Published on August 01, 2017

Godwin Retires after 30 Years with NMMC-West Point

WEST POINT, Miss.—Carlie Godwin, a certified registered nurse anesthetist at North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point, has retired after 30 years of service to the local hospital.

A native of the Mobile, Ala., area, Godwin attended the University of South Alabama briefly after high school before joining the U.S. Army. He served as a clinical specialist at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. His favorite assignment was providing medical care for a battalion in Germany for two years.

After his military discharge, Godwin earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He then completed CRNA training at Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan.

He joined the staff of Oktibbeha County Hospital in Starkville in September 1981 and, after several years, began providing some anesthesia services at Ivy Memorial Hospital (the predecessor of NMMC-West Point) while working alongside orthopedic surgeon John Gassaway, M.D. After much convincing, Godwin went to work full-time for the West Point hospital on March 23, 1987.

“Carlie is the consummate professional and simply an overall exceptional example of a great servant leader within our hospital,” said Barry Keel, NMMC-West Point administrator. “I can’t recall ever having a more dedicated and professional leader of an anesthesia department in my 28 years in the hospital industry. He has been the nucleus of our anesthesia department at NMMC-West Point for over 30 years. No one has earned the right to retire at this point in their career more than Carlie.”

Over his 30-year career, Godwin has witnessed many changes. “In the profession of anesthesia, big changes have taken place in monitoring and medication,” he said. “Anesthesia delivery systems are a lot safer than they used to be.”

Godwin said the focus on patient-and-family-centered care has been a major shift in health care in general.

After retiring Aug. 1, Godwin plans to spend much of his time doting on his family. He and his wife of 28 years, Cathy, have four daughters—Melissa Leighan Godwin of Huntsville, Ala.; Lindsey Lane Burkhalter of Starkville; Candice Renee Brown of Fairhope, Ala.; and Erin Morgan McElroy of Birmingham, Ala.—and nine grandchildren.

Besides following his grandchildren’s sporting events, his plans include traveling, watching football and tackling his honey-do list.

“I am really going to miss the people that I work with and the people that I serve,” he said

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