John Howell’s Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2007

‘Junky’ found first fix in Panola politics

By John Howell

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“The first election I was really into was Forrest Tuttle’s when he ran for sheriff,” Lee Goodwin said, recalling the Panola Sheriff’s contest in 1975.

“One of my friends was Amy Pounders; he was her grandfather,” Goodwin said.

Thirty-six years later, Goodwin is still involved in politics, currently as a volunteer in Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Goodwin is currently employed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill. as the CT technical coordinator managing 45 technologists and maintaining nine state-of-the-art CT scanners. The hospital’s downtown location is near Obama’s campaign headquarters, where Goodwin met the Democratic presidental hopeful at a fundraiser.

“I think it is time for a change and I am asking for everyone’s support in this election,” Goodwin said of Obama.

He has since worked at information booths and subsequent fundraisers and met the candidate’s wife, whom he also described as “extremely nice.”

The medical technology career that has kept Goodwin at Northwestern Memorial for almost a decade began following his 1982 graduation from West Panola Academy and subsequent studies at Northwest Mississippi Community College when he entered x-ray school at Memphis’ Baptist Memorial Hospital. He also received training as a respiratory technician and in CT scans and MRIs.

Goodwin moved from Memphis in 1987 to Skokie, Ill. after answering a help wanted ad for a position in the Chicago area. He went to Northwestern in 1998. The hospital has recently become the first to utilize a CT scanner with two X-ray tubes in cardiac CT. The dual energy/dual source scan technique can save patient lives and reduce the need for cardiac bypass surgery, he said.

The new technology gathers its data so quickly, Goodwin explained, that there is no need to slow the patient’s heart with beta blockers. The angiogram with its injection of dye into a patient’s veins has been replaced with a five minute exam, he said.

“You don’t want to give a patient more meds than you have to,” he said.

Utilization of the newest CT technology will involve training on new work stations that will convert data collected with the CT scan into three dimensional images, Goodwin said. After that, Goodwin will accompany Northwestern cardiac radiologists as they report on their results and findings in lectures around the country, he said.

Goodwin, the son of James and the late Jo Ann Goodwin, also plans a trip to Mississippi in the near future. The frequency of his trips home has slowed since the time of his mother’s illness in 2002 when he often made the trip twice each month.

But in August, he will see his brother, Kenny, who lives in Senatobia, and his dad, who has remarried and moved to Benton in Yazoo County. Goodwin said his political views differ from his dad’s. They will probably avoid discussing politics.

“I’ve argued with him until I’m blue in the face,” Goodwin laughed.