Miss Hospitality drops in at Forrest General Hospital

Miss Hospitality contestants learned about the role of women at Forrest General Hospital over...
Miss Hospitality contestants learned about the role of women at Forrest General Hospital over the past 70-plus years.(Forrest Health Media-Marketing Office)
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - This year’s Miss Hospitality contestants not only got a chance to give during a visit to Forrest General Hospital Tuesday, the young women from across Mississippi also received a generous dose of perspective.

The 41 women taking part in this week’s 2023 Mississippi Miss Hospitality competition decorated and stuffed “goodie” bags for patients at the Forrest General Cancer Center. The bags contained care items such as blankets, Kleenex, puzzle books and a variety of snacks, as well as notes of encouragement.

The group, which also included by 2022 Mississippi Miss Hospitality Hannah Grace Crain, heard from a variety of health system employees, with many speaking to the role of women at FGH.

Forrest Health vice president Millie Swan said. contestants should take to heart the core values of Miss Hospitality: service; responsibility; consideration; volunteerism; service.

“Each year, you hear the theme of volunteerism and giving back to the community,” Swan said. “Each of you already serves as an ambassador for your city, town, community, and very soon, one of you will serve as an ambassador for our state.

“I encourage you to always be willing to give of your time and to make a difference for somebody. You never know the impact of what you are doing. Today, making these care packages for people receiving treatment at our Cancer Center will make a huge difference.”

Miss New Albany Kenidi Sanders said she hoped to make a difference, at home and outside her community.

Sanders said she wanted to become a pediatrician and take part in medical missions abroad, but also become a pediatrician, Sanders would like to open up a clinic in her hometown of New Albany.

“I would like to give back and serve the community, as well as reach out beyond the clinic to educate people, host forums and educational panels, so that people are informed of healthcare,” Sanders said.

Swan shared information about three of the hospital’s programs: Spirit of Women; Spirit Girls; and Ambassadors.

“We have loved and valued women from the beginning,” Swan said. “In 1952, we opened this building a day early, so our first patient could give birth to our second patient, a baby girl. We definitely were founded on women, and we are a strong platform to build upon.”

The contestants already had been introduced to one of the hospital’s female groups.

Spirit Girls have been on hand during the week to help contestants move in and out of their dorm rooms on The University of Southern Mississippi campus.

Members of the group, comprised of junior and senior high school-age young ladies, also have been paired up with contestants and are writing them encouraging notes and making posters supporting them during the week.

Swan said volunteering, when done properly, can leave a lifetime impression.

“Let those you are helping know you are sincere and genuine,” Swan said. “A smile can go a long way,

“As you compete this week, you’ll be reflecting on a lot of people who helped you get here – a lot of people who sacrificed for you to get here. Remember this quote, ‘Volunteering is at the very core of being a human.’ No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.’ Give it all you’ve got, treasure the memories, and have a whole lot of fun.”

The 74th annual competition finals, Fire and Ice, will be held Saturday at the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg

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