January 9, 2014

New Simulation Center named for retired physician

Hinds Community College Thursday unveiled the new Dr. George Ball Simulation Center named in honor of a local long-time physician who formerly served on the college’s Foundation board. The building…
BY: Cathy Hayden

Hinds Community College Thursday unveiled the new Dr. George Ball Simulation Center named in honor of a local long-time physician who formerly served on the college’s Foundation board.

The building was donated to the college by brothers and physicians Dr. Christopher Ball and Dr. Kyle Ball and named for their father, Dr. George Ball. The building formerly housed the brothers’ obstetrics and gynecology practice. The renovation and equipping of the Nursing Simulation Center was made possible by a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse said Dr. Ball is “a fine, dedicated Christian person that’s interested in his community and gives a lot of his time and resources to it.”

Because the announcement was kept secret until Thursday, the sign on the building was covered so it couldn’t be seen. “I kept driving by to see if you were going to get it completed,” Dr. Ball said. “You made it. It’s beautiful. “

The Dr. George Ball Simulation Center at 1820 Hospital Drive in Jackson is near the college’s Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center on Chadwick Drive. The center has four simulation labs, three that look like hospital rooms and a fourth that can be an operating room or emergency room. They are equipped with life-like mannequins that simulate real situations and control rooms that allow for videotaping students performing clinical skills.

Dr. Kyle Ball, speaking on behalf of the family, said the center will be a great training boost to Hinds students.

“You walk into something unknown and you’re scared to death. But if you’ve been pretrained on what this place is supposed to look like, this is how it works – you walk into it with a whole lot of confidence,” he said.

“That’s what these young nurses are going to do. They’re going to walk into the emergency room and know what to do. Their confidence level is just going to soar, as well as their competence level. That’s what Hinds is noted for. The nurses that come out of this school are highly sought after,” Dr. Kyle Ball said.

The Nursing/Allied Health Center enrolls about 900 students each semester. While most of the simulation activities will focus on patient care experiences, all nursing and allied health programs are expected to use the Nursing and Allied Health Simulation Center for some simulated activities.

These programs include associate degree nursing, dental assisting technology, diagnostic medical sonography, emergency medical sciences, health care assistant, health information technology, medical laboratory technology, physical therapy assistant, practical nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory care technology and surgical technology.

“We feel like this is going to serve our students well. It will help us to get the students the experience we want every student to have before they leave here. We know it’ll help build their competence and their confidence,” said Dr. Libby Mahaffey, Nursing and Allied Health dean.

Dr. George Ball served on the Hinds Community College Foundation Board of Directors and was a long-time, respected physician who specialized in obstetrics and gynecology in Jackson before his 1998 retirement. During his 35 years of practice, he received much recognition, including awards from the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

A Tylertown native, he attended East Central Community College and Tulane University, graduating in 1957.  He completed an internship at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans in 1958, a fellowship at Tulane University in 1959 and a residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 1961.  He also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees at Central Mississippi Medical Center. A lifelong Methodist, he was instrumental in the development of Riggs Manor Retirement Community in Raymond. 

Three out of the four sons are ob/gyns and the fourth is a pastor. Dr. Kyle Ball said his father “came home tired every day but with a smile on his face. I always said to myself, whatever he’s doing, he’s enjoying it. He’s having fun.”