By Becky Gillette
Growing up in Moorhead, one of nine children of the late Dr. A.M. Phillips and his wife Jaquie, Courtney Phillips, South Sunflower County Hospital CEO, had his sights set on becoming a farmer. But, Phillips was good with numbers, so his college advisors steered him towards accounting.
“I always wanted to be a farmer,” says Phillips. “Growing up in the Delta, everybody wants to be a farmer at some point. I worked on farms every summer beginning in the sixth grade.
Phillips first attended Mississippi State University to study engineering, but that wasn’t a fit, so he came back home and took classes at Delta State.
“I like numbers and how they work. I was always good in math,” he says.
Phillips earned his Business Degree in Accounting from DSU and was set on a path working with Delta area companies such as Schwinn Manufacturing in Greenville, working in shipping and receiving, then to Gil Worth Tire Company in Greenville where he worked as the Controller. He then worked as the Controller for the Indianola Pecan House for a couple of years.
Phillips first job in the medical field was with Kings Daughter’s Hospital in Greenville from 1999 to 2005 as Assistant Controller and eventually CFO. When that hospital was sold, he helped with the transition and found his way to Delta Regional Medical Center and served as CFO from 2005 to 2013. He came home—to South Sunflower County Hospital in Indianola. His father had served at SSCH. He started as interim CEO and was named to the permanent position in July of 2014. Working in the medical field, a family calling, keeps Phillips moving forward every day.
“Taking care of patients and trying to provide services that are needed in the community gets me going every morning,” says Phillips. And, you try to do the best you can.”
Phillips also serves on several medical boards including The Mississippi Hospital Association’s Legislative Board and Mental Health Board.
The active Rotary Club member is also an avid fisherman and enjoys hunting as well. But when he’s not advocating and providing health services in Sunflower County, Phillips can be found spending time with his family, wife Katherine and their two daughters, Carlile Phillips Koestler who is a pharmacist and Galen Phillips, an RN studying to be a Nurse Practitioner. Phillips also enjoys finding time for his two grandchildren.
“My children went into pharmacy and healthcare and that’s exciting,” he says. “Fishing and grandkids are my two biggest hobbies.”