Delta Health System Announces Family Medicine Residency Graduation

Delta Health System Announces Family Medicine Residency Graduation

Greenville, Mississippi, located in the heart of the Delta, is home to the first residency program in the region, the MS Delta Family Residency Program. On June 16, 2023, this program will be graduating the premier class of seven residents – THE FIRST. The seven residents began their residency July 1, 2020, making them the inaugural residents to complete the three-year program. The first and only residency program in the Delta makes this achievement more extraordinary.

The Mississippi Delta Family Medicine Residency is the first Graduate Medical Education (GME) training program developed under the leadership of the Mississippi Medical Education and Research Consortium (MSMERC). MSMERC is led by President, Courtney Phillips, CEO South Sunflower Hospital; Vice-President/Treasurer, Iris Y. Stacker, CEO Delta Health System; and Secretary, Terrence Shirley, MPH, CEO Community Health Center Association of Mississippi. MSMERC’s vision is to provide comprehensive, high-quality care through the delivery and coordination of family and patient-centered healthcare services.

“On behalf of Delta Health System, I am honored to report that the first MS Delta Family Residency program residents are graduating after three years of training with our stellar medical staff and employee teams. The goal of the program was to build a family medicine base to care for the Delta region population and we have succeeded. In fact, there are three residents who will continue to serve as attending physicians in Greenville and Ruleville,” said Iris Y. Stacker, Chief Executive Officer. “We are so proud of the residents, staff, physicians, and everyone involved for believing in this program. I must thank local, state, and federal legislators who fought on our behalf and understood that the residency program would be beneficial to improving healthcare in the Delta Region. Our goal of cultivating primary care has exceeded expectations.”

The seven residents graduating are: Anthony Carter, M.D., John Fardell, M.D., Jessica “Joy” Jenkins, M.D., Dhruval Patel, M.D., Jordan Thomas, M.D., Rohith Reddy, M.D., and Erik Wilkerson, II, M.D. “These seven physicians have led the trail for future residents, and we could not have imagined a finer and stronger group of individuals to be our premier class,” said Stacker.

“It is a great honor to be a part of the Mississippi Delta Family Medicine Residency. We are an integral part of decreasing the health disparities in the Delta by providing more primary care, both inpatient and outpatient, to the community. In addition, we are leaving a bigger footprint on the Delta because three out seven of our inaugural class plans to stay and work in the Delta. We are very excited to continue to serve the community for years to come,” said Dr. Andrea Collins, Program Director. She added, “As the Program Director, I have had the privilege of working with the residents from their first day through graduation getting a first-hand seat to the talented doctors they have become. I am also very proud to add that all seven graduating residents have successfully passed the Certification Examination of the American Board of Family Medicine, constituting a 100% Board pass rate for the residency, and certifying each of them as expert in Family Medicine. This is an outstanding achievement for them and the program.”

“Delta Health System’s board of directors and leadership team began exploring the possibility of establishing a residency clinic with the benefits of retaining some of the residents upon graduation. There are many obstacles to practicing medicine in rural areas, but the need is extensive, so our solution was the residency clinic. Right now, we have twenty family medicine residents practicing in the Delta bring immediate care and relief to the shortage situation. And now three graduates are remaining in the Delta – another problem solved. Our hospital mission is to be a leading primary care hospital with select specialties,” added Stacker.

On Friday, June 16, 2023, seven residents become licensed attending physicians in front of family, friends, supporters, and leaders who believed in them and the program. Medical History being recorded right here in the Mississippi Delta. For more information, contact Kim Dowdy, Community Development Manager, at 662.725.2830.