May 10, 2018

New Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame class has strong Vanderbilt ties

On May 3, the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced seven health care professionals selected as this year’s inductee class, three of whom have close ties to Vanderbilt.

On May 3, the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced seven health care professionals selected as this year’s inductee class, three of whom have close ties to Vanderbilt.

With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created in 2015 by Belmont University, the McWhorter Society and the Nashville Health Care Council, a founding partner. The honorees will be inducted at a ceremony in October.

The 2018 inductees include Monroe Carell Jr., former CEO of Nashville-based Central Parking Corporation and a prominent philanthropist who led efforts to establish the freestanding Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; William Schaffner, MD, professor of Preventive Medicine, Department of Health Policy, and professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; and Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, associate professor of Nursing, emerita.

Monroe Carell Jr.

Born and raised in the Nashville area, Monroe Carell Jr. served in the U.S. Navy before attending Vanderbilt University. He graduated cum laude with an electrical engineering degree in 1959. He then entered a career in business, which culminated in his role as CEO of the Nashville-based Central Parking Corporation. A talented businessman, Carell’s legacy is distinguished not only by his place on the Fortune 400 list, but by his remarkable commitment to furthering the community of Nashville. Carell was a prominent philanthropist, most notably in health care. He led fundraising efforts for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and for Vanderbilt University’s Shape the Future campaign. Carell also financially supported the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and served on boards with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Carell was active in planning for Children’s Hospital. He engaged with the architects, family advisory groups and hospital leaders in many elements of the design. He committed to ensuring that all children and their families had a safe, welcoming and cheerful place that mirrored the comforts of home as much as possible. Carell was a frequent visitor to the hospital — especially the neonatal intensive care unit. He took the time to talk to the nurses and physicians caring for the babies so that he knew about each infant. His commitment to the children of the community and region enabled the growth of world-class and unique programs and services at Children’s Hospital.

Among Carell’s many accolades were The Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award, the Tennessee Hospital Association Meritorious Service Award and Nashvillian of the Year. Colleagues say Carell, who died in 2008, fