Tapscott Embarks on Retirement Adventure
TUPELO, Mississippi—“No adventure is too large or too small” for Marsha Tapscott of Tupelo, and now that she has retired, she’ll have time for them all.
Tapscott, who serves as director of Marketing and Public Relations, retires Jan. 11 with more than 31 years of service to North Mississippi Health Services. She and her husband, Mike, promise to keep sharing photos and tales from their adventures—whether day trips to nearby sites or extended visits to far-flung destinations.
A 1977 graduate of Amory High School, Tapscott earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in Oxford in radio and television in 1981. Upon graduation, she joined the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal as a staff writer and was later named lifestyles editor. In 1985, the Tapscotts moved to Memphis, where she worked as public relations coordinator for St. Joseph Hospital and he was a reporter/night editor for the Commercial Appeal.
In 1987, they returned to Oxford for Mike to attend law school at the University of Mississippi, and Marsha worked as a staff writer and editor for the university’s Department of Public Relations. While there, she also pursued a master’s degree in journalism.
Marsha was hired by NMHS as a staff writer in March 1990 and in 2008, she was named as the department’s director. Mike has practiced law in Tupelo since 1990.
One highlight of Tapscott’s career has been her front-row seat to NMHS’ expansion. When she started, NMHS was expanding its footprint and adding hospitals. The number of hospitals has grown to seven. The clinic system that started with two affiliated clinics – in Houston and Ecru—now has more than 40. “Over the past 31 years, for anything that has happened within NMHS, our department has been close to the action,” she says, adding that helping develop and promote new facilities, services and providers has been very rewarding.
“We’ve had tremendous growth in both scope and locations, but the one constant is that we’ve always remained true to our corporate mission,” Tapscott says. “Even though our department doesn’t touch patients directly, I believe we’ve played a key role in helping improve the health of people in our region.“
She has enjoyed working with the health system’s board of directors, comprised of community residents who lend their expertise and guidance. Welcoming her hometown’s hospital to the NMHS family was another career highlight. “When NMMC Gilmore-Amory came on board, it meant so much to me,” she says, “just knowing that our health care system was making them an important part of our team.”
Tapscott was on the leadership team and attended the award ceremonies when North Mississippi Medical Center won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2006 and when NMHS received the award in 2012. She also led the NMHS Marketing team to numerous Maggie Awards, the state’s highest award for health care marketing.
When Tapscott joined NMHS, computers weren’t networked and communication was primarily on paper. She worked through the advent of email, the Internet and social media, plus numerous IT system launches. Her career is marked by a multitude of advertising campaigns and website enhancements. “My favorite campaign has been ‘What Connected Feels Like.’ People responded favorably to it, and we won many accolades,” she says. “We’re on the third evolution of the NMHS website, and each one gets better.”
Tapscott served on the board of Mississippi Hospital Association’s Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations, including three terms as president, and was honored as the 2007 Senior Professional of the Year. She is past president of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Northeast Chapter and was honored by the Southern Public Relations Federation as a recipient of the 2018 Senior Practitioner of the Year Award.
Now that she has retired, Tapscott hopes to spend more time with her parents, Don and Betty Leech of Amory, and her sons, David who lives in Denver, and John, who lives in Seattle. She has almost accomplished her goal of visiting all 50 states and intends to cross the remaining handful off soon. She also plans to tackle a few home improvement projects, tag along on some of Mike’s fly-fishing trips, take more photos and read often.