By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
PICAYUNE — Children's International Medical Group held a grand opening and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at their first Mississippi location, located in Picayune. The clinic is the eleventh for the group to open under Dr. Eduardo Hernandez. “We have practiced in Slidell, La. since 1992. We had experienced influx of patients from Pearl River County. It is hard on the patients and their families to travel back and forth. Our late hours accommodate working families and our staff consists of only the best. Most are either from this area or live close to it,” Hernandez said. “Picayune is the best possible choice to place our first Mississippi clinic, due to our existing customer base and its proximity to major cities and Stennis Space Center. It is a good, solid, first step in our clinic growth and expansion into Mississippi.” Rep. Steven Palazzo, DA Hal Kittrell, local attorney and former DA Buddy McDonald, and Sheriff David Allison spoke along with Hernandez. State Sen. Angela Hill, District 5 Councilman Wayne Gouget and County Judge Richelle Lumpkin were also in attendance. Palazzo praised the clinic for its community activism and for choosing Picayune as its first Mississippi location. “Access to medical care is vital. I commend the clinic for not only its dedication to patient care and accessibility, I applaud it for choosing Picayune as its first location. Out of the 14 counties, it is evident that city and elected officials work closely here for the good of the community.” He also commended Pearl River County United and the officials present on the group’s behalf for reaching out to young people to educate them on options to drugs. “It is important today, more than ever, that we as parents be engaged with our children and lead by example. They must have structure, discipline and attention in the home. They must not be left to raise themselves,” he said. To celebrate the opening, PRC United Coalition introduced their mascot Captain Shield to students who participated in an art contest where they were instructed to illustrate their favorite health hero. More than 60 entries were received and from those, student artists were chosen for cash prizes. Children’s International Medical Group is located at 1016 Sixth Ave, Suite A. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 601-798-5558.