– Dr. Jessica Sparks Lilley, a pediatric endocrinologist on the faculty of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, has established a practice in Tupelo in affiliation with North Mississippi Medical Center. Lilley will provide care to children with diabetes and other endocrine conditions such as disorders related to growth and puberty.
Lilley’s arrival in Tupelo is part of an effort to provide more convenient access to subspecialty care in areas far removed from the state’s only children’s hospital. This summer, she will be joined by a pediatric cardiologist.
“Our mission at Children’s of Mississippi is to touch the lives of children throughout our state, so we’ve been looking for ways to have a greater presence in areas like Tupelo,” said Dr. Frederick “Rick” Barr, the Suzan B. Thames Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at UMMC. “North Mississippi Medical Center has welcomed us and paved the way to bring in subspecialists like Dr. Lilley so general pediatricians in that area of Mississippi can have a go-to person locally to meet the needs of these children.”
“We are thrilled to have a pediatric endocrinologist in our community. In addition, Lilley is from the northeast Mississippi area and is excited to be back serving children in this community,” said Ellen Friloux, NMMC administrator for Women and Children’s Services. “She is very interested in not only treating children with diabetes, but educating the community on how we can help parents and others nurture kids to a healthy lifestyle.”
Lilley is from Belmont in Tishomingo County. She joined UMMC last July as an assistant professor, after completing a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
A Mississippi State University graduate, Lilley earned her M.D. at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pa.
Her professional affiliations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the American Heart Association and the National Lipid Academy.
Lilley, who has had specific training in the management of cholesterol disorders in children, is the author or coauthor of five published articles and two more accepted for publication. She has coauthored two medical textbook chapters and five abstracts.
Among her honors are an American Heart Association Epidemiology Tahoe Fellowship, the 2010 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Pediatric House Staff Humanitarian Award and, last summer, the Women in Endocrinology’s Young Investigator Award. In 2011 she won the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology Outstanding Service Award, which stemmed from her advocacy work on sun safety in children following her own melanoma diagnosis – she is now a five-year survivor.
Lilley said she had an awareness of childhood endocrine problems at a young age, having relatives nearby with Type 1 diabetes.
“They had to drive long distances to see a pediatric endocrinologist,” Lilley said. “Witnessing that really stuck with me, and having the opportunity to partner with my home state’s only children’s hospital and the nation’s largest rural hospital was a dream come true.”
Lilley and her husband, a Methodist minister, have a daughter and are expecting their second child this summer.
Dr. Lilley is currently seeing patients in the East Tower of North Mississippi Medical Center. Call toll-free 888-815-2005 for an appointment or consultation.