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Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center Announces Event Honoring Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr.

Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center Announces Event Honoring Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr.

Legacy Breakfast to take place August 15 at 6:00 p.m. at Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College, MWCHC to celebrate 56 years as a community health center

June 20, 2024 – Nashville, TN – Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC), Nashville’s oldest non-profit health center, has announced details surrounding the 2024 Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast. The breakfast will take place in the evening at The Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College (1011 21st Avenue North) on August 15 at 6:00pm. The event Visionary Sponsors are Amazon, CINQ CARE, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, and Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, with 100% of attendee’s donations strengthening MWCHC programs and services.

The theme of this year’s event is “His Vision Continues.” The event includes a discussion regarding the impact of community health with Rita Johnson-Mills, President, Southern Region, CINQ CARE; Scott Perry, President, Memorial Foundation; Bobby Samuels, community volunteer; and Antoinne Able, MD, rehabilitation specialist at TriStar Southern Hills Hospital.

Dr. Shanna Jackson, President of Nashville State Community College will receive the revered Michelle B. Marrs Advocacy Award for her dedication to community service through her numerous board positions (Ascension St. Thomas, Urban League of Middle Tennessee, The Memorial Foundation, and more), as well as her dedication to educating future generations as Nashville State Community College’s president. MWCHC will also award scholarships to local health care students who exemplify Dr. Walker’s vision of a healthier community.

“We will once again gather as a community to recognize Dr. Matthew Walker’s legacy,” said Katina Beard, CEO of MWCHC. “It is an honor to continue Dr. Walker’s and Michelle B. Marrs’s vision for accessible and affordable health care in 2024 and celebrate the community leaders who also support this vision.”

“The Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast is one of our favorite events, and every year we look forward to celebrating both Dr. Walker’s legacy and those making an impact in the community,” said Tanya Washington, MWCHC Board Chair. “We are excited to bring the community together once again for this memorable gathering.”

Dr. Matthew Walker was a pillar both locally and nationally as a medical professional and community staple. He chaired Meharry Medical College’s department of surgery from 1945 to 1973 and developed a rigorous residency program to cultivate exceptionally trained surgeons. He was a professor of surgery and gynecology from 1944 until his death in 1978. At the time of his passing, Dr. Walker had trained more than half of the Black surgeons in the United States.

Dr. Walker saw the need for a comprehensive health center to address the specific health needs of the North Nashville community. After receiving federal funding to make his vision possible, he founded MWCHC in 1968 as the Meharry Neighborhood Health Center, a family-oriented ambulatory health center. The Center was able to provide comprehensive health services to underserved community members in one convenient location, prevent and treat disease, and provide jobs for persons of low economic and educational backgrounds.

Michelle B. Marrs provided executive leadership for seven years as CEO of MWCHC. She oversaw the construction and opening of the $6.4 million Nashville center on 14th Avenue in 2004 and was a strong community advocate for health care from her appointment in 1998 until her untimely passing in 2005. In 2008, MWCHC was able to open the Clarksville location through federal funds and the Smyrna location opened in 2010. These additional sites have allowed MWCHC to extend its comprehensive model beyond Nashville.

This event is made possible by Visionary Sponsors: Amazon, CINQCARE, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, and Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Vision Builder Sponsors: Enchiridion Foundation, Meharry Medical College, and Renasant Bank, Friends of the Vision Sponsors:  AARP, Acumen Technology, FORVIS Foundation, HUB International, Moody Nolan, Music City Visitors Bureau, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast

Thursday, August 15, 2024 – 6:00pm

The Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College

1011 21st Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37208

Registration and Donations (here)

About Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center: Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center is a non-profit health center providing affordable and quality healthcare to patients in the Middle Tennessee and surrounding areas. MWCHC is dedicated to providing medical, dental and behavioral health services to patients of all ages regardless of economic status, with its three facilities in Nashville, Clarksville and Smyrna reaching 17,000 patients a year.