People of the U: Jim Miller
Published on Friday, January 31, 2020
By: Ruth Cummins, email@example.com
Mississippians who cope with HIV and AIDS can expect to see a friendly face at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Adult Specialty Care Clinic.
For many, that face will belong to Jim Miller, a family nurse practitioner who sees patients both at adult specialty care and at the Medical Center’s new TEAM Clinic, which provides primary care to those in the LGBT community. Both clinics are located at the Jackson Medical Mall.
“A lot of lesbian, gay and transgender patients in our Adult Specialty Care Clinic are HIV positive,” said Miller, on staff in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. “I have a compassion for these patients, because many times they are underserved in the community and might not have compassionate care.”
Miller volunteers one Friday afternoon per month at the TEAM Clinic sponsored by the UMMC Center for LGBTQ Health. It offers primary care that addresses day-to-day ills in addition to chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
A UMMC employee for 13 years, Miller is earning his doctor of health administration through the School of Health Related Professions, with an expected graduation in May 2021. His early years in the workforce weren’t in health care, however.
“I was a singer-dancer in a country show at one of the Las Vegas casinos when I was in my 20s,” Miller said. “I had gotten a degree in graphic design that I never used. When I went to college in the 80s, men didn’t go into nursing.”
He went back to school at age 36 “because I really missed interaction with people, and caring for people,” Miller said. “You don’t get a lot of that in graphic design.”
Miller is a beloved member of the ASCC team, said Dr. Ben Brock, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the clinic’s medical director.
“He is hard-working, enthusiastic and kind,” Brock said. “He brings the sort of compassionate care that is required in an HIV provider. He is highly rated on both qualitative patient satisfaction surveys and quantitative patient outcome metrics.”
A Jackson resident, Miller spends most of his free time studying. “I sing in the church choir, and my partner and I do Meals on Wheels every other month,” he said. “I love movies, and I love to exercise. It’s good stress relief.”
His career path has been an interesting one, Miller says.
“But it all worked out, and I’m a much better nurse practitioner at my age now than I would have been when I was younger.”
Brock has a message for UMMC family members who recognize Miller’s talents as a team member.
“To those who may be reading this and thinking how well Jim might compliment your service area: He is ours, and you may not have him.”