Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

Health Care Hall of Fame inductees announced at McWhorter Society Luncheon
(L to R) Dick Miller, Clara Elam, David and Lynn Barton and Mary Bufwack, Ph.D.

Hall of Fame’s fifth class represents some ofTennessee’s most influential health care leaders

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the seven health care professionals selected as this year’s inductee class at a luncheon on Belmont University’s campus today. With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created in 2015 by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, a founding partner. The seven honorees will be inducted at a ceremony in October.

The nomination process began in January 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 nearly 50 highly qualified nominees, inductees were chosen by a Selection Committee made up of health and health care leaders from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators.

The 2019 inductees include:

  • Dr. David Barton and Dr. John M. Flexner: Two visionaries who contributed to changing the process of dying and death in the U.S. through their founding of Alive Hospice
  • Dr. Mary Bufwack: Former CEO of Neighborhood Health, a daring and creative leader and mentor who was instrumental in the development and support of systems of comprehensive primary care services to the medically underserved populations in Middle Tennessee
  • Ms. Nancy-Ann DeParle: An impactful leader in the health care industry serving in two White House administrations leading to the development and successful passage of the Affordable Care Act
  • Dr. Lloyd C. Elam: A prominent teacher and education leader at Meharry Medical College responsible for a long career of promoting psychiatric health
  • Mr. Richard (Dick) L. Miller: Chairman and CEO of the architectural firm Earl Swensson Associates who guided the small local firm with ten employees to one of the top-ranking health care designers in the country
  • Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin: Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Services at HCA Healthcare where he transformed the clinical enterprise, developed a clinical leadership structure and built a clinical data warehouse

Belmont’s President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “I am grateful for Belmont’s placement in Tennessee—a state widely recognized as a central hub for health care in the US. With Nashville at the helm, our community continues to see many individuals and organizations take significant strides to shape and advance the industry. Meanwhile, Belmont University continues to play its role in the education of future health care innovators, practitioners, researchers and more—those who will become the next generation of Hall of Famers. The induction of this year’s class will continue to inspire the students who fill our campus, while further promoting our state’s success as the nation’s premiere health care hub.”

Since its creation, the Hall of Fame has previously inducted 27 members including Jack Bovender, Monroe Carell, Jr., Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown, Dr. Stanley Cohen, Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. William H. Frist and Dr. Henry Foster, among others. A complete list can be found on the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame website.

In addition to announcing this year’s inductees, the luncheon today also honored Gordon E. Inman with the 2019 McWhorter Society Distinguished Service Award, a recognition established to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the health and health care related academic programs at Belmont University and whose life work serves as a powerful example for students.

Inman currently serves as the Vice Chairman and trustee for Belmont University. He was a major contributor to the construction of Belmont’s Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing complex in 2006. The impact of the facility allowed Belmont to triple its nursing enrollment while also providing expanded classroom space and laboratories for other health care programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and social work.

Banker, businessman, entrepreneur, real estate broker, developer and community leader summarizes Inman’s dynamic career and civic leadership to date. Presently, he is Director Emeritus and Middle Tennessee Chairman of FIRSTBANK.