A fond farewell: Community wishes Smith well in retirement

Published 1:58 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

The community was out in force Thursday night for a parade and ceremony honoring Dr. Debbie Smith, who is retiring from her pediatric practice after 43 years of service to the Vicksburg community.

Thursday’s event began with a parade that had cars backed up for long stretches along Highway 61 North and continued at River Region Medical Center, where Smith was presented with a key to the city by Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs.

“I just salute (Dr. Smith) and congratulate her on her retirement,” Flaggs said. “She is one of the most recognizable people in the healthcare field here. She is one of the most phenomenal healthcare providers we’ve had in her field, and that’s the reason why I gave her one of the highest honors you can give someone: a key to the city.”

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 Smith, who moved to Vicksburg after completing her residency at Vanderbilt, said her initial visit to the river city was only scheduled to be for a weekend; her initial contract only set for one year; yet, she now retires from her practice in town after more than four decades of service aimed at providing the best healthcare possible for the children she treated.