Oliver Retires from NMMC after 35 Years
Mike Oliver, Ph.D., psychologist with North Mississippi Medical Center’s Bariatric Center, has retired after a 35-year career.
Born in Dalton, Georgia, Oliver was reared in north Mississippi and graduated from Okolona High School in 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mississippi State University in Starkville in 1977. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He completed a one-year internship at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Biloxi and worked briefly for Gulf Coast Mental Health Center in Gulfport.
Oliver joined the NMMC Behavioral Health Center staff on April 1, 1985, working originally at the Belle Vista Unit. Dr. Oliver said he joined NMMC at a great time, when psychological services were really expanding. Over the years he worked with both inpatients and outpatients, spending much of his time working with neuropsychology patients who suffered a head injury, chronic pain, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. He also served in many supervisory roles, including stints as coordinator of psychological services and interim director of the Behavioral Health Center.
In 2001, Dr. Oliver began doing psychological evaluations for patients desiring weight loss surgery. He continued this practice when NMMC opened the Bariatric Center in 2007, and as the number of weight loss patients increased, he transferred to the Bariatric Center full time in 2013.
Oliver served on NMMC’s Medical Ethics Committee and Institutional Review Board. He is a member of the Mississippi Psychological Association, American Psychological Association and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
“It’s incredible that I was able to have this career close to home. I got to do a lot of different things and work with a lot of great people over my career,” Oliver said. “When I was young and we would drive by the big hospital, I would think, ‘I’ll bet that would be a great place to work,’ and it worked out.”
Aside from his work, Oliver’s strongest passion is mountain biking. He helped build mountain bike trails at Trace State Park near Pontotoc in the 1990s and continues to ride and help maintain them. He also helps with and rides the trails at Tombigbee State Park near Tupelo, and he has participated in several biking events over the years. He is a member of the Northeast Mississippi Cycling Club, North Mississippi Trail Alliance, Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association and International Mountain Bicycling Association.
He married his wife Darlene in May 1982, and she is retiring this May as a teacher with Itawamba Attendance Center. Their son Jason passed away in 2015 with muscular dystrophy at age 27.
The Olivers vacation at their cabin in the mountains of north Georgia as often as possible. There they enjoy hiking, biking and inner tubing on the Chatt