Published on Monday, February 12, 2018
Media Contact: Amanda Markow
Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth was named Alumnus of the Year at the 36th Annual Dental Alumni and Friends dinner Feb. 9 at the Fairview Inn in Jackson.
Colleagues lauded not only Hollingsworth’s dedication to his patients and his practice, but also his tireless efforts in helping to preserve dentistry through his work as an American Dental Association Delegate for the Mississippi Dental Association.
“Being named Alumnus of the Year means that your peers respect you as an ethical practitioner and recognize all that you do for your community and the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry,” said Dr. John B. Smith Jr., interim assistant dean for student affairs and assistant dean for admissions, who introduced Hollingsworth during the dinner. “If you looked up the ideal general dentist in a small town, you would see a photo of Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth.”
A 1993 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, Hollingsworth owns and operates Hollingsworth Dental Clinic in Newton and serves on the staffs of several metro-area hospitals.
From his award nomination to the comments shared during dinner, one theme rang through loud and clear: Hollingsworth is known and loved for being the epitome of a leader who serves.
“For 25 years Jimmy has poured his heart into the lives of his patients and the field of dentistry,” said Dr. Jamie Ross, Hollingsworth's friend and colleague. “He has done more than just drill and fill: He has become a vital part of the community in which he practices through his service.
"Jimmy is also very passionate about the field of dentistry and the preservation of individual patient care.”
The list of ways Hollingsworth serves his profession spans much longer than his roster of patients. He is a chairman of the Board of Trustees for East Central Community College, serves on the dental school’s Alumni Chapter Board and is a past-president and current American Dental Association Delegate for the Mississippi Dental Association. Hollingsworth has also taken four dental mission trips to Haiti in recent years.
His servant experience started at a young age. His father died when Hollingsworth was 15 and his mother died when he was 24, leaving him the official guardian of his younger brother. The need to stay close to home led him to East Central Junior College and then to Mississippi State University’s Meridian campus, where he now serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.
Hollingsworth taught high school physics, chemistry and biology for one year before entering the School of Dentistry. After graduating, he opened his dental practice in Newton, where he still practices and lives in his childhood home with his wife, Sharon, and their daughter, Abby.
“We’ve been here 25 years and you build relationships,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re now seeing children’s children and people you’ve known in the community and grown up with.”
Hollingsworth is one of Mississippi’s three ADA Delegates and has worked with Connie Lane, MDA executive director, for many years.
“He’s a very sage individual and can stand back and address a situation in a calm, cool, collected manner and deal with it efficiently,” Lane said. “As a delegate, he’s working to keep the profession at a high standard and ensure a high quality of care for patients.”
Hollingsworth also is an involved UMMC alumnus.
“I first met Dr. Hollingsworth when he served on the recruitment team for the dean search for the School of Dentistry and was impressed with his enthusiasm for the school, for dentistry and for the Mississippi Dental Association,” said Dr. David Felton, dean of the school.
Hollingsworth recently joined UMMC as part-time faculty, a “clinician-educator” with the Community Outreach Dental Externship Program.
“CODE clinician-educators take a fourth-year dental student into their offices and provide patients for them to treat, often at reduced or no cost,” Felton said. The program provides care to underserved populations in Mississippi and offers thorough dentistry experience and first-hand private practice experience for students, Felton explained.
“Our clinician-educators, like Dr. Hollingsworth, provide an incredibly valuable educational service to our students,” Felton said.
Hollingsworth said his recent role with UMMC is the perfect combination of dentistry and community involvement, and he is excited to work closely with students.
“I think we have a very excellent dentistry school and it deserves all the support it can get,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to practice for as long as I have so far, and I want future dentists to be able to do the same, to practice as they see fit. Then the patients benefit the most.
"I’ll continue to stay active with organized dentistry to help the next generation of dentists.”
At the end of the evening, five of Hollingsworth’s fellow classmates jumped up for an impromptu roast and toast for the Alumnus of the Year, creating a memorable Dental Alumni and Friends celebration. They shared their love for Hollingsworth and for the dentistry school and challenged everyone present, including the Class of 2018, to do all they can to give back to the school.
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