Patterson Retires from NMMC Food & Nutrition
Registered dietitian Lynn Patterson has retired from NMMC’s Food and Nutrition Department with a combined 36 years of service.
A 1975 graduate of Tupelo High School, Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Mississippi State University in 1979. After a year-long traineeship at NMMC, she was hired as a clinical dietitian in 1980 and later named food service manager for the former Belle Vista Unit and Baldwyn Hospital. “At Belle Vista, we had psychiatric patients, general medical patients and cancer patients. The cancer patients would come in to receive chemo and stay Monday-Friday, and they did this every four weeks,” Patterson said. “We would get them whatever they felt like they could eat. If they wanted fish, we’d go to the fish house. If they felt like they could eat a McDonalds hamburger, we’d go get one. We got to know them, and they got to know each other because they spent so much time together.”
In 1985, Patterson moved to Jackson so that her young son Taylor, who was born deaf, could attend Magnolia Speech School. She rejoined the NMMC staff in 1988 as a clinical dietitian. For the past 15 or so years, she has worked in the Critical Care Unit and found it extremely rewarding. She worked closely with the intensivists and nurse practitioners, consulting on patients who require a feeding tube. “The nurses know their patients so well, and I felt like we worked as a team to provide good patient care,” she said.
Now that she’s retired, Patterson looks forward to doing, “whatever I want, whenever I want.” She and her husband Jerry, who retired about five years ago, enjoy golfing at Pontotoc Country Club and traveling on golf outings with several other couples. “They have been good to work around my schedule, but now I’ll have more freedom to go,” she said. Patterson, who enjoys serving others, plans to volunteer in some capacity but hasn’t felt led to anything specific yet. She wants to spend more time with her 84-year-old mother, Margaret Lyle, a former English teacher who taught many hospital employees. Patterson also likes to cook, bake, do yardwork and read.
“I have really enjoyed my time at NMMC,” she said. “People here are like my second family. When you work together, you do life with these people because we’re together so much. It’s going to be a big change for sure, but I’m looking forward to it.”