Dr. Harrington Retires from Neurology Consultants
Neurologist Donna Harrington, M.D., of Neurology Consultants is retiring March 29 after practicing in Tupelo for 33 years.
A California native, Dr. Harrington graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1974 and earned a bachelor’s degree in foods and nutrition from Mississippi State University in Starkville in 1978. She received her medical degree in 1982 from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson and completed residency training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
While her husband, Andrew Kellum, M.D., was completing an oncology fellowship in Oklahoma City, Dr. Harrington served three years on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Drs. Harrington and Kellum moved to Tupelo with their young children—Drew and Hillary—in 1989. She joined Dr. Sam Newell and Dr. Thomas Oakes at Tupelo Neurology, which affiliated with North Mississippi Health Services 10 years ago and became Neurology Consultants. “We’ve been so fortunate to have good people join our practice,” she said, noting that she and several of her partners were in medical school together.
Neurology intrigued Dr. Harrington because she likes problem-solving. A self-described “country neurologist,” she enjoyed practicing general neurology rather than specializing in a particular aspect of the field.
With more than three decades of practice, Dr. Harrington has witnessed many changes. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which was developed about the time she began practicing but was not widely available, has been a game-changer. “Now we can actually see the different areas of the brain,” Dr. Harrington says. “The imaging is greatly improved and gets better and better.” Treatment options for neurologic disease have also expanded since her early days in practice.
She is also pleased that women in medicine are no longer an anomaly. “When I graduated from medical school, about 20% of my class was female. Now it’s more like 50%,” she says. “When I joined the hospital staff, there were only a handful of female doctors and there was not even a women’s bathroom in the medical staff lounge. I suggested the addition of one when the hospital remodeled that area.”
Retirement will allow Dr. Harrington more time to pursue some of her other favorite activities. She swims at least five to six miles each week at the NMMC Wellness Center—the only difference is now she won’t have to go before work.
She and Dr. Kellum enjoy riding their bicycles and often travel 60-100 miles at a time. They enjoy backpacking, backcountry camping and bicycle touring, which she describes as “backpacking on your bike.”
When they want to travel a bit farther than biking allows, they enjoy cross-country skiing in Colorado, Minnesota or Utah. She also plans to visit daughter Hillary in Birmingham and son Drew in Riverside, California.
“I’ll do what I’ve always done, but I’ll just have more time now to do it,” Dr. Harrington says. “As I have talked to my patients to prepare them for my departure, I’ve gotten all kinds of good advice about retirement.”