He never met a stranger. He was humble – always giving credit to his team. His family was his top priority, but he was passionate about his work. He had a true zest for life.
These are just a few words said about the late James “Jim” Weldon, who served as North Mississippi Health Services’ Chief Information Officer for three years before passing away suddenly in April.
Now, the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi and the Weldon family are working together to create a fund that will honor his memory.
His legacy is already one of kindness, fun, positivity, collaboration and important technological advances. Now, it will also be one that makes a lasting impact on his community.
“He had a special talent at bringing people together,” said his wife, Molly Weldon, Chief Operating Officer for North Mississippi Medical Clinics. “People liked to be around him. People always told me that he never took credit and always lifted up his team, but in the last few years we got to work at the same organization, and I was able to see it firsthand.”
Molly was told a story recently about an employee at the NMMC Wellness Center who was having some computer trouble when Jim came in after work to exercise. He sat down with her to help. “It didn’t matter to him that he was the CIO – he never felt like he was more important than anyone else,” she said. “I love that story because it illustrates exactly who he was.”
The Jim Weldon Celebration Fund will be used for a different cause every year, determined by the area of greatest need and what the Weldon family feels will best honor his memory.
“This is a way for people to remember him, and for us to continue supporting causes that were important to him,” Molly says. “The Take a Swing at Cancer Golf Tournament was something that was important to him and I know he would want us to continue to support that. As the years go by and needs change, I like knowing that we can decide where we think he would like our support to go.”
Molly and Jim started dating 36 years ago – when he was 17 and she was 16. They were married for 30 years and have two children – Tessa, 23, and Zach, 18.
“We all will miss Jim’s contagious personality, strong spirit and his collaborative approach to leadership,” said Shane Spees, NMHS Chief Executive Officer. “I will forever stand in amazement and appreciation for all the Information Technology Services team accomplished under Jim’s three years of leadership. His legacy will live on throughout NMHS because our team depends daily on the technology and services the ITS team deployed under his leadership. Our patients and our entire health care team will benefit for many years to come from the technology milestones we achieved under Jim’s direction. Jim was ‘the model’ for healthcare IT leadership.”
Gifts will be used to support community initiatives, education and patient needs. This partnership between HCF and the Weldon family will ensure your gifts help continue his passion of helping others.
Molly Weldon, right, North Mississippi Medical Clinics chief operating officer, and Dr. Jeremy Blanchard, North Mississippi Health Services chief medical officer, recently accepted a donation of surgical and fabric masks from Julie Nguyen of St. Louis in memory of her friend, Jim Weldon.
Julie and Jim worked together at St. Louis University School of Medicine many years ago and became good friends. Julie, who works at Pink Lotus Productions now, has a connection in Vietnam and had ordered several thousand masks to donate to various hospitals in the United States. When Jim was admitted to the hospital, they spoke by phone and he expressed to her his concern about the PPE shortage.
“When he passed away, I knew I wanted to contribute to NMHS in his honor,” she says. “This was a huge loss to the health care industry. He was a great boss when I worked with him and was such a good guy. He was always nice, always helpful and in a positive mood at all times.”