Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Name “Physician of the Year”
John F. Hassell, M.D., Family Medicine Physician at Laurel Family Clinic, was recently recognized as Family Physician of the Year by the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians at its 67th Annual Conference in July.
This award is presented annually to the physician contributing the most to the development of family medicine in the state. It is known as the John B. Howell Memorial Award and was established in memory of Dr. Howell, a pioneer in the practice of family medicine and long-time delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
In 1973, Dr. Hassell graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical School with honors as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his residency in 1976 where he was a member of the inaugural class of four exceptional residents at UMMC specializing in family medicine.
Dr. Hassell has been board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He was an instructor at UMMC Department of Family Medicine and preceptor for William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine students, as well as preceptor for UMMC 3rd and 4th year students. Dr. Hassell is an active member of Mississippi State Medical Association having served as a delegate, a member of several councils and received their Community Service Award. Dr. Hassell has been involved with the MAFP in almost every capacity, including serving as President in 1992.
In 1977, Dr. Hassell joined the medical staff at South Central Regional Medical Center, formerly Jones County Community Hospital, in Laurel, Mississippi. The same year, Dr. Hassell joined Drs. Balaski, Casey and Hollingshead as a Family Medicine Physician at Laurel Family Clinic. Dr. Hassell has provided patient care for 40 years at Laurel Family Clinic.
Giving back has always been important to Dr. Hassell in his community. As a family physician, Dr. Hassell has served as a South Central Sports Medicine physician for the Laurel High School football team, volunteered to provide sports physicals for local athletes and taught medical students and residents in family medicine once a month on his day off. Dr. Hassell has also served as a volunteer and Medical Director of the Good Shepherd Clinic of Laurel for 20 years. Dr. Hassell’s passion for family medicine is readily apparent to those who are privileged to know him.
With a career in family medicine that spans over 40 years, Dr. Hassell’s dedication, commitment, and leadership in his profession and community truly makes him one of the greatest advocates for family medicine in the state of Mississippi.
When reflecting on his 40 years of service in the field of Family Medicine, Dr. Hassell stated, “I truly believe my path to become a physician was a calling from God. I began my college career as an Accounting major, but during my junior year I felt led to the medical profession. Throughout the years, I have been blessed to provide care to many residents in Laurel, Jones County and surrounding communities.”
Dr. Hassell, and his wife, Martha, have two children, Jenny Hassell Cummins and Jay Hassell, and four grandchildren, John Davis Cummins, Emilee Martha Cummins, John Brooks Hassell and Lee Alston Hassell.