The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame last week inducted its 2020 and 2021 classes in Belmont’s newly opened Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The two-year class is made up of 10 health care leaders from across the state.

The Hall of Fame, which was created by Belmont University, Belmont’s McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, seeks to recognize and honor the leaders that have formed Tennessee’s heath and health care community.

“Over the course of the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has refocused the spotlight on the health care industry and the important role health care professionals play in each of our lives,” said Belmont President Greg Jones. “Now more than ever, we want to honor the leaders in this vital field — individuals who demonstrate the character, compassion and strength of purpose that quite literally transform lives on a daily basis.”

2020 Inductees

  • Monroe Dunaway Anderson: Health care philanthropist; Former Treasurer, President and CFO for Anderson, Clayton and Co., Namesake for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, billed as one of the nation's top centers for cancer research, diagnosis, care and treatment
  • Governor Phil Bredesen: Entrepreneur who started HealthAmerica and other prominent health care companies; Former Mayor of Nashville (1991—1999) and Gov. of Tennessee; Redesigned TennCare to become a model managed-care Medicaid program widely studied and replicated by other states
  • Kathryn Edwards: Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair in Pediatrics and a Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Work has focused on the evaluation of vaccines for the prevention of infectious disease; Contributed to vaccine development for Haemophilus influenza type B, pertussis, influenza, avian influenza, Streptococcus pneumoniae, smallpox, rotavirus, malaria and others
  • Donald MacNaughton: Former CEO and Chairman of HCA Healthcare; Chairman of the executive committee at HealthTrust; Mentor to numerous health care providers and leaders
  • G. Scott Morris: Founder and CEO of Memphis’s Church Health who developed a model for whole person health care and led Church Health to become the largest faith-based, privately-funded health clinic in the country; Speaker on community and faith-based health care

2021 Inductees

  • Tom Cigarran: Co-founder, former Chairman, Director, President and CEO of Healthways (now Tivity Health), the largest chronic disease management company and well-being provider in the U.S.; Co-founder, former Chairman, Director, President and CEO of AmSurg (now Envision); Two-time former Chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council and active community leader
  • Autry O.V. Debusk: Founder and Chairman of DeRoyal Industries, Inc., a global medical device manufacturer; Member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to Congress; Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Lincoln Memorial University who helped launch multiple healthcare graduate and professional degree program
  • William Evans: Former CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who led the hospital to consistent national rankings and increased cure rates for the most common pediatric cancers from 50 percent in 1975 to more than 90 percent in 2021; Author of more than 450 scientific publications; Elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2002) and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (2015)
  • James E.K. Hildreth: President and CEO of Meharry Medical College who has catapulted the institution to the national stage; Widely known and acclaimed Immunologist, virologist, researcher and health care educator; Advisor to local, state and national government on infectious diseases; Advocate for minority communities and leader in fight for health equity
  • Robert Sanders: Former Chairman of the Accident Prevention Committee of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Successful advocate and lobbyist of the Child Passenger Protection Act, leading to his nickname “Dr. Seat Belt;” Former director of the Rutherford County Health Department

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