News

October 23, 2012

Bill and Linda Walter make generous donation to Maury Regional Health Care Foundation

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Making a difference in the lives of others is nothing new for William R. (Bill) and Linda Taylor Walter. The former administrator of Maury Regional Medical Center and his wife have spent more than 38 years in Columbia as active members of the community, working professionally and personally to improve the quality of life of area residents. Most recently, they made a generous donation to the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation to fund the Linda Taylor Walter water feature in the medical center’s new Cancer Center at Columbia Mall.

 “Since the treatment of cancer is a very important issue for both Linda and me, we wanted to support—and in some small way be a part of—Maury Regional Medical Center and its new facility,” said Bill Walter. “The new cancer treatment center at the mall has to be the best equipped, best staffed, and most beautiful and patient-friendly cancer treatment center in Tennessee. The people of Maury County and the surrounding area are truly fortunate to have such an amazing cancer treatment center.”

The water feature is named in honor of Linda Taylor Walter, who was the founder of the medical center’s breast cancer support group in 1994. When the retired teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer, it quickly became clear that Maury County needed more support services for women facing this difficult diagnosis and—as the hospital administrator’s wife—it became her mission to begin a support group for women in the community.

Linda recalls, “When first diagnosed with breast cancer, my daughter said, ‘Mother you need to attend a support group.’ Columbia didn’t have one, so I went to a Nashville group. Mary Jones was the facilitator and after a couple of months I persuaded her to come to Columbia once a month to facilitate our group. Our first meeting was at my house with twelve great women who had an interest in organizing a local support group. That was eighteen years ago. What a blessing to see so many women who have helped each other through this group that continues to meet today and is very fortunate to have Dana Salters as the facilitator.”

Linda Walter remains involved with the support group and has also served as an American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer. All volunteers are breast cancer survivors and, in this role, she provides patients and family members with the opportunity to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns, and ask questions of someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.

According to Director of Infusion and Women’s Imaging Dana Salters, Linda Walter’s contributions did not end with supporting those diagnosed with cancer. “Mrs. Walter is so passionate about helping others. She is one of the most giving women I have ever met. When we began construction of the Outpatient Pavilion, we had the opportunity to develop a new Women’s Center. Her feedback, from the view of the patient as well as the caregiver, was instrumental in designing a space and services that would impact the lives of countless women for years to come. Rarely do you find someone as dedicated to helping others as Linda Walter. She is simply amazing.”

Salters says the water feature has been a source of peace for patients at the Cancer Center. "We are treating individuals at critical times in their lives. Patients and their families gravitate to this water feature for a moment of tranquility in a very trying time.”

Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore adds, “Through the generosity of individuals like Bill and Linda Walter, the foundation is able to impact the lives of others. We are grateful for their support and pleased to name this wall in Linda’s honor.”

To learn more about the foundation or to make a donation, visit www.mauryregionalfoundation.com or call 931.380.4075.  

 Bill and Linda Walter are pictured with Foundation Executive Joe Kilgore (left) in front of the water feater located in the Cancer Center at the Columbia Mall.