l-r Dr Joseph Webb, Sandra Peach, Wilford Fuqua and Mayor David Briley. (photo by Roland’s Photography)

By Cass Teague

City officials gathered to recognize Nashville General Hospital for the quality service they provide. On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, Nashville General Hospital (NGH) welcomed community leaders, faith-leaders, volunteers, cancer survivors, and elected officials including Metro Council members Fabian Bedne and Burkley Allen, for breakfast to celebrate the 129th anniversary of Nashville’s original city hospital.

“Nashville General is an invaluable institution to the city,” said Tanaka Vercher, Metro Council Budget and Finance Chair, who, ironically, had been recognized the previous week for her 15 years of service at nearby Tennessee State University.

NGH first opened as City Hospital April 23, 1890 on Hermitage Avenue with one physician, seven nurses and 60 beds. The hospital’s mission was to provide health care services to the desperately ill or those persons unable to care for themselves. Today, 129 years later, after a merger with Meharry Medical College’s Hubbard Hospital, NGH continues that work on the Meharry campus footprint.

“Nashville General Hospital has a committed team of people that work here,” Dr. Joseph Webb, CEO of NGH, said. “We will continue the work to fulfill our mission to improve the health and wellness of Nashville by providing equitable access to high quality, coordinated patient-centered healthcare to ALL who walk through our doors.”

It was the 77th Annual Employee Service Awards program, and 60 employees, representing an accumulated 765 total years of service, were recognized as they reached 5 year incremental milestones of service.

Twenty-eight were recognized at the 5 year of service milestone, seven had reached the 10 year mark, five had 15 years, four had 20 years, eight were at 25, four were at 30, and two were recognized for 35 years of service. As their names were called, each employee was individually given certificates, a pin, and had their photo taken professionally with Dr. Webb by Roland’s Photography. During the program, Vernon Rose recognized Volunteer of the Year Wilford Fuqua and Mark Brown recognized Employee of the Year Sandra Peach (who was also recognized for her 30 years of service).

Nashville Mayor David Briley helped to honor employees with 25, 30 or 35 years, fourteen of whom began their careers at the original Nashville General downtown along the Cumberland River. Mayor Briley gave a few personal remarks about his experience with NGH, noting that it was where his mother had her first outside-the-home job. He later gave a Proclamation, which read, in part, as follows: “Whereas, today, Nashville General Hospital’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of Nashville by providing equitable access to coordinated patient-centered care, training tomorrow’s caregivers, and translating science into clinical practice. In fulfillment of this mission, Nashville General Hospital serves as the index hospital for Meharry Medical College…”

In his remarks, Dr. Webb noted that “last year at this time we kicked off a new campaign, ‘NGH is Here to Stay’ to highlight our role in the community. This year we are taking that message one step further. We aren’t just here to stay, we are HERE FOR GOOD!”

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride. 

Nashville General Hospital celebrates 129 years of service and recognizes employees

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