By Edwin B. Smith
University of Mississippi
Dr. Nicole Turner has joined the physician staff of the University of Mississippi Employee Health Center, bringing more than 15 years of medical experience and a “kind and careful” approach to serving patients.
A native of Kansas who earned her M.D. from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in 2007, Turner also has a master’s degree in public health, which adds to the services offered at the health center for employees.
Turner said she’s excited to be on campus.
“This position seems to be a great match for my skill set, while offering an opportunity to work with a vibrant and fascinating community,” she said. “Beyond my training in family medicine, I have a strong interest in integrative and functional medicine, both of which I consider, when combined with traditional biomedical approaches when appropriate, part of good medicine.
“I like to be able to offer as many options as possible to patients on their healing and wellness journeys.”
Turner said she hopes to develop a group medical visit program, which uses a support group-style setting to address chronic diseases such as diabetes, prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more.
“Long-term, I would like to see the health center not just as a location for acute care, but also a center for health promotion that is able to incorporate the strengths of, and network between, all of the health-oriented departments in the University of Mississippi community,” she said.
Natasha Jeter, assistant vice chancellor for wellness and student success, said she is thrilled to welcome Turner as the newest member of the University Health Services team.
“Her skills and experience align well with our vision for holistic well-being and our vision to strengthen and build a thriving workplace community where employees are healthy, productive and able to access premier health care services on our campus,” Jeter said.
Before coming to Oxford, Turner worked as a rural family medicine provider with Tecumseh Family Health/Johnson County Hospital in Tecumseh, Nebraska. She worked for Calibrate, a national telehealth weight loss company, for a year before her family moved to Oxford in July 2021.
Coming to Ole Miss serves as a homecoming, of sorts, for the Turner family.
“My husband, Jon, is from Vicksburg and is an Ole Miss alum,” Turner said. “Ever since I met him, he has spoken so fondly of Oxford and the University of Mississippi that it was an easy choice when we chose to move from Nebraska to Mississippi last summer.
“We have a 7-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, both of whom have enjoyed all of what Oxford has to offer in kids’ and family activities.”
The Employee Health Center, part of the V.B. Harrison Health Center on Rebel Drive, offers care for acute medical problems, general wellness examinations, laboratory testing, radiology services, immunizations and, now, some light surgical services.
Turner started in July, joining Dr. Hubert Spears as a primary care physician at the health center. Spears pointed to Turner’s background in public health as an element of what she will bring to the clinic.
“This is important as we face the current and possible future pandemics,” he said. “She has excellent training in family practice and has experience with such innovations as acupuncture.”
Having a second doctor has improved patient service, said Alex Langhart, director of the University Health Services.
“Dr. Turner brings a wealth of family practice experience with some exciting new services she wants to implement,” Langhart said. “I am looking forward to what she and Dr. Spears have in store for the future of employee health.”