At the 35th presentation of the Methodist Healthcare Foundation Living Awards, individuals and organizations were recognized for distinguishing themselves by their leadership and commitment to the healing mission of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. These faith-based initiatives have had a profound impact on healthcare locally, nationally and globally.
The 2017 honorees are:
Inspiration in Faith and Health – Community
Memphis Jewish Home and Rehab
Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab (MJHR) is a not-for-profit nursing home, Jewish in character and environment, dedicated to providing the highest level of care possible to the Mid-South community with dignity, compassion and professionalism. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017, MJHR opened its doors in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged and was located on Tucker Street in Midtown Memphis. In 1992, the organization moved to its current location in Cordova, Tenn. and became Memphis Jewish Home. Located in a park-like setting, MJHR has 300 employees and 145,000 square feet of space with 160 beds, all within a warm, welcoming setting. The state-of-the-art rehab program was expanded in 2008, and in 2012, the facility unveiled its current name and logo. MJHR serves patients seeking physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy treatment, as well as residents seeking long-term care.While the organization serves Jewish seniors, a larger percentage of those served are not Jewish. Following its faith-based mission, MJHR is committed to caring for the spiritual and physical wellbeing of all patients and residents. Non-denominational Christian church services and monthly Catholic services are led by local clergy, and Sunday morning devotionals are offered by MJHR staff.
Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish community and the Memphis community at-large, Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab continues in its 90th year to deliver quality, individualized and compassionate care. MJHR has made a dramatic difference in the lives of thousands of seniors and their families over the years, and they look forward to serving many more in the years to come.
Inspiration in Faith and Health – International
Chris Hena, MD and Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia
After successive devastating civil wars in Liberia, the West African country was left without access to healthcare, as many of the country’s medical facilities had been destroyed. Liberians were dying of illnesses that would have been easily treatable in the United States. Unbelievably, this country of 4.2 million people has only 50 doctors.
Chris Hena, MD, a Liberian-born medical missionary and now American citizen, recognized the plight in her home country and developed the framework for a desperately needed health initiative while still living and working in Kazakhstan, a republic of the former Soviet Union. She is now working to reform the Liberian healthcare system through the initiative called Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia (HWHL). Since 2012, Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia has transformed the face of healthcare in Liberia, providing health education, operating a medical clinic and training community health workers in the city of Kakata. In 2016, a women’s health clinic opened and now provides secure, sanitary space for Dr. Hena and her staff to implement preventative care programs that focus on improving maternal and infant health, improving the nutritional status of women and children, restoring and maintaining water and sanitation, and reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases.
In addition to healthcare services, “Dr. Chris,” as she is affectionately called, has seen an increase in the number of community members and patients who are reading their Bibles, participating in HWHL daily devotions and Bible studies, and attending community worship services. HWHL also works within the community to broaden job skills and education and has expanded community service projects through a sewing school, community garden and after- school program for children. Healthy Women, Healthy Liberia has radically changed many facets of healthcare in the nation of Liberia. The patient census increased from 2,267 patients in 2013 to over 17,000 in 2016. Under the guidance of Dr. Hena, this faith-based program continues to expand while empowering women to manage their own health and improve the health and life expectancy of every person.
Inspiration in Faith and Health – Physician
Paul Douthitt, MD
Know by his peers for his commitment to quality and safety for his patients, Paul Douthitt, MD is also defined by his devotion to being a supportive leader, mentor and teacher to all who have had the privilege to work with him. After graduating cum laude from the University of Colorado Medical School in 1977, Dr. Douthitt completed his residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Hospital. After finishing his residency, he served his community of Springfield, Tenn. as a pediatrician for more than 20 years. During this time, he also gave back to his profession by mentoring and nurturing medical students at Vanderbilt, first as a Clinical Instructor and then as an Associate Clinical Professor. In 2005, Dr. Douthitt relocated to Memphis to become the Chief Medical Officer at Methodist South Hospital. He quickly made connections and established himself as a vital leader in the hospital and medical community. He then briefly served as CEO at Methodist South during a vital transitional period before being named Chief Medical Officer at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. As a clinician, he was extremely talented, trusted and highly respected by his peers and the community. He consistently engaged and encouraged his team, the medical community and the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) system to provide the highest quality care and best service. His ability to combine medical knowledge, leadership acumen and a spiritual foundation for the benefit of his patients and community was clearly evident. His passion for evidence-based practice as well as the delivery of exceptional quality and safe care to patients was unparalleled.
