MSU's longest health center announces additional doctors

MSU’s longest health center announces additional doctors | Pro Club Bd

Contact: Karl Schmidt

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – Two talented physicians with more than 30 years of combined experience now serve Mississippi students, faculty and staff at the Longest Student Health Center.

dr Jennifer Gholson (submitted photo)

dr Jennifer Gholson and Kennieth McCollough officially started work on Monday [Aug. 1] at the university health facility on Hardy Road.

dr  Kenneth McCollough
dr Kennieth McCollough (submitted photo)

In addition to his primary care duties at the LSHC, McCollough will serve as the primary medical liaison for the athletic department, said Dr. Katrina Poe, Director of MSU Student Health Services.

“Dr. Gholson brings a wealth of primary care experience that will benefit our campus community when they need acute or chronic health conditions. She is also a certified life coach which offers an aspect to our health care team that we did not have before” , said Poe, “Because Dr. McCollough has a background in sports medicine, he will be available to provide a more specialized approach to patients with musculoskeletal issues.”

Gholson and McCollough join a full-time team led by Dr. Phillip Pearson and Poe, along with house nurses Missy Dodson, Cindy Lockhart, LaPorshia McBeth and Emily Sesser. You also work with Dr. Shelia Crowley and Mike Mabry and Nurse Myra Fitts, three retired clinicians who provide part-time care to patients at the center.

Gholson began her medical career in 2002 as a primary care physician at the Walthall Clinic in Tylertown. Five years later, she opened her own private practice in Summit.

She also has over 10 years of executive-level leadership experience with health policy through consulting. In addition to running her own consulting firm since 2010, her other previous non-medical roles have included serving as an Associate Professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University and a variety of positions as Consultant, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for agencies and organizations including Blue Cross Blue Shield from Tennessee, Humana and United Healthcare.

Gholson graduated with honors from Millsaps College with a bachelor’s degree in biology and honors in art history, and earned a doctorate in medicine from the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed a one-year surgical internship and three-year family doctor training at East Tennessee State University.

“I see MSU as a great incubator for innovation. I’ve always been a lateral thinker, and MSU gives me the opportunity to explore those ideas,” she said. “I am passionate about health prevention in the field of mental and physical health. My hope is to use my skills to make a difference in the health of faculty, staff and students. I truly believe that positively impacting the mental and physical health of MSU students now will result in great dividends for their future and ultimately for the future of the state of Mississippi.”

McCollough worked at two physical therapy clinics in Sylacauga, Alabama, from 1999 to 2004 before receiving his MD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2008.

He was a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellow at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama from 2011-2012 and a Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician at the North Alabama Bone and Joint Clinic in Florence, Alabama from 2012-2013. From 2014 to 2017, he owned and operated Coosa Valley Sports Medicine in Sylacauga before becoming an assistant professor of sports medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

McCollough earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Mississippi in physical therapy and the University of Southern Mississippi in athletic training, and a master’s degree in exercise science also from USM. He completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

“This would certainly fit the definition of a dream job. I grew up a state fan. From the moment I started speaking to the university, I felt right at home,” McCollough said. “I am honored to be part of such a talented and dynamic group of physicians and sports medicine providers. The teamwork and infrastructure here is indescribable and has been carefully and consciously built up over the years. I really hope to honor her legacy and even build on that foundation in the coming days. There is so much potential here and I’m very happy to be a part of it. I’m excited to see what the future will bring.”

The John C. Longest Student Health Center falls under the umbrella of MSU Student Health Services within the Department of Student Affairs, which also includes the Student Counseling Center and Health Promotion and Wellness.

For more information about MSU Student Health Services, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s premier university, available online at

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