Top-quality care with a hometown touch is just what the doctor ordered at Pontotoc Medical Clinic.
The staff of four doctors, along with a family nurse practitioner, and a licensed, clinical social worker, provide a wide range of services.
“I like the diversity of care we offer, and we’re very patient-centered,” said Dr. Andrea Pettit-Warren, D.O., an osteopathic physician who has been on staff for 13 years. “We treat chronic, health conditions, like diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular issues, as well as conducting a lot of wellness evaluations. We treat every age, from babies on up.” Warren said.
Coordinating care is also high on the list of services the clinicians provide.
“We’re kind of like the quarterbacks of your care,” said osteopathic physician Dr. Jessica Anne Lauderdale, D.O. “We specialize in family medicine. Also, for example, if we examine a patient that is acutely ill and needs to be admitted, we might refer that patient to Tupelo.”
The clinic opened in 1994, and moved into its current home, at 345 Hwy. 15 N., a year later.
Dr. Stephen Montgomery, M.D., was a founding, staff member.
“We’re a department of North Mississippi Medical Center Pontotoc,” said Montgomery. “We coordinate services with the hospital here, as well as with Tupelo, to provide the best care possible.”
One way in which staff at the Pontotoc Medical Clinic stay connected with other healthcare providers is through Telehealth, a technological advancement that allows them to communicate both the voice and image of their patients with other providers in real-time.
“The technology uses a television monitor, and, through it, we can have direct interaction, for example, with a specialist in Tupelo, in an area like pulmonology, endocrinology, or geriatrics,” said Montgomery. “There are numerous uses for this technology. It might be as simple as saving someone a lengthy drive to see a specialist.”
The clinicians’ personal touch includes attending to patients’ mental needs.
“It takes courage to seek help with psychological health, at any age,” said Eydie Pullman, a licensed clinical social worker. “We can help those experiencing things like depression, anxiety, grief, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions, including those stemming from the struggle with chronic, physical illness that often wear people down, psychologically.”
The clinic’s staff of 25 employees, including Dr. Jennifer Lowery, M.D., are proud to work in a hometown environment.
“We enjoy getting to know people’s families and being on a first-name basis with most of those we serve,” said family nurse practitioner Robin Harrelson, FNP.
Thaxton resident Avis Porter credits Dr. Warren, an illness and prolonging her life.
In August of 2017, Porter experienced pain in her side after working in her yard. During an examination, Warren decided to immediately send her for a CT scan.
“She told me to go right away. It was that urgent,” Porter said. Further examination revealed that Porter had stage four cancer in both lungs.
“If Dr. Warren hadn’t been so thorough and insistent, I might have dismissed it as soreness from the yardwork,” Porter said, who in April will travel to Washington D.C. with the National Institutes of Health to consult with lawmakers about early detection of cancer.
“The care of Dr. Warren and my other doctors, along with loving family and the Lord’s blessing have helped me through, and extended and improved my quality of life, so that I can help raise awareness,” said Porter, who continues to undergo treatment. “It may be too late for me, but maybe I can be a voice and help others.”
Pontotoc Medical Clinic staff also visit patients in local nursing homes.
“I think one of our strengths is continuation of care,” said Warren. “Whether it’s going to see our patients at nursing homes, or, from a patient’s perspective, their knowing that they’ll be able to see the same provider when they walk in here, and the reassurance and familiarity that adds.”
Patients are sometimes anxious about bloodwork and other lab results, and Pontotoc Medical Clinic employs inhouse technicians that can usually return results quickly. The clinic also has inhouse x-ray facilities, and can promptly have scans reviewed by radiologists.
“We like to think of ourselves as hometown folks taking care of hometown folks,” said office manager Anita Young.
Dr. Lauderdale agreed. “I enjoy making a difference in the lives of families in the community in which I was raised,” she said.
Porter said the personal care she receives from the staff at Pontotoc Medical Clinic is a tremendous comfort in her life, and she thinks highly of all of them, especially her primary care physician, Warren. As she said of her doctor, “She is my hero.”
Pontotoc Medical Clinic is open 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.