentine had a traditional cesarean with general anesthesia. Her child was immediately handed to the pediatrician and whisked away after delivery, delaying her first interaction with her newborn son by an hour or more.

Valentine said the gentle cesarean experience was a beautiful one and that she was very thankful for the immediate bonding with her newborn. “I felt so close to my son in those first minutes of his life,” she said. “Everything was perfect.”

Dr. Duplantier and Hancock Medical Center OB nurses say the gentle cesarean puts the love back into the cesarean delivery. It is a family centered approach to the most common surgical procedure in America. Hancock Medical Center is now offering some changes to help make this surgical procedure seem more like a birth. These changes include the EKG leads being placed on the mother’s back instead of her chest, all monitors are placed on one arm so the other arm is free to hold the infant, and the partner is encouraged to remain with the mother and baby to promote family bonding. These changes help to allow the mother to be as involved, emotionally and physically, as she wants to be.  The gentle cesarean allows for skin to skin contact to be initiated much earlier than traditional cesarean deliveries. Skin to skin contact is common practice at Hancock Medical Center, regardless of the type of birth.

Skin to skin contact involves the baby being placed directly on the mother’s chest after delivery, skin to skin, and covered with warm blankets. Skin to skin contact is an important part of the “magical hour.”

Dr. Duplantier explains that the first hour after birth is an important one for both mother and child.

“The baby goes through nine instinctive stages in that first hour after birth,” she said. “We encourage mothers, regardless of the type of delivery, to fully experience that special time together.”

Skin to skin contact helps infants transition to newborn life with greater respiratory, temperature, and glucose stabilization; as well as decreasing the stress level of the newborn and increasing the success of breastfeeding.

For Valentine, it all added up to a great birthing experience.

“It was a wonderful,” she said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”



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