Hawkins joins Maury Regional Health Care Foundation’s Walton Legacy Society


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Earlier this summer, the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation welcomed Columbia State Community College President Emeritus O. Rebecca Hawkins, PhD, as the newest member of the prestigious Walton Legacy Society upon her decision to include the Foundation in her estate plans.

The Walton Legacy Society was created to honor individuals who have included the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation in their estate planning. It is named in honor of Charles D. Walton, M.D., a prominent force in bringing Maury Regional Hospital to reality in the 1950s and its first chief of staff.

With her estate gift, Dr. Hawkins now joins fellow Walton Legacy Society members Leonard Hickman, Waymon L. Hickman, Tilman Knox and the Estate of Jean Ewing Love. Their names are prominently featured in a display in the lobby of Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC), but their legacies stretch beyond the walls of the hospital and are exhibited each day in the Foundation’s service to the community.

“Dr. Hawkins’ legacy gift to the Foundation will ensure that valuable programs and services of the Foundation are available to at-risk and underserved individuals for many years to come,” said Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore.

Dr. Hawkins designated her estate gift to support the Foundation’s Community Health Fund — specifically the organization’s mobile medical unit, a customized RV fitted with two exam rooms and a laboratory area staffed by a registered nurse and emergency medical technicians. Since the unit began operation in 2018, it has touched the lives of thousands of at-risk and underserved patients across southern Middle Tennessee by performing general and routine health screenings, administering flu vaccines and providing education, outreach and preventive services.

“With the mobile unit, Maury Regional can provide medical and health care services to people without health insurance or access to medical care,” Dr. Hawkins said. “When I see that big blue, green and white mobile clinic, I am proud as a former board member of the Foundation to have been a part of helping launch it. I want to help ensure the future of the mobile clinic and its outreach service to those with medical needs in our community.”

Dr. Hawkins first joined the Maury County community in 1996 when she began her tenure as president of Columbia State Community College, a position she held until her retirement in 2008. During that time, Dr. Hawkins often worked closely with MRMC, including serving 10 years as a member of the medical center’s advisory board.

“Columbia State’s health care programs helped supply well prepared, skilled nurses and medical technicians for the hospital,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Maury Regional, in turn, was very supportive of the college’s health care programs.”

Upon retiring from Columbia State, Dr. Hawkins accepted an appointment to the board of directors for the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation. She would serve as a member of the board from 2009 until 2017, including a two-year term as chair. As a result, the organization is close to Dr. Hawkins’ heart.

“The Foundation has over the years helped Maury Regional stay on the cutting edge of medical technology,” Dr. Hawkins said. “The Foundation has provided funds that have helped the medical center purchase the best in equipment and supplies, explore and launch new programs and provide health care services and support for those without insurance or who are in need of financial assistance.”

In addition to her involvement with the Foundation, Dr. Hawkins has served as a board member for a number of other local nonprofit organizations, including Maury Alliance, Maury Vision 20-20, Columbia Arts Council, Kiwanis Club of Columbia, Maury County Boys & Girls Club, Middle Tennessee Girl Scouts and others. She is also an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Columbia and a participating member of the James K. Polk Association.

“Under Dr. Hawkins’ valuable leadership as chair of the board, the Foundation became a much stronger organization,” Kilgore said. “I am very grateful for her continued support, legacy gift and friendship.”

Since 2006, the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation has funded nearly $3.4 million in programs and services benefiting community members in need. These programs include the mobile medical unit, medication and transportation assistance, community health initiatives, a food bank for discharged patients in need, educational support, employee assistance and more.

Learn more about the Walton Legacy Society and the Foundation’s work supporting southern Middle Tennessee at MauryRegional.com/Foundation.

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