Johnson to Retire from NMMC-West Point after 34 Years
Coworkers honored Brenda Johnson (center) with a retirement reception Aug. 1 at NMMC-West Point, celebrating her 34 years of service.
Brenda Johnson, director of Human Resources at North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point, retired July 26 with 34 years of service.
Johnson started as administrative secretary and personnel director at Ivy Memorial Hospital downtown in June 1985, just a few months before the new hospital opened in October of that year. A native of Una in Clay County, Johnson graduated from West Point High School in 1973. She attended East Mississippi Community College in Scooba and Mayhew, and then worked for Tombigbee Regional Library, the predecessor to Bryan Public Library, for several years before joining Watkins, Ward and Stafford.
During this time she attained the designation of Certified Professional Secretary. In 1985, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. She completed her Master of Business Administration from Mississippi State University in Starkville in 1991 and in 1995 attained certification as a Professional in Human Resources from the Society of Human Resource Management.
When Johnson started at Ivy Memorial Hospital, she was responsible for 125 employees. Today that number is around 300, with the growth fueled by addition of services and affiliated medical clinics over the years. What she will miss the most are her coworkers. “I have a unique relationship with employees,” Johnson said. “I hold their hands to get their fingerprints. I know their birthday, their Social Security number and everything else you wouldn’t normally tell other people. I take their photo for their name badge. By the time we finish the onboarding process, we have bonded.”
In February, the Mississippi Hospital Association Society for Human Resources Administration presented Johnson with its Distinguished Service Award. The award is given each year to a society member in recognition of outstanding contributions to heath care human resources in Mississippi. She recently completed a term as president of the MHA Society for Human Resources, and has served as president, secretary and board member for the Golden Triangle Human Resources Association. Over the years she has also been active with United Way of Clay County (which she serves as a board member), Take a Swing at Cancer, Make a Wish Foundation, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Johnson treasures the time she spent as her mother’s caregiver before her death in 2014. She is an avid runner, having completed more than 40 half-marathons and countless 5Ks and 10Ks. She is also a charter member of the NMMC-West Point Wellness Center and an active member of First Baptist Church in West Point.
Johnson was a lifelong resident of Clay County until June, when she moved to Starkville with Marion, her husband of 43 years. They moved to be closer to their son Adam, his wife JoAnna and granddaughter Laney, who was born May 10.
Retirement will allow Johnson to keep Laney full-time while her parents work. In addition to spoiling Laney, she hopes to continue running, treasure hunting at estate sales and traveling.