Published on September 21, 2010

Baptist DeSoto Collects Shoeboxes for Soldiers

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto is sponsoring its third annual Shoeboxes for Soldiers drive, where hospital employees and community members donate shoeboxes full of personal care items and food to North Mississippi servicemen and women stationed overseas.

Each care package consists of items such as snacks, religious books, batteries, flip-flops and toiletries. The packages will be shipped to young men and women from DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Panola counties who are stationed around the world. During the first two Shoeboxes for Soldiers drives, Baptist DeSoto collected almost 2,000 boxes. As an additional incentive, this year Baptist DeSoto is donating $1,000 to the physical education department of the Mississippi school that donates the most shoeboxes.

"We feel it is our mission at Baptist DeSoto to help improve our community, both in body and spirit," said Randy King, CEO and administrator of Baptist DeSoto. "This event allows our employees and individuals within surrounding communities to give back and make a difference."

Baptist DeSoto will be collecting shoeboxes until Nov. 1. Individuals can bring their packages to the hospital information desk Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. For large donations or for more information, please contact Kate Hickson at 662-772-2390.

On Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., Baptist DeSoto will host a Veterans Day celebration to present the boxes to representatives from the National Guard. Brig. Gen. Roger L. Shields, deputy commander of the Mississippi Army National Guard's joint force headquarters, and Southaven Mayor Greg Davis will be the keynote speakers.

Baptist DeSoto is a 339-bed hospital that offers diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. In November 2006, Baptist DeSoto opened a new, 11-story tower featuring all-private rooms, expanded operating suites and a new emergency room. In 2010, Baptist DeSoto received the Hospital of the Year award (100 beds or more) from the Mississippi Nurses Association. The hospital offers open-heart surgery and a number of other cardiovascular services, and the emergency department's heart attack response rate is, on average, 30 minutes faster than the national benchmark. Baptist DeSoto's inpatient rehabilitation program ranked in the top 1 percent in the nation for quality in a report based on 2009 performance outcomes. In 2010, the hospital's Women's Center became the first breast imaging facility in DeSoto County to offer digital mammography.

For more information, please call 662-772-4000 or visit desoto.baptistonline.org.

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