Published on November 11, 2011

Baptist DeSoto Veterans Day Celebration Honors Military

Southaven, Miss. - Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto will honor Mid-South veterans by hosting a Veterans Day event on Friday, November 11 at 10 a.m. on the hospital grounds.

"We invite the public to the patriotic event featuring keynote speaker, Brigadier General Robert F. Thomas, who is the Commander for the 66th Troop Command National Guard," said James Huffman, administrator and CEO at Baptist DeSoto. "National Guard representatives will be on-site to accept and ship shoeboxes filled with supplies for troops from the Mid-South serving our country overseas."

Last year, more than 3,000 shoeboxes were collected in the Shoeboxes for Soldiers drive. Most of the boxes were donated by school-age children, teachers, faculty, and community leaders in DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, Tunica, and Panola counties.

"It's our mission to support the community serving our country, and it s also a priority for us to educate school-age children on the importance of a healthy lifestyle," Huffman said. "We will be awarding $1,000, $500, and $250 physical education grants to the top three schools that donate the most shoeboxes for soldiers."

The event will also include Captain Kevin Thompson from the U.S. Army to administer the oath of enlistment to 25 recruits, Fox 13's Joey Sulipeck to emcee the event, American Idol finalist Alexis Grace to sing the National Anthem, and the Lewisburg High School Patriots Band to perform.

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. In 2011, Baptist DeSoto's emergency department was upgraded to a level III trauma designation.

For more information about Baptist DeSoto, please call 662-772-4000, or visit