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HomeAchieversBelmont University Announces Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame 2023 Inductee Class

Belmont University Announces Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame 2023 Inductee Class

Belmont University announced today the 2023 inductee class of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame. Honorees will be recognized at a celebration and reception at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, October 17. 

With a mission to honor those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, a founding partner. Since its inception in 2015, the Hall of Fame has inducted nearly 50 health care leaders.  

The 2023 Health Care Hall of Fame inductees include: 

  • Wilsie S. Bishop, MSN, MSED, DPA: Professor and Vice President for Health Affairs Emerita at East Tennessee State University; Higher Education Administrator; long-tenured volunteer with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; recipient of the James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership award; among the first group of nurses to be certified by the American Nurses Association for excellence in critical care neonatal nursing.  
  • André L. Churchwell, MD: Vice-Chancellor for Outreach, Inclusion, and Belonging for Vanderbilt University and Chief Diversity Officer; Levi Watkins, Jr. M.D. Chair; Vanderbilt University Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering; first African American chief medical resident for Grady Memorial and as the inaugural minority affairs officer at Emory University School of Medicine; has dedicated his career to diversity, equity and inclusion and serving minority communities.  
  • Vicky Gregg: Founding Partner, Guidon Partners; former CEO BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, one of the first women to lead a major health plan; pioneered the first commercial HMO plan in Tennessee along with the early Preferred Provider Organization model in the state; previously served as member of the National Commission on Healthcare Interoperability; was a catalyst for women and minorities to enter leadership roles within the BCBSTN organization.  
  • Stephen Reynolds: President Emeritus and Senior Consultant, Baptist Memorial Health Care where he worked for 43 years, serving the organizations three-fold ministry of Christ: healing, teaching and preaching.  
  • Philip A. Wenk, DDS: CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee, serving for more than 25 years in leadership; grew Delta Dental to become the largest dental benefits carriers in the state; established a strong culture of corporate giving, often investing half of the company’s annual net profits into the community; established the Smile 180 foundation to support Tennessee’s charitable dental clinics, children’s hospitals and oral health education; named as one of the University of Tennessee’s “Top 100 Distinguished Alumni.” 

The nomination process began last October and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field who: 

  • Was born, lived or worked in Tennessee 
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level 
  • Exhibits the highest ethical and professional character 
  • Serves as an outstanding role model in their community 

Among the accomplished nominees, inductees were chosen by a selection committee made up of health care leaders in various sectors from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators. 

“It is a tremendous honor to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of this year’s Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame inductee class,” said Belmont University President, Dr. Greg Jones. “As we move closer to opening our Frist College of Medicine and continue training providers in our esteemed Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy & Health Sciences, we draw great inspiration from the profound impact these five individuals have had on health care. Each inductee has championed health and well-being for Tennesseans and beyond, and I look forward to formally celebrating their contributions in October.” 

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, the Hall of Fame serves as an ongoing educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as the nation’s health care capital. Beginning in 2024, the Hall of Fame will have a permanent location, open to the public, within Belmont’s Thomas F. Frist, Jr. College of Medicine. The building is slated to open in spring 2024.  

Sponsors of this year’s induction ceremony contribute to the long-term viability of the Hall of Fame and the McWhorter Society Scholarship Program, which benefits students pursuing careers in the health sciences. Since the inception of the McWhorter Society and the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame, more than $3.7 million has been raised to support McWhorter Society Endowed Scholarships, with more than 200 students receiving 428 annual scholarships since 2014. 

A comprehensive list of Hall of Fame inductees since 2015—along with information on sponsorship opportunities for the October 17 induction event—can be found on the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame website

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