Dr. Kenneth Thomas Affiliates with North Mississippi Health Services
North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point has hired urologist Kenneth R. Thomas, M.D., and Catherine “Shelli” Eldridge, FNP-C. Dr. Thomas has served on the West Point hospital’s medical staff since 2016.
Thomas Urology Clinic will become North Mississippi Urology on July 1. Dr. Thomas and Eldridge will continue to see all patients in their current clinic, located at 100 Wilburn Way in Starkville. To request an appointment, call (662) 498-1400 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375).
“I consider myself a nerdy redneck,” says Dr. Thomas. “I grew up in backwoods Mississippi—Kewanee to be exact. I went barefoot most summers growing up and thus knew where all the ‘stickers’ were in the yard. I know how to shell peas and the skill it takes to shoot mistletoe out of a tree with a shotgun.”
Dr. Thomas graduated from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus in 1997 before entering Mississippi State University, where he obtained a degree in chemical engineering and met his wife, Rachel – both were at the top of their class. He went on to medical school at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, where he was the student body president and graduated in the top 10% of his class. He became the first urology resident accepted to the University of Virginia, completing his residency there in 2011 and serving as chief resident. He is board certified in urology, the medical specialty that involves treating diseases of the male and female urinary-tract system and the male reproductive system.
Dr. Thomas and his wife decided that if they could pick anywhere in the world to live, they wanted to be back in Mississippi and particularly the Golden Triangle among people and a culture they both love.
Dr. Thomas has written a weekly health column that was distributed in two-thirds of the major newspapers around the state, including the Starkville Daily News, Daily Times Leader and The Clarion-Ledger. He is a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association and the affiliated Prairie Medical Society.
Dr. Thomas also owns and is head roaster at Umble Coffee Co., an online and wholesale coffee company, based in the Golden Triangle. On Saturdays this summer, Dr. Thomas can be found with Umble Coffee at the Starkville Community Market dishing out free coffee advice.
He and Rachel have four children – Newt, 15; Katie, 14; Houston, 11; and Jane, 9. They attend Grace Presbyterian Church, where he is an elder. He and his family spend time in the community supporting several nonprofit organizations that prioritize service above self.
Eldridge is a 1995 graduate of East Mississippi Community College, which started her career as a licensed practical nurse. In 2011 she obtained her associate degree in nursing from Meridian Community College. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in 2017 and 2019, respectively. A board-certified family nurse practitioner, she is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Mississippi Nurses Association. She is married to Dudley Eldridge and has three sons—Dalton, 26; Cole, 23; and Brody, 18. She also has twin grandsons, Hudson and Weston.
“The most rewarding aspect of caring for patients in urology is the ability to make an intervention that improves a patient’s quality of life,” Eldridge said. “As a clinic, we desire to provide excellent care and, thus the best possible outcomes for our patients. We are really excited to be partnering with NMMC to bring the best care to our community.”
Dr. Thomas and Eldridge diagnose and treat urologic issues including low testosterone, incontinence, urinary tract infections, difficulty voiding, overactive bladder, kidney stones, incontinence and erectile dysfunction, as well as prostate, kidney and bladder cancers. He also performs vasectomies and several other surgical procedures in the office.
Dr. Thomas notes, “This affiliation just makes sense. As the Golden Triangle community continues to grow, I feel we, as a clinic, need to match or even exceed that growth in top-notch and cutting-edge care. I’ve been a part of the North Mississippi Health Services organization for years. I’ve seen how they love on our community and the exceptional health care they can offer. It’s an honor for me to continue expanding our services now as part of North Mississippi Health Services.”