Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center holds annual Legacy Breakfast event

(l-r) Councilman Freddie O/Connell, Rep. Harold Love, and Dr. Stephanie Bailey.

Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC) recently celebrated its annual Legacy Breakfast, presenting the Dr. Matthew Walker Sr. Legacy Award and Michelle B. Marrs Health Care Advocate Awards at Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Henry W. Foster, Jr. received the Dr. Matthew Walker Sr. Legacy Award, and Dr. Stephaine Walker received the Michelle B. Marrs Health Care Advocate Award. MWCHC also gave a scholarship to a Meharry Medical College student.

“Both Dr. Foster and Dr. Walker exemplify the advocacy and care for the community previously championed by Dr. Walker and Michelle B. Marrs,” said Katina Beard, CEO of MWCHC. “We are honored to give them these awards for the incredible work they’ve accomplished in Nashville.”

Michelle B. Marrs will forever be remembered as the visionary for MWCHC’s state of the art medical, dental and diagnostic facility that serves the community today. Her focus for MWCHC was to be an organization the community saw as a place of health, innovation and collaboration. The Michelle B. Marrs Health Care Advocate Award is given to those who reflect these ideals.

Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. was the founder of MWCHC. He determined that the health of a community included access to care as well as advocacy and education. Dr. Walker’s legacy lives on through the organization, the many lives he saved through medicine and the highly qualified physicians he personally trained. The Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Award is given to those who worked with or who have continued his work.

Dr. Henry W. Foster, Jr., is professor emeritus and former dean of the School of Medicine, Meharry College and Clinical Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University. In addition to having studied under and worked with Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr., Dr. Foster was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1995 to become U.S. Surgeon General and served from 1996 to 2001 as President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and Youth Issues.

Dr. Stephaine Hale Walker received her Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University and her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. Upon completing her fellowships at Harvard University, Dr. Walker joined the Harvard Medical Faculty Physician group as a neonatologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center [BIDMC] and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pediatrics.

Targeting obesity and health literacy, in January of 2011, Dr. Walker helped lead the establishment of ChurchFIT, a Mt. Zion Baptist Church fitness and health awareness program. ChurchFIT was revealed by Mt. Zion in partnership with Full Circle Health Community Coalition to help the church’s 30,000 plus congregation revive fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote and improve overall health and wellness. In 2016, Dr. Walker launched ChurchFIT International and now it has become a model and resource for congregations around the world.

The Dr. Matthew Walker Legacy Breakfast also included a special presentation by Nashville Council Member Freddie O’Connell, an invocation by Tennessee state Rep. Harold Love, and a keynote address by Dr. Stephanie Bailey, the senior associate dean of Public Health Practice at Meharry Medical College and lifetime champion of health excellence.