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Health Care Hall of Fame Inducts Seven

Dr. Matthew Walker III (R) accepts the Hall of Fame honor on behalf of his late grandfather, a pioneering surgeon and public health advocate.

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame recently welcomed seven new industry legends to its ranks during a luncheon event held at Belmont University's Curb Event Center on Oct. 16. The Class of 2018 is the fourth to be inducted since the Hall of Fame's founding in 2015.

The most recent class included four posthumous honorees alongside three providers who have changed healthcare in the United States and across international borders.

Monroe Carell, Jr.: A Nashville native, the former CEO of Nashville-based Central Parking Corporation was the driving force behind establishing a freestanding children's hospital in Nashville. The noted community leader and philanthropist, who died in 2008, saw his vision come to life when the pediatric hospital was built in 2004. Since opening its doors, the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has undergone two expansions, including one currently underway, and is nationally ranked across 10 pediatric specialties. Carell served in the U.S. Navy before returning home to earn his degree in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University in 1959. He was married to the late Ann Scott Carell, who shared his vision and passion for philanthropy, for more than 50 years.

(L-R) 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, Dr. Lynn Massingale, Carol Etherington and Dr. William Schaffner

Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, FAAN: An advocate for the vulnerable, Etherington has worked with traumatized populations around the globe and here at home throughout her career. She initiated one of the country's first victim intervention programs in conjunction with the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department and has been on the ground caring for victims during numerous national crises including post-9/11, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. She has also delivered care across the world through her work with Doctors Without Borders in places like Bosnia, Honduras, Kosovo and Sierra Leone and became the only nurse to serve as president of the organization's U.S. board. A public health champion, Etherington established coalitions that led to the founding of the Nashville Prevention Partnership and currently serves as chair of the Metro Nashville Board of Health. She is an associate professor emerita at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and serves as associate director of Community Health Initiatives for the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

John Henry Hale, MD, & Millie Hale: A physician and nurse, the Hales saw a need for healthcare services within Nashville's African American community and set out to fill it. In 1916, Millie Hale turned the second floor of their home into a hospital for those turned away by other institutions. Starting with 12 beds, the hospital grew to 75 beds by 1923 with a laboratory, maternity ward, operating room and sterilizing rooms. Serving more than 4,000 patients from across the Southeast, the hospital became recognized for its unique design and approach to care, which included a community center with health classes, a prenatal and infant clinic, foster care services, and a food pantry. The hospital also became a training center for nurses and went on to earn recognition by the American College of Surgeons. Millie Hale served as the hospital's head administer and chief nurse, as well as being named secretary and treasurer of the board. Throughout his long, successful career, John Hale served as the hospital's chief of surgery and board president. He was also a highly respected professor of Clinical Medicine and Surgery and chief of staff for Meharry Medical College. After the hospital closed, John Hale became chair of the Department of Surgery at Meharry. In addition to providing acute care for African Americans in need, this pioneering couple is recognized for their holistic approach to creating healthier communities and addressing social determinants.

Lynn Massingale, MD: An emergency medicine physician, Massingale earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences followed by an internship at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. A year into his practice in East Tennessee, he saw the struggle area hospitals had in staffing their emergency departments and thought there had to be a better solution. An innovator, the young physician co-founded and launched the predecessor company of TeamHealth, which has grown to one of the largest integrated care providers in the country staffing and managing hospital-based, ambulatory and post-acute care practices nationwide. Under his leadership, the company also took on a role of assisting the larger community by deploying critical response teams during times of disaster. Massingale served as chairman and CEO of TeamHealth until 2008, when he stepped away from his CEO duties to dedicate more time and energy to thought leadership, care delivery innovation and humanitarian efforts. Massingale has been recognized as one of Modern Healthcare's "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" and one of the American College of Emergency Physician's "Heroes of Emergency Medicine."

William Schaffner, MD: A renowned epidemiologist and preventive medicine ambassador, Schaffner earned his medical degree from Cornell University before moving to Nashville for residency at Vanderbilt. He was asked to join the faculty in 1969 after he completed his training and has become an international authority on public health, infectious disease, and the efficacy of vaccinations. He was named chair of Preventive Medicine in 1982 and remains a professor in the Department of Health Policy and in the Division of Infectious Disease. Schaffner is a frequent subject matter expert for publications and broadcast programming around the world, and he has elevated Tennessee's reputation as a national leader in infectious disease and public health. A pioneer of comprehensive infection control programs in hospitals, his work on patient safety also expanded to the larger community. Schaffner's research was a catalyst for the passage of childhood car restraint laws throughout the U.S. He co-chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of the Agence de Médecine Préventive and has received countless accolades for his groundbreaking work throughout the world.

Matthew Walker, Sr., MD: The prominent surgeon, educator, public health champion and activist was among the most highly respected physicians of his time. He became one of the first African Americans to become a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and be voted into the Nashville Academy of Medicine. In the early 1960s, he was named to the Board of Hospital Commissioners of Nashville General Hospital. A few years later, in 1968, he founded Meharry Neighborhood Health Center, which was later renamed Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center in his honor. Walker also launched Meharry Medical College's surgical residency program and was credited with training half of all the African American physicians in the United States at the time of his death. Popular among his peers, students, and the patients he served, his passion for delivering the highest quality of care is still celebrated and honored with the Annual Matthew Walker Surgical Symposium, which is currently in its 39th year.

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame was founded by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council to recognize industry leaders with ties to Tennessee who have impacted care on a state, national, and often international basis. Nominations for the Class of 2019 are now open at

Tribute to Hall of Famer Colleen Conway-Welch

The 2018 Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame event began with a short tribute to Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, CNM, FAAN, FACNM, who died Oct. 12 after battling cancer for several years. Emcee John M. Seigenthaler, partner at DVL Seigenthaler, noted the Class of 2016 Hall of Famer, who spent 29 years as dean of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, had forever changed the national healthcare landscape through her educational leadership.

Conway-Welch was recruited to Nashville to become VUSN's dean in 1984. At the time, the school educated about 100 baccalaureate students and a small number of master's students. Under her leadership, the curriculum was completely overhauled and additional advanced degrees - including an accelerated master's degree and doctoral programs - were added. Today, VUSN is one of the largest schools of nursing in the country and is routinely ranked as a top nursing school nationally.

Conway-Welch, who also held national presidential appointments on health policy and education, retired from her VUSN post in 2013 and was named Dean Emerita by the university. A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwifes, Conway-Welch was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 1997 and was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing in 2016. The following year, she was elected to the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame, and this past spring Conway-Welch was honored with the Health Education Visionary Award from the Society for Women's Health Research.


Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame


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Carol Etherington, Colleen Conway-Welch, John Henry Hale, Jr., Lynn Massingale, Matthew Walker, Millie Hale, Monroe Carell, Sr., Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, William Schaffner
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