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Whiteville's James McGowan Named Employee of the Year

Thursday, March 26, 2015 | 02:53pm

McGowan recognized for 40 years of service at Tennessee’s Western Mental Health Institute

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) recognizes James McGowan as its 2014 Employee of the Year. Hired as a custodian when he joined the institute in 1973, McGowan steadily rose through the ranks over his now 40 plus years of service at Western Mental Health Institute (WMHI) in Bolivar.

Since 1998 McGowan has served as a Property Officer 1; responsible for managing and maintaining the institute’s equipment and property inventory. Those who work closely with him consider his longevity and dedication to exemplify his exceptional work ethic and attention to detail.

“James McGowan is more than just a team player, he’s an extremely caring and compassionate person,” said CEO Roger Pursley, WMHI. “He has served his colleagues as well as the patients and their loved ones with a willingness to address any problems or concerns he may encounter.” 

As a veteran who served in the Vietnam War, McGowan brings a sense of duty to his work. His care extends well beyond his responsibilities to manage and maintain the state’s property. McGowan also ensures the personal property of the individuals receiving treatment and recovery services is kept safe and secure. It comes as no surprise that McGowan has one of the highest inventory accountability rates in the State of Tennessee.

“I have a deep respect for the patients as well as the professional staff here who are dedicated to serving people with mental health conditions,” said McGowan. “It’s an honor to do my part to see that their experience at Western is both comfortable and healing.”

Each of Tennessee’s four mental health institutes submits one nominee for the department-wide annual recognition. Below is a list of the individuals honored as Employee of the Year at each respective TDMHSAS mental health institute.

  • Memphis Mental Health Institute (Memphis) – Cheryl Hatcher, LPN
  • Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute (Nashville) – Genieve Graham, Lead Psychiatric Tech
  • Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute (Chattanooga) Quentin Fannin, M.D.
  • Western Mental Health Institute (Bolivar) James Earl McGowan, Property Officer 1