Biography: James Keeton, M.D.
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dean of the School of Medicine UMMC
James Keeton, M.D., is vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. UMMC is home to more than 9,000 employees, a health sciences graduate school and four health professional schools with 2,800 students, and four teaching hospitals totaling 722 beds.
Named to his current post in February 2010, Dr. Keeton had been serving as interim vice chancellor since his predecessor, Dr. Dan Jones, was appointed chancellor of the University of Mississippi on July 1, 2009.
The Columbus native attended the first public elementary school in Mississippi and S.D. Lee High School in Columbus. He is an Ole Miss graduate and earned his M.D. at UMMC in 1965. He did a rotating internship there and completed residencies in general surgery and urology. He further trained in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in London and was a lieutenant commander at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Ill.
Dr. Keeton was on the university’s surgery faculty from 1973-1975 and was in private practice in Jackson for 27 years. He returned to the pediatrics faculty at UMMC in 2000 and was clinical director of pediatric surgical services. In that capacity, he oversaw the design and, ultimately, the building of the two-story pediatric surgical suite as an addition to the Batson Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Jones named him the Medical Center’s first associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs in 2003 to facilitate communication among the practitioners, hospital system and vice chancellor.
His wife, Jona, is a nurse and family therapist. They have two children and several cherished grandchildren.