Our Community Partner Spotlight highlights organizations that work with the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) to eliminate health disparities in the communities they serve.
The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance is proud to highlight the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC) in our Community Partner Spotlight this month. Serving more than 18,000 patients each year, the MWCHC provides access to quality and affordable health care through their clinical work in Nashville, Smyrna, and Clarksville.
The MWCHC aims to provide care for the whole individual. By providing opportunities for primary health care, dental care, and specialty care, MWCHC is able to properly address the obstacles and barriers that prevent individuals from receiving the care that they need. From an onsite pharmacy filling prescriptions nearly 45-50% cheaper than conventional pharmacies, to providing disease screening and translation services to patients that may need assistance navigating health insurance enrollment, the MWCHC intentionally prioritizes the individual patient–empowering them to take control of their health journey.
When asked about MWCHC’s vision for impact, Cathy Hunt, Development Director for MWCHC, ties it back to the legacy of Dr. Matthew Walker himself:
"Dr. Walker identified a need for a reimagined health care environment in Nashville…one that respected the rich history of the black community and the value of building relationships and trust… that vision is still central to our work and impact today.”
The Legacy of Dr. Matthew Walker
A graduate of Meharry Medical College, Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr. became one of the first African Americans voted into the Nashville Academy of Medicine, and in 1961, was named to the Board of Hospital Commissioners of Nashville General Hospital. Dr. Walker founded the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Inc. from funding he received after making a direct request to President Nixon.
Dr. Walker’s legacy can be felt in Nashville, the state of Tennessee, and beyond. At the time of his passing, Dr. Walker is credited for training half of African American physicians in the United States–some of which are still practicing today. Throughout his four-decade long career at Meharry, Dr. Walker is considered one of the most renowned professors, intentional mentors, and successful advocates for accessible care in the Nashville community. In 2018, Dr. Walker was inducted into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.
55 Years of Providing Affordable and Quality Health Care
Looking toward the future, the MWCHC stands ready to continue providing their patients with high-quality, equitable and affordable care. This year, the Center is celebrating their 55th Anniversary. In March, MWCHC is preparing to host a “A Legacy of Healthcare,” an in-person breakfast (for dinner) honoring the life of Dr. Matthew Walker, Sr.
The breakfast will take place Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the Cal Turner Family Center. Breast specialist, Dr. Robin Williams, MD, will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Antoinne Able will receive the Dr. Matthew Walker Sr. Legacy Award, Former State Senator Brenda Gilmore will receive the Michelle B. Marrs Advocacy Award, and four Meharry students exemplifying community service and commitment to public health will be recognized and awarded scholarships. While this event is free to the public, donations are highly encouraged and will benefit Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.
Join us in celebrating the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center’s 55th Anniversary! The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance is thankful for the opportunity to support and collaborate with the MWCHC. Thank you for being an outstanding community partner!
For more information about the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, please visit www.mwchc.org. For more information about “A Legacy of Healthcare” Breakfast benefitting MWCHC, please click here.
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance: The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance is a collaborative initiative between Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Since 1999, faculty, researchers, health professionals, students, and community members have worked with the MVA to address health disparities. The MVA is committed to cultivating strategic partnerships, building community capacity, and facilitating research and learning opportunities. We seek to promote resources and assets that strengthen connections between our institutions, partners, and the populations they serve.