Dr. Word Johnston Announces Retirement

Dr. Word Johnston and his family

Weaton Middleton, FNP, Named New Green Tree Provider

After 40 years of dedicated service to the Covington County medical community, Dr. Word Johnston was honored on Friday at a retirement reception held at Covington County Hospital, where friends, colleagues, and patients joined in expressing their gratitude and well wishes for his retirement.

As a board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Word has practiced at CCH Clinic Green Tree in Mt. Olive since 1984 and has served as Hospitalist at Covington County Hospital and Medical Director at Arrington Living Center since 2011.

CCH Clinic Green Tree’s new lead provider will be Weaton Middleton, FNP beginning February 1, 2024. Ms. Middleton has a long history working alongside Dr. Word and is excited to meet her new patients.

Dr. Word, as he is fondly known to patients, is widely regarded as a compassionate and skilled healthcare professional and has made significant contributions to the field of family medicine in our rural setting. He is a 1973 graduate of Mt. Olive High School and attended the University of Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, zoology, and psychology. He received his doctorate in medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1981. He completed his internship and residency at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Dr. Word’s value is that he was willing to do anything for anybody anytime,” said Gregg Gibbes, CEO. “You saved more lives than anybody here can ever count, and you helped create the livelihood that about 500 of us here in this hospital have depended on.”

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Word has been a beacon of excellence, earning the trust and gratitude of countless patients and colleagues. Dr. Word stated, “It has been a privilege to serve my community, and I will carry the memories of our interactions with me. I wish you continued good health and happiness. Thank you, for the trust you’ve placed in me.”

Irving Hitt, former CCH Administrator, praised Dr. Word for his years of delivering babies in Covington County. “I appreciate you for being a family doctor who delivered babies,” said Hitt. “You are to be commended for what you have done for this hospital and the town of Mt. Olive and for the kind of person you are, and more important than that, you have helped many a life with some outstanding medical care.”

Retirement plans for Dr. Word and Robin include moving to Diamondhead, MS, playing golf, spending time with children and grandchildren, and traveling.

The retirement of Dr. Word is a bittersweet moment for Covington County’s medical community and patients alike. While we celebrate his extraordinary career, we are excited about the succession plan with Weaton Middleton and her compassionate care for her patients.

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