Thursday, March 31, 2005

Dr. Williams receives statewide honor

Kenneth Williams, M.D., has been named Business Person of the Year for Mississippi by the Small Business Administration in recognition of his desire to provide medical services for rural Mississippi patients and his astute business skills.

Dr. Williams will represent the state during Expo ’05 on April 26-28 in Washington, D. C., where the National Business Person of the Year will be named from among the state representatives.

The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration will sponsor local recognition of Dr. Williams during the week of May 23-27.

Dr. Williams was nominated for business achievements associated with the establishment of Williams Medical Clinic (WMC), the resurrection of the local hospital, Alliance HealthCare System, and several other medical service businesses he bought, upgraded or started, to provide people of the Holly Springs area with quality medical care.

Through the National Health Service Corp Loan Repayor Program Dr. Williams started his practice in Marshall County in 1989 with Northeast Mississippi Healthcare, Inc. located in Byhalia. Dr. Williams established a solo practice in Holly Springs in 1992, which has grown and expanded into medical enterprises now providing skilled positions for over 150 local employees. In 1993, Dr. Williams expanded to a second location in Potts Camp.

Using a Small Business Administration loan, WMC was built in 1998 as a 7,000 square foot state-of-the-art medical building. Patient and physician recruitment demands resulted in another 3,000 square feet being added onto the clinic in 2003. WMC has grown to include five physicians and four nurse practitioners.

In 1999 it became public knowledge that the local hospital was in financial trouble and, without intervention, would be closed. Dr. Williams stepped in and purchased the 40-bed hospital and renamed it Alliance HealthCare System (AHS).

AHS has since been put on sound financial footing and offers a wide range of services including emergency, in-patient, and outpatient, psychiatric and neonatal. In 2000, Dr. Williams and AHS were the subject of a CBS News “American Dream” program, which gave national recognition to Dr. Williams’ efforts to save the hospital.

Last year WMC brought on board an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) and reestablished the maternal/newborn unit of AHS for local delivery of babies.

In October 2004, AHS celebrated the first baby to be delivered in the hospital and Marshall County in more than 27 years.

Dr. Williams expanded into new medical-related enterprises to provide other needed services. He owned AccuChem, a medical laboratory company that was later sold; MedStar Ambulance Service that is now merged into the hospital; and Progressive Medical Management, a hospital management consulting company.

He is also a minor partner in Tyson Home Care, which was later merged into another new company, At Home Medical, in which Dr. Williams is a minor partner; Hospice South of Marshall County; and Christopher’s Personal Care.

Extending his entrepreneurial skills outside of healthcare, Dr. Williams and his family bought franchise rights to Crescent City Restaurant and opened the first restaurant in May 2004 in Memphis. The venture has been so successful that other locations are being planned in Mississippi and Memphis. Currently there is an agreement in principal for Dr. Williams to purchase the Crescent City corporate office and move it to the Memphis area.

In 2004, Dr. Williams became sole owner of the Hampton Inn in Holly Springs.

Dr. Williams is also majority owner of a commercial construction and development company named The Phoenix Group.

Dr. Williams is a fourth-generation healthcare professional. His great-grandfather and great-uncle were both physicians. His grandfather; father were dentists and his older brother is a dentist. Other healthcare professionals include his younger sister, a physical therapist; an uncle the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of AHS and last but not least, the Practice Administrator for WMC is none other than Regina Williams his wife.

As you can tell, his family is committed to the healthcare profession.

A native of Moss Point, he enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi and received a BS degree in biology. He earned his medical degree at Meharry Medical College and completed his internship and residency at Wayne State University in Detroit.

As a National Health Service Corp Loan Repayor, Dr. Williams was obligated to work for two years in a health shortage area. After completing his term with Northeast Mississippi Healthcare, Inc., Dr. Williams continued his practice in the Holly Springs area.

Dr. Williams and his wife, Regina, have five daughters. He is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the American Medical Association and serves on the USM Foundation Board.

The Williams have established an annual scholarship and an endowment at Southern Mississippi to encourage minority students to pursue a medical career and hopefully to practice in a rural setting where the need is greatest. WMC offers summer employment for pre-med students, hoping to spark and interest in rural practices.

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