Published on February 27, 2020

NMMC’s Denton Retires with 34 Years of Service

Gail Denton retirement

Coworkers honored Gail Denton, RN, with a retirement reception Feb. 6.

TUPELO, Miss.—Registered nurse Gail Denton of Ecru recently retired from North Mississippi Medical Center with 34 years of service.

Denton was part of the second graduating class of South Pontotoc Attendance Center in 1973. She graduated in May and married her husband David in June of that year. “I thought all I wanted to do was get married and work in a factory,” she said. Not long afterward they moved to Texas, where they both worked for a construction company that built Kroger stores.

When that job ended and they moved back to Pontotoc County, Denton decided it was time for a new career. She enrolled at Itawamba Community College, graduating in 1986 with her associate degree in nursing. “Back then, the hospital would hire graduate nurses before we had taken board exams,” she said. “I graduated May 13 and started with the hospital on May 16.”

After working on several different units for six months, Denton found her home on the urology unit and in 1988 gastroenterology patients were added. She remained on that unit until April 2019, when she joined 4 West. Over the years, she worked both night shift and days, and she served two different terms as charge nurse. Denton said she enjoyed the teamwork among staff, working with surgery patients and helping others.

She and coworker Pam Hodges launched the Man-to-Man prostate cancer support group 21 years ago and kept it going until January 2019. “It was a wonderful group,” Denton said. “My grandfather died of prostate cancer, and I felt like I needed to give back.”

Denton also received several awards during her tenure at NMMC. She was Employee of the Month early in her career and received the Excellence in Nursing Community Service award in 2015. She received NMMC’s DAISY Award in September 2017 after being nominated by a patient’s family.

Denton has made an annual mission trip with Global Outreach for the past 20 years, often serving as team leader for the medical volunteers. A member of Cherry Creek Baptist Church, she has served in Kenya, Uganda, Chile, Peru, Argentina (three times), Guyana, Nicaragua, Costa Rica (three times) and the Dominican Republic.

In retirement, she looks forward to traveling and camping more with David, and spending time with her children, Tina Derrick and Christopher (Melissa) Denton; grandchildren, Alexis, Hannah, Tanner, Kansas, Bailey and Allie; and great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Aubrey, Peyton and Bingham.

Denton plans to continue leading medical mission trips as well as volunteering with Eight Days of Hope. 

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