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VOL. 133 | NO. 125 | Friday, June 22, 2018

Methodist Kicks Off Centennial Celebration

By Michael Waddell

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This weekend Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare begins its next 100 years helping people in the Mid-South with their healthcare needs. The hospital is celebrating with events like a book launch on Friday and “The Party of the Century” with special guest Magic Johnson on Saturday.

Saturday, June 23 marks the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and the health care organization’s impact on Memphis and the Mid-South has been immeasurable.

“Most organizations don’t have the opportunity to celebrate 100 years, so we’re really excited about celebrating the health care system’s centennial anniversary,” said Paula Jacobson, president of the Methodist Healthcare Foundation. “We’ve spent a lot of time planning this year-long celebration, not only for what we’ve accomplished in the last 100 years but also for what we hope to do for this community going forward.”

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare was founded by John Sherard, a Mississippi farmer and Methodist Church layman. He was concerned for his pastor, who was being treated in the charity ward of another hospital in Memphis, and it became Sherard’s mission to create a place that provided high-quality care for everyone, regardless of his ability to pay.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s $275 million tower project at Methodist University Hospital should be open by the end of the year and fully operational by May following more than four years of construction. (Submitted)


“He spent 10 years riding his horse around Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee securing support and loans from the Methodist conferences, until in 1918 he and his groups of supporters opened the first Methodist hospital in Memphis,” said Jacobson.

Since then, MLH has grown from a single hospital in a donated space into a healthcare system that includes five adult hospitals, one children’s hospital, a home health agency, residential hospice, surgery and diagnostic centers, cancer treatment center, physician practices and outpatient clinics.

On Friday, a new oversized book documenting the hospital’s growth over the 100 years will be unveiled. “The Power of One” includes thoughts from more than 50 past physicians, leaders and community members, who will all be on hand.

“It’s such a great story of endurance, perseverance, and seeking quality and excellence over these years,” said Jacobson.

On Saturday night at the FedEx Event Center, the “Party of the Century” will feature live music, gourmet food, cocktails and special indoor and outdoor activities overlooking Hyde Lake at Shelby Farms Park. The event will bring together Methodist Associates and leaders, physicians, business and community partners, patients and families.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare mission and its next 100 years of care for Memphis and the Mid-South.

On Sunday, June 24, there will be a rededication of the Sherard Chapel at Methodist University Hospital, with more than 30 of John Sherard’s descendants in attendance. His great-grandson, John Pettey III, will speak at the event.

The family members also will get the chance to see the hospital’s $275 million tower project at Methodist University Hospital, which should be open by the end of the year and fully operational by May following more than four years of construction.

“The project conceptually is designed to really provide the community of Memphis and the Mid-South with truly state-of-the-art clinical and patient care,” said Roland Cruickshank, president of Methodist University Hospital.

The nine-story tower’s service offerings will be focused on transplant services around the liver, pancreas and kidney; a comprehensive cancer center; and cardiovascular services.

“What really helps to separate this tower beyond the brick-and-mortar is we have high-tech capabilities,” said Cruickshank. “For example, on certain floors, patients or family members can use their smart phone –or we will provide them with perhaps an iPad– and they can get educated on their disease state.”

The 440-square-foot tower will feature approximately 204 additional beds and 28 new operating rooms.

“The focus is really on patient-centered care,”’ said Cruickshank. “What this does is takes the vision of the organization to where the experience moving forward is that you can really come to one place and get comprehensive care.”

More Methodist centennial events are planned through the end of the year.

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