Suzan Thames

September 16, 2009
Excerpts from Suzan Thames interview

Excerpts from Suzan Thames interview

I became involved with the Children’s Hospital in 1981. We took an old-fashioned slide show and a projector to so many different Kiwanis clubs, women’s clubs—you name it, we went there. And we put on fundraisers. We did a barbeque in Itta Beena that raised as much money as a big formal production as we had here in Jackson. We got the Children’s Cancer Clinic built and open in 1993, and we laid the infrastructure deeply enough to support upward mobility. I have cherished every minute of working with this hospital. When you see the need—no matter how impossible it may seem—you get the right people together, and what can happen is miraculous.

I can’t say enough about the people I have been able to work with. The staff here at the University Medical Center, the public affairs department, has been side by side with me the whole entire time. The physicians are absolutely the most dedicated people I have ever had the opportunity to be around. They care; their passion for these children—not only their health, but the fact that they aren’t traumatized by being in a hospital. The child-life specialists that work with the children mean so much to the children and to their families. I’ve just had a wonderful opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to participate in the growth of our community and in the health and well being of children. This is critical to our society—that every child receive quality health care.

And that was my initial goal, that every child receive this in our state. And I believe that is critical to the growth of a society—keeping your children healthy and well. I am so grateful and I couldn’t have been able to do this without the help of so many hundreds of people—their time, money, and expertise has been heaped on me. I have been the recipient of so much learning and growth as a result of people taking the time to teach me and show me and guide me.


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