Published on October 03, 2016

NMMC Names Potts Volunteer of the Year

TUPELO, Miss.— North Mississippi Medical Center has named Joe Potts as Volunteer of the Year.

Potts will represent NMMC at the Mississippi Hospital Association Volunteer Awards Luncheon in Jackson, Oct. 6-7.

Potts has spent the majority of his lifetime at NMMC, first as an employee then as a volunteer. He retired from NMMC’s Facility Operations Department in 2003 after almost 31 years of employment. During his long tenure in Facility Operations, he worked mostly in Surgery and Central Sterile Processing, though his work took him all over the hospital.

Not long after retiring, Potts’ to-do list was handled and he was looking for more. “I did what I had planned to do,” he said. “I just got tired of lying around the house.”

In 10 years, he has volunteered more than 4,400 hours. Every Tuesday he delivers newspapers to more than 150 patient rooms. Every Wednesday he helps his former department, Facility Operations, check each new patient’s room.

“He goes to each newly admitted patient’s room to say hello and make sure their lights, remotes and other room items are in working order,” said Carla Enis, director of Volunteer Services. “He also takes note of anything throughout the hospital that might need to be fixed, and then enters a work order. Joe also follows up on these requests.”

Potts was recognized for his compassion and willingness to listen to patients. “Sometimes it takes him twice as long to do his route, but he considers visiting part of his duty as a volunteer,” one nomination states. Another reads, “Joe’s caring and compassionate nature eases the patient’s anxiousness.”

Potts often comes in extra days to volunteer, many times at a moment’s notice, and he helps with special events. “Joe is a good sport because many times he’s the only guy in the crowd,” Enis said. “It doesn’t deter him a bit—he just jumps in and helps do what’s needed.”

His wife, Phyllis Potts, recently retired from NMMC after 41 years. Together they have six children—Sunny Marshall of Jumpertown, Daniel Burk of Auburn, Keith Potts of Friendship, Randy Potts of Pratts, Amanda Peoples of New Albany and Sheila Kosteck of Elk City, Okla. They have 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is an active member of Birmingham Ridge Baptist Church, where he serves as president of the church’s Brotherhood and sings in the choir.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at NMMC, call the Volunteer Services Department at (662) 377-3131 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375).

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