Open Arms Healthcare Center has taken a revolutionary step towards creating a healthier Mississippi. In conjunction with Mississippi INBRE at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a new Open Arms Healthcare Center clinic opened in downtown Hattiesburg Oct. 1. Practitioners, educators, and researchers will work together on-site to provide Hattiesburg with community health solutions, representing a unique opportunity for both residents and healthcare professionals.

“This is probably the first site of its kind in Mississippi,” states Dr. Jennifer Lemacks, director of the Mississippi INBRE Telenutrition Center. “We typically operate in silos which clearly slows operations down. This type of integration really fosters co-learning from the community, from practitioners, from researchers, from everybody that’s involved in the care of these patients.”

Not only is this an opportunity for healthcare professionals, but for USM students as well.

“This new site represents a strong collaboration between USM and Open Arms Healthcare Center. It will allow us to expand our research portfolio into community outreach projects and provide an opportunity for students to train in community health prevention,” explained Mississippi INBRE director Dr. Mohamed Elasri.

The site also creates a bridge for Open Arms Healthcare Center to provide services to a wider range of Mississippians. With an established site already in Jackson, the Hattiesburg site will allow better access to locals.

Dr. June Gipson, director of My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. and Open Arms Healthcare Center said “This is our second Open Arms Healthcare Center site that we’ve opened in the state, so it’s significant in that it means that we’re growing. We’re growing not just My Brother’s Keeper, but we’re growing a different division of My Brother’s Keeper, which is Open Arms Healthcare Center.”

The new site is located at 1711 Hardy St. in downtown Hattiesburg. The clinic offers primary healthcare services to locals on an income-based scale, meaning free services will be offered to those who cannot afford them, in certain cases.

For more information about Open Arms Healthcare Center and to schedule an appointment, visit their official website here.