Dr. Douthitt’s compassionate spirit is so strong that those around him cannot help but to be moved by it. Since retiring, he and his wife, Kathy, live on the family farm in Charlotte, Tenn. They have raised four children together and have nine grandchildren. Dr. Douthitt has taught others the importance of faith, fairness and goodness in the leadership role. His incredible level of integrity, humility and generosity of spirit truly sets him apart.
Inspiration in Faith and Health – Physician
Robert Hollabaugh, Sr., MD
A gifted pediatric surgeon and teacher, it has been said that Robert Hollabaugh, Sr., MD, has the rare ability to combine his knowledge of surgical principles and pathology with years of keen observation of sick children to formulate a clinical treatment course that produces the best possible result and outcome for his young patients. Dr. Hollabaugh obtained his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. He continued his education as an intern at Philadelphia General Hospital in Philadelphia, Penn. After serving two years in the United States Air Force, Dr. Hollabaugh returned to Memphis and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Tennessee, followed by a pediatric surgery fellowship at Ohio State University. Dr. Hollabaugh returned to Memphis in 1972 to begin his practice in pediatric surgery and joined the medical staff at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. During his 32 years at Le Bonheur, he served in numerous leadership positions and on various committees. As a testament to his leadership and commitment, Dr. Hollabaugh is the only staff member to serve two terms as Chief of Staff at Le Bonheur. Dr. Hollabaugh’s passion and commitment to education were clearly recognized by junior residents, new operating room nurses and pediatric surgery fellows. He helped lead the pediatric surgery fellowship training program, which has trained both international and national pediatric fellows for over 40 years. It is estimated that Dr. Hollabaugh participated in the training of well over 75 pediatric surgery fellows alone, all of whom have gone on to take care of children around the world.
Dr. Hollabaugh is driven by a desire to show the love of Jesus Christ to children in Memphis and around the world. He has participated in and helped organized annual medical mission trips to El Salvador, China, Brazil, Tibet and Zambia. His surgical skills have saved the lives of countless children from all segments of society. He and his wife, Maggie, have two children and two grandchildren. Dr. Hollabaugh’s enduring love and passion for his fellow man have always been a great example to those who have had the pleasure of knowing him.
Inspiration in Faith and Health – Individual
Rev. Dr. John Kilzer
Reverend Dr. John Kilzer, Associate Pastor of Recovery Ministries at St. John’s Methodist Church in Memphis, is a person who has known the depths of despair through his own substance abuse and has lived to tell the rest of us that hope is on the other side. Long before Rev. Kilzer became an ordained minister, his life journey was leading him down a ruinous path. Having moved to Memphis from Jackson, Tenn., he was recruited as a 6’6” shooting guard for the Memphis State Tigers. Following graduation, he signed a major recording deal with Geffen Records and became a rock and roll sensation with the Top 10 hit “Red Blue Jeans.” He toured the U.S. with The Moody Blues and Little Feat, then all of Europe with Canadian band, Tragically Hip. It was in Paris while visiting the gravesite of musician, Jim Morrison, that Rev. Kilzer recognized that he was about to kill himself with drugs and alcohol. He ended his recording contract and came back home to Memphis. Soon thereafter, he experienced a spiritual conversion that led him to enroll at Memphis Theological Seminary. He would later enter Alcoholics Anonymous in 2000 and would ultimately earn a Master of Divinity from the seminary in 2005. Using his special talents to attract, teach and help heal, he now ministers as a peer to all who will “come to believe in a path to recovery.” In 2010, after months of preparation, John launched a recovery ministry called The Way. This ministry began with 25 to 50 attendees and has grown to 250 to 300 attendees every Friday evening. The men and women who attend The Way all have similar experiences. Everyone who walks through the door is treated equally and anonymity is always respected.
“Brother John,” as he is known by his congregation, has an uncanny commitment to each individual and their unique circumstance and story. While Memphis continues to be blessed with John’s music, Methodist Healthcare and the United Methodist Church served daily by the ministry to which Rev. Dr. John Kilzer has committed his life. He truly believes that only God’s grace can fill a void in our lives.