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Legacy Breakfast to take place March 30 at The Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College, MWCHC to celebrate 55 years as a community health center

February 28, 2023 ­– Nashville, TN – Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC), Nashville’s oldest non-profit health center, has announced further details surrounding the 2023 Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast. MWCHC shakes things up with their event, which will now take place in the evening at The Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College (1011 21st Avenue North) on March 30 at 6:00pm. Admission is free; however, donations are strongly encouraged, with all proceeds benefiting MWCHC. Attendees can register here.

MWCHC celebrates its 55th year as a community health center, with additional events to be announced throughout the year. The organization also has big plans for 2023, including increasing their patient load by 20% and relocating the Smyrna clinic to accommodate growing demand.

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. Matthew 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. Under the leadership of Jeffrey McKissack, MWCHC was able to open the Clarksville location through federal funds and the Smyrna location. These additional sites have allowed MWCHC to extend its comprehensive model beyond Nashville.

The breakfast will feature a keynote address by breast specialist Robin Williams, MD. The theme of this year’s event is “A Legacy of Healthcare.”

Dr. Antoinne Able, rehabilitation specialist and TriStar Southern Hills Hospital, will receive the prestigious Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Award, and Former State Senator Brenda Gilmore will receive the revered Michelle B. Marrs Advocacy Award for her 30 years of community service. MWCHC will also distribute scholarships to local medical college students.

“We will once again gather as a community to recognize Dr. Matthew Walker’s legacy. This will also be our first time back in person since the pandemic, so we are very excited” says Katina Beard, CEO of MWCHC. “It is an honor to continue Dr. Walker and Michelle B. Marrs’s vision for accessible and affordable health care in 2023 and celebrate the community leaders who also support this vision.”

“As MWCHC celebrates its 55th anniversary, I can’t think of a better way to kick off the festivities than with the Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast,” said Sandra Long Weaver, fundraising chair of MWCHC. “This year’s event is a unique spin on our breakfast tradition, and we can’t wait to honor all these very deserving leaders and students.”

This event is made possible by HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, Amerigroup, Belmont University, Nashville International Airport, FORVIS, Piedmont Natural Gas, Dining Divas and Friend, Bank of Tennessee, Tennessee Hospital Association and Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast

Thursday, March 30, 2023 – 6:00pm

The Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College
1011 21st Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37208

Registration: Free (here)
Donations Encouraged


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.