By Marilyn Tinnin
Dr. Freda Bush—Her Next Chapter
Freda McKissic Bush has been a trailblazer her entire life, and she won’t be changing her ways now just because she recently retired—well, sort of. The senior partner at East Lakeland OB-GYN Associates officially left her practice on February 28, 2017, but she has certainly not slowed her pace. The registered nurse turned midwife, turned physician, author, speaker, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother says she is now able to take what she has learned in her fifty years in women’s reproductive medicine and influence more people toward sexual health.
Freda’s impact on healthcare for Mississippi women as an advocate as well as a physician has earned her recognition across the entire country. The Mississippi Legislature honored her with a special recognition commendation a few weeks ago.
Writing, speaking, teaching, and educating in a holistic way and from a deeply Christian perspective will now fill up her calendar and keep this amazing lady in her characteristic “giving” mode. She really is a bit of a rock star!
When she and Dr. Beverly McMillan opened their clinic in 1987, their shared vision was unusual for several reasons. The partnership between a Caucasian and an African American physician was certainly a new thing in Jackson, Mississippi, at that time, but it was their mutual relationship with Christ and their desire to make that relationship foundational to their mission statement that set East Lakeland apart.
Thirty years later (and too many babies delivered to count), East Lakeland is one of the largest practices in the state, and their slogan “Healthcare for Women by Women” has attracted patients of every race and creed as well as outstanding female associates who are continuing the legacy Freda and Beverly began.
Over the years, Freda has been a faithful and compassionate listener taking seriously the concerns of her patients. She has also paid great attention to the changing attitudes about casual sex in our culture. As the mother of four now grown children, her mother’s heart hurt over the epidemic of teen pregnancies, STDs, and the high price of premature sexual activity.
She began to research the topic and approached it in relation to the growing field of neuroscience and social behavior in time becoming so informed that her speaking and writing career mushroomed. The unique thing about Freda’s approach to the subject was that she armed herself with facts and the purely physiological information, but she was also steeped in God’s word. She could bring all the facts together in a practical and holistic way proving that God’s moral laws had very clear physiological benefits.
Dr. Freda Bush has become quite the sought-after expert on teenagers and sex. “All the while I’ve been practicing, I’ve been working with young people,” she says. “I want to make them realize the price of sexual activity too soon.”
To view her resume is to see that her actions speak volumes about her unwavering commitment to women’s reproductive health. She serves either on the board or as a medical advisor for several Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers around the country as well as The Medical Institute for Sexual Health. She is also a member of the Physicians Resource Council for James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and will continue to spend much of her time speaking and presenting seminars for health professionals, educators, parents, and youth.