Julia Johnson’s desire to work in the healthcare field goes back to her childhood.
“I don’t ever remember in my past being asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, and not knowing,” Johnson said. “I’ve always wanted to care for people.”
Johnson is the Nurse Practitioner for Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital’s new Carrollton Clinic, which opened this week. The clinic is located at 502 George Street in North Carrollton.
Johnson said patients at Carrollton Clinic will find familiar faces, with medical assistant/receptionist, Annie Randall, who worked at the clinic before her time at Crossroads Family Medicine, and Dr. Keith Rushing, who worked under Dr. Millard Costilow at the clinic early in his medical career. Rushing is the collaborating physician at Carrollton Clinic and will be visiting the clinic occasionally.
The daughter of Karl and Lynn Oliver, Johnson grew up in Winona, graduating from Winona High School in 2011. She continued her education at Mississippi State University, pursuing pre-requisite classes for nursing school. She went on to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where she earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Soon after graduating nursing school, she began her career at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse.
She graduated from UMMC in May 2015, took her nursing board exams not long after, and married her husband, Joey Johnson, two weeks later.
“I didn’t want the stress of having to study for and pass boards during my wedding,” Johnson laughed.
Following her wedding, she settled in Winona and began working on the floor at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital. “The small town atmosphere has always been where I’m comfortable,” Johnson said. “My father [Karl Oliver] owns Oliver Funeral Home, a four-generation business. Families ask for him specifically, just as they did my grandfather [James Earl Oliver]. You form a bond with people, patients. It is different than [larger communities.]”
After a year-and-a-half working at Tyler Homes, Johnson decided she wanted to further her career, and she returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She started the program in August and gave birth to her first child, Ava Holman Johnson, in September.
Johnson did her clinical hours at Tyler Holmes, her last semester shadowing Shelby Lipe at Winona Family Practice. After graduation, she was required to do monitored hours with a practicing nurse practitioner, and she worked with Maggie Taylor at Crossroads Family Medicine in Winona. Johnson said she entertained a few specialties while she was in school, but during her nurse practitioner clinical training, she found she was comfortable in general medicine and decided to return to her hometown to work.
She had her second child, Julius, in December 2019, shortly after she completed her monitored hours. In early 2020, she was hired by Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, with the possibility of a clinic opening in Carrollton, but the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March. She was assigned to the Tyler Holmes Fast Track Clinic, which opened to help prevent the exposure of sick patients, possibly infected with COVID-19, from patients visiting the two clinics for routine medical care. Johnson worked at the Fast Track Clinic from March until this past Monday when she began seeing patients in Carrollton.
During her time at the Fast Track Clinic, Johnson learned more and more about the coronavirus and how it affected her patients.
“The virus doesn’t discriminate at all,” Johnson said. “We had patients aged two to 90 testing positive, and more and more young people were beginning to test positive, although majority of the young were presenting asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.”
Outside the clinic, Johnson is an active member of the community. She and her family are members of First Baptist Church of Winona where she also teaches Sunday school. She is a member of Junior Auxiliary of Winona, a member of the Mississippi Nurses Association, a member of the Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, and she plays tennis for the Winona tennis league.