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I Am Jackson: James Ross

What is your hometown and how did you end up in the Jackson area?

I was raised in Henderson and attended Chester County Schools. I lived two miles outside of Jacks Creek — home of the best BBQ. After high school, I attended Jackson State Community College, where I received my AEMT and AAS degree. In 1982, I enrolled at Union University, earning my Associate and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degrees, and I moved to Jackson. If you can imagine the country boy going to the big city, that was me.

What is your profession?

As a boy, my father suggested I go into electrical engineering, but I had a different passion. As a Boy Scout, I developed a love for first aid and emergency preparedness. I worked with Chester County EMS before enrolling in the nursing program at Union. I paid my way through college by riding in ambulances and I loved it. Upon graduating with my nursing degree, I started work in the Surgical IC at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. I loved the process and flow of the nursing world. I became a Clinical Coordinator, allowing me to work daily in staffing floors, responding to CPRs, assisting with special procedures and dealing with whatever situations came up that were out of the ordinary. This role led me to other supervisory and management roles in the organization. I recognized the need to further my education and with the assistance of Jim Moss, past President and CEO of West Tennessee Healthcare, I enrolled in the Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration program at the University of Alabama Birmingham – the same school he attended for his Masters. In 2000, I was selected to be a Vice President of Hospital Services. Then in 2009, I was selected to become Chief Operating Officer. In 2016, I was named interim President and CEO, which led to President and CEO full-time in 2017.

Where have you volunteered or contributed your time in efforts to give back?

Giving back to the community is something that I have worked hard at. You read the Bible verse, Luke 12:48, “to whom much is given, much is demanded; and to whom much is entrusted, much more will be asked.” Through the years, I have participated and chaired several community boards. I am currently chair of the West Tennessee Council for Boy Scouts of America.

What are some of your favorite things about Jackson?

I love, love, love Jackson. Culture, relationships, support, and a theme of love and respect for all people. I can say we have it all for anyone, in varying degrees, but the revitalization of downtown has been a huge positive movement for the community. It has continued to enhance the melting pot feel of the community for which Jackson is known. We have a bright future ahead and a great community of involved citizens to get us there.

Three words that best describe you.

Tall, dark, and handsome or maybe I should say, perseverance, endurance and believer.

What is one thing that you do not go a day without?
Spending time with people.

Finish this statement, I AM JACKSON because…

This is where I met my wife, and it is where we raised our family, worship, made a lot of true friends, have become part of this community and strive to meet the needs and make a difference in the lives of those we come in contact with every day. Jackson is a community that has embraced and supported my family and me.

This article is from VIP Magazine, a premier publication for events and local coverage throughout Jackson and West Tennessee.