by Katina R. Beard
CEO Matthew Walker Comprehensve Health Center

National Health Center Week runs from August 7-13 and serves as a time for federally qualified health centers or community health centers to take a bow. It’s a time to “toot” our horns and say thank you to our staff and community for their hard work and support. Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Inc. was founded in 1968 by Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr., physician, surgeon, civil rights leader, husband, father, grandfather, friend. At the time of his death in 1972, Dr. Walker was credited with having trained over fifty percent of the practicing African-American physicians. Today, our health center continues to live out Dr. Walker’s vision by providing quality health care, health education and promoting wellness in Nashville, Smyrna and Clarksville, Tennessee.

The significant steps of Dr. Walker continue to be held in high regard for his passion to provide accessible health care for under-resourced communities. We celebrate his vision each year during our annual breakfast and through our scholarships awarded to medical and dental students. We continue to produce more community-minded providers by training hundreds of clinical professionals annually.

MWCHC has 130 staff that are the heartbeat of the organization. They are so important to our ability to continue to grow, meet the needs of new communities and maintain the legacy of our great leader.

Today we celebrate our employees that have been with us for 20 or more years, growing, learning, and leading over the years. Dr. Michele Williams, serves as our pediatrician and chief medical officer, leading our health care excellence for all sites. For 20 years, Dr. Williams has mentored and trained over 600 students; many have become community-based health care leaders. Brenda Cole, Pamela Jordan and Jenny Luu-Vo serve on the patient business team, handling hundreds of calls, registering patients and serving as a consistent presence for many of our patients. Brendetta O’Neal-Manning, registered dental assistant and dental office manager, leads the backbone of the oral health program, making sure all registered dental assistants provide gentle chair-side care. Jeanetta Blair, certified pharmacy technician provides confident and timely care through our on-site pharmacy. For 23 years, Tracye Henderson, social services and Julie Morris, outreach and enrollment are mainstays in the Nashville community.

Over the years they have helped navigate thousands of patients to gain community needs and produced top-notch community-based events and programs. Then there’s me, former administrative assistant and operations support now honored chief executive officer. My 24 years of service to this iconic health center have gifted me beautiful memories of working with this rich staff new and seasoned that can fill volumes of books, all equally as rich.

So, thank you to our staff of 20 years or more for your commitment to the work. All of our employees are important to the work we do to make sure our communities receive the health care they need. To our communities that support us and trust us with your care, thank you. MWCHC continues to be committed to staying with you, serving you and meeting your needs.