WEATHER AUTHORITY : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Longtime Tupelo physician Dr. Ken Harvey retiring

Tupelo physician Dr. Ken Harvey. Source: North Mississippi Health Services.

His last day at IMA-Tupelo will be on Sept. 30, which is also his 72nd birthday, according to a news release from North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS).

Posted: Sep 16, 2021 12:00 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2021 12:01 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Longtime Tupelo physician Dr. Ken Harvey will retire at the end of September.

His last day at IMA-Tupelo will be on Sept. 30, which is also his 72nd birthday, according to a news release from North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS).

“It doesn’t seem like it has been 37 years,” Harvey said. “It has come and gone quickly, but it’s time to make a change.”

The following is a copy of the NMHS news release.

After almost four decades of practicing internal medicine in Tupelo, Ken Harvey, M.D., is hanging up his stethoscope at the end of September.

“It doesn’t seem like it has been 37 years,” says Dr. Harvey, whose last day at IMA-Tupelo will fall on Sept. 30, his 72nd birthday. “It has come and gone quickly, but it’s time to make a change.”

A Picayune native, he graduated from Picayune High School in 1967 and enrolled at Mississippi College, where he majored in chemistry. “I wanted to get a Ph.D. and teach at Mississippi College,” Dr. Harvey said. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1971, he “had no car and no money” for graduate school, so he went to work as a research chemist with Crosby Chemicals back home in Picayune. During his two years at Crosby Chemicals, he had an accident in the lab. The doctor who treated him was an old friend who asked if he had ever considered going to medical school. “I hadn’t,” he says, “but I had worked long enough as a research chemist to know that job wasn’t for me. I’ve always enjoyed challenges like solving puzzles, and medicine is a lot of puzzles.”

Dr. Harvey graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson in 1977 and completed residency training in internal medicine at University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1980. Because his medical training was funded by a health professions scholarship from the U.S. Air Force, he was assigned to serve at Columbus Air Force Base upon completion. Once his Air Force commitment ended, he became the 14th doctor to join a growing internal medicine practice in Tupelo founded by Drs. Antone Tannehill, F.L. Lummus, Eugene Murphey and Bill Wood. “It was a really good group of doctors and they were able to attract not only internal medicine physicians, but also subspecialists. There were 14 of us practicing in a building that was designed for eight doctors,” he says. “My first two years, my desk was out in a hallway.”

All the doctors had busy practices both in their clinics and at North Mississippi Medical Center. “We worked all day and then all night on call, then all the next day,” Dr. Harvey says. “I really don’t know how we all survived.”

Around 1993, they formed IMA Foundation and affiliated with North Mississippi Health Services, which alleviated the doctors’ practice management responsibilities. Even with the hospitalist program in place, Dr. Harvey continued to visit his patients in the hospital until two years ago. “I liked following my patients over the long-term, taking care of them at the hospital when they were really sick and then following them afterward at the clinic,” he says. “I really enjoyed the hospital practice, and I have missed that part.”

In fact, building lasting relationships with patients and their families has been his favorite part of the journey. “I’m taking care of people now who are the same age as or older than their parents were when I started seeing them,” Dr. Harvey says. “I have a patient who has only had two doctors during her lifetime—a pediatrician and me, and I’m also still taking care of her grandmother.”
One of his longtime patients suffered a heart attack the year after Dr. Harvey started practicing in Tupelo. “I’m still taking care of him 35 years later, seeing him three or four times a year,” he says. “That’s a lot of visits.” He even has two patients who first started seeing him at Columbus Air Force Base 40 years ago.

“After you see patients for a while, they’re your friends and almost your family,” Dr. Harvey says. “You go through a lot with them – you rejoice with them and you grieve with them. That’s the best part of the practice.”

While retirement is bittersweet, Dr. Harvey looks forward to spending more time with Patricia, his wife of 46 years, and their son, Jeff, who lives in Oxford. Now that he’ll have some free time, he hopes to travel the United States and attend as many Ole Miss sporting events as possible. He also enjoys reading and plans to start the vegetable garden his wife requested.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497379

Reported Deaths: 9907
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34085530
DeSoto31806398
Hinds31796621
Jackson24303377
Rankin21852387
Lee15413233
Madison14513278
Jones13770241
Forrest13401250
Lauderdale11936314
Lowndes10908184
Lamar10461135
Pearl River9428237
Lafayette8450137
Hancock7690126
Washington7361156
Oktibbeha7110129
Monroe6713173
Warren6635175
Neshoba6606204
Pontotoc6603101
Panola6458131
Marshall6378132
Bolivar6264145
Union595194
Pike5780152
Alcorn5630100
Lincoln5416134
George490479
Scott470698
Tippah464981
Prentiss464181
Leflore4626143
Itawamba4590104
Adams4570119
Tate4539109
Copiah444691
Simpson4419116
Wayne438572
Yazoo437586
Covington427194
Sunflower4215104
Marion4206107
Coahoma4114104
Leake407287
Newton380879
Grenada3691108
Stone358264
Tishomingo355991
Attala330189
Jasper328065
Winston312891
Clay305875
Chickasaw296567
Clarke290294
Calhoun277645
Holmes266587
Smith262550
Yalobusha232347
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217663
Greene215448
Lawrence211140
Perry204555
Amite203454
Webster201645
Noxubee184940
Montgomery178956
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167338
Tunica158539
Benton147038
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131037
Humphreys128838
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104339
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 811551

Reported Deaths: 15101
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1138721885
Mobile720161315
Madison51829685
Shelby37203339
Baldwin37018538
Tuscaloosa34853599
Montgomery33879718
Lee23097239
Calhoun22095468
Morgan20584368
Etowah19727496
Marshall18224298
Houston17270405
St. Clair15884337
Cullman15257289
Limestone15177197
Elmore14944283
Lauderdale14060294
Talladega13653270
DeKalb12530258
Walker11055363
Blount10071174
Autauga9874146
Jackson9760177
Coffee9171188
Dale8850180
Colbert8768200
Tallapoosa7028194
Escambia6714127
Covington6661179
Chilton6571160
Russell623458
Franklin5926105
Chambers5553142
Marion4942126
Dallas4848199
Clarke472681
Pike4713105
Geneva4557126
Winston4456101
Lawrence4247116
Bibb421186
Barbour355274
Marengo333889
Monroe329062
Randolph324663
Butler323694
Pickens313479
Henry310365
Hale308586
Cherokee299257
Fayette289779
Washington250850
Cleburne245758
Crenshaw243075
Clay238867
Macon229862
Lamar214846
Conecuh185051
Coosa177338
Lowndes173061
Wilcox166738
Bullock151744
Perry137940
Sumter130738
Greene125344
Choctaw86527
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Mostly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Starkville
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 76°
A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather