Dr. Powell to Retire with Almost 40 Years of Medical Service
WEST POINT, Miss.—Family physician Dr. Ron Powell is retiring at the end of 2019 with almost 40 years of medical service to the West Point community and beyond.
The public is invited to a reception in Dr. Powell’s honor from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at the North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point Education Center, 150 Medical Center Drive.
A native of Wynne, Arkansas, Dr. Powell graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry before completing a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the University of Mississippi in 1970. He then served four years in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a military branch overseen by the U.S Surgeon General.
Upon completion of his active duty, he enrolled in medical school at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned his medical degree there in 1979 and completed a rotating internship in 1980 at Mount Clemens General Hospital in Michigan.
One month later, he opened his own private practice in West Point. He had first visited the community at the suggestion of Linda King, a friend and native of West Point. His first clinic was right next door to Ivy Memorial Hospital. “The building was made of concrete blocks and had no windows in any of the rooms,” Dr. Powell said. In 1985 he built and opened a new clinic on Medical Center Drive, where his wife, Diann, served as the office manager.
After 15 years in private practice, Dr. Powell joined North Mississippi Medical Clinics, and West Point Medical Clinic opened across the street on Medical Center Drive. “Joining North Mississippi Health Services was a highlight of my career,” he said, noting that he could focus on practicing medicine without worrying about the business side. “Diann could now go home and be a full-time mother to our children.”
Dr. Powell also served in the Mississippi Army National Guard for 26 years. Colonel Powell served as the Battalion Surgeon with the 223rd Engineer Battalion, Combat Heavy, from 1984-1998. He transferred to STARC, MED, TDA in 1998 and served as a General Medical Officer until 2000. He was appointed as Commander of DET 1, MSARNG, Medical Detachment in 2000 and served until May 2003, when he was appointed the Commander of the MSARNG Detachment. In 2005 he served as the medical officer with the 155th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. A few months after he returned home, he was deployed again to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for four months after Hurricane Katrina hit. He retired from the MSARNG in 2006.
West Point Medical Clinic has continued to grow throughout Dr. Powell’s career. Dr. Clifton Story joined the clinic in 2005, followed by Dr. Robert Smith in 2008. In 2017, the clinic moved to a new, larger location, adding Urgent Care and several new physicians. It was a dream of Dr. Powell’s to offer a modern, well-equipped and full-staffed clinic for the people of West Point and Clay County. “We have a fine new clinic, an efficient, well-trained staff and caring physicians who all work well together and enjoy being a family together,” he said.
Because his practice spans many decades, Dr. Powell has cared for several generations of local families. “I have enjoyed practicing in a small community where I came to know my patients and they to know me,” he said. “I have patients that I delivered years ago and now they bring their own children and grandchildren to me for care.”
With retirement in view, Dr. Powell looks forward to more time with his family, which includes his wife of 51 years, Diann; daughter Amy (Jeremy) Tabor of West Point; son Ron Jr. (married to the former Melanie Elliott of West Point) of Eads, Tennessee; and grandchildren Powell, Elizabeth Claire and Barrett Tabor, and Maddox and Lily Powell.
The Powells have long anticipated a trip to Israel planned for February. He also looks forward to playing golf and deer hunting. They are active members of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.
“It’s exciting to retire, but it’s kind of a sad thing too,” Dr. Powell said. “I will miss it.”