These days, UMMC (2500 N. State St., 601.984.1000, umc.edu) covers a large section of Jackson near Fondren and has more than 10,000 full- and part-time employees. The organization also has community hospitals in Grenada, Miss., and Lexington, Miss., and has a clinical presence in several other places throughout the state, including Children's of Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Currently, the medical center has six schools—medicine, nursing, dentistry, health-related professions, graduate studies, and the University of Mississippi's School of Pharmacy also has a presence on campus, as students have to complete two years of study at UMMC. This fall, the medical center will also open the John D. Bower School of Population Health.
Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Estes has been at UMMC for seven-and-a-half years and has worked in health care for 37 years. BOOM Jackson recently spoke to him about the center's Best of Jackson win.
What made you want to go into the human resources side of health care?
It was an opportunity to help shape and influence how you really advance the work of health care through the people that you surround yourself with. At the end of the day, medicine and technology are still as much of an art as they are a science, in many respects.
But the delivery of care comes down to each and every individual on this campus regardless of title or pay or any of those other artificial parameters that often times we put around them, and the chance to just help shape how we go about making sure we have the right people and the right place, and that we've got folks who are truly committed to doing the right thing for our patients and therefore for the people of Mississippi is a very fulfilling career.
As the chief human resources officer for UMMC, what does your job entail?
I think that the simple way to define is that I have the privilege of serving the 10,000-plus individuals that we call colleagues here across the campus, and those folks range from our administrative leaders to our clinical department chairs to our faculty members across all of our schools down to our lowest-paid employees who are working down in the trenches across the campus with all the different jobs that they do.
Without it sounding pretentious, it really is a privilege to be able to serve those people and help support them because they in turn support all the people who depend upon us for health care, not just here in the main campus in Jackson but across the state, when you think about it.
Why do you think people picked UMMC as the Best Place to Work in Jackson for a second year in a row?
I think part of it is because we really do believe largely, of all the folks that are part of our colleagues here, we believe in the work we do, and that's very meaningful. If you're really aligned around what you're doing, and you believe in the values that it brings to bear, that goes a long way.
I think the other factor that contributes to it as that we try to be as forthcoming and transparent as we can be.
We all know that sometimes you can't always manage that to the level that you would like, but we certainly make an honest attempt at doing that, and I think our folks feel supported in terms of the things that we have the ability to help support them for but also recognize that we can't always do everything.
BEST PLACE TO WORK
Finalists: Babalu Tapas & Tacos (622 Duling Ave., Suite 106, 601.366.5757, eatbabalu.com) / Baptist Health Systems (1225 N. State St., 601.968.1000, mbhs.org) / Hinds Community College (hindscc.edu) / The State of Mississippi (Mississippi.gov)