Maury Regional Health Care Foundation establishes behavioral health fund


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation recently announced the development of a fund to address the behavioral health needs of Maury Regional Health (MRH) patients as well as MRH employees and their families, according to Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore.

“The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation Behavioral Health Fund is established in memory of Michael Watson and Joshua Short. Michael is the late son of Maury Regional Health CEO Alan Watson and his wife, Michele, and Joshua is the late son of Administrative Director Mike Short and his wife, Theresa,” Kilgore said. “Behavioral and mental health disorders affect thousands of individuals, youth and adult, from all walks of life every year. We are pleased to honor the lives and memories of Michael and Joshua by providing assistance to others in need.”

Behavioral health disorders are characterized by unhealthy behaviors that negatively impact one’s physical or mental condition, including substance use disorders, behavioral addiction and eating disorders. Frequently, behavioral health issues co-occur with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders and others. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one in five adults and one in six youth in the U.S. experience mental illness each year.

 CEO Alan Watson stated, “We are humbled that the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation has chosen to honor Michael and Joshua’s memory in this manner. The continued rise of addiction issues, accidental overdoses and a myriad of other behavioral health incidents locally and nationally demands that communities take action. This fund will begin that work in the communities served by Maury Regional Health.”

Mike Short expressed his appreciation, stating, “Theresa and I are very grateful that the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation has taken this step to offer hope to families in our community that are struggling with behavior-related illness and addiction in particular. Conquering this epidemic will require a community-wide commitment that includes a multifaceted approach. The Behavioral Health Fund will be a tremendous resource in the battle that is claiming too many lives in our community. It also allows both Michael and Joshua’s lives to be remembered in a beautiful way — one that they both would be proud to be a part of.”

Since 2006, the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation has funded nearly $3.4 million in programs and services for at-risk and underserved patients across southern Middle Tennessee. 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.

To learn more about the Foundation's mission or to donate to the new fund, visit

Photo Caption: During its July meeting, the Foundation Board of Directors recognized the families of Joshua Short and Michael Watson as the group announced the creation of a new fund established in their memory. Pictured (l-r) are Foundation Board Chairman Stephen Hughes, Alan and Michele Watson, Theresa and Mike Short, and Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore.

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