Nashville, Tenn. (TN Tribune)–The Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC), Nashville’s oldest non-profit health center, has announced further details surrounding the 2022 Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Breakfast.

The event will take place virtually on April 28 at 9:00am. Admission is free, and donations are encouraged, with all proceeds benefiting MWCHC. Attendees can register here

Dr. Matthew Walker was a pillar throughout Nashville both 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 in order to cultivate exceptionally trained surgeons. He was a professor of surgery and gynecology from 1944 until his death in 1978.

The center was named after him in 1970, the first federally-qualified center named after an African American. Dr. Walker saw the need for a comprehensive health center because the regular clinics and hospitals in Nashville were overcrowded and understaffed. 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 the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center. 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. 

The breakfast will feature a keynote address by James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., President and CEO of Meharry Medical College and a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. The theme of this year’s event is “Forward 3.0: From Pandemic to Endemic.” There will also be a tribute to Dr. Matthew Walker III, who passed away last year. 

Breast specialist Robin Williams, M.D. will receive the prestigious Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. Legacy Award, and The Equity Alliance, a nonpartisan grassroots organization led by award-winning women, will accept the revered Michelle B. Marrs Advocacy Award.

MWCHC will also distribute scholarships to local Meharry Medical College students. “We are excited to 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 and Michelle B. Marrs’s vision for accessible and affordable health care in 2022 and celebrate the community leaders who also support this vision.”

 “I am very excited about the return of our virtual Legacy Breakfast. It allows people from all over the country as well as those living in Middle Tennessee to join us to celebrate the founding of the center by Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr.,” said Sandra Long Weaver, fundraising chair and board member of MWCHC. “We are honoring two people who have worked hard to bring us through another tough pandemic year, and we can’t wait to hear from Dr. Hildreth.” 

This event is made possible by Vision Seekers: Amazon, Belmont University, Enchiridion Foundation, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health; Vision Builder: Mount Zion Baptist Church; Friends of the Vision: Artmas Worthy, DDS, Bank of Tennessee, BKD Foundation, Dining Deltas and Friend, McKesson, Piedmont Natural Gas, Pillsbury Law, Robyn Mays, DDS, Rollins Properties, Tennessee Hospital Association, Truist, Vanderbilt University; and Scholarship Sponsors: Dr. Matthew and Mrs. Alice Walker Family, and Dr. Christy N. Marrs-Scruggs. 

Matthew Walker, Sr. Virtual Legacy Breakfast

Thursday, April 28, 2022 – 9:00am – 10:00am

Online via Zoom Registration: Free (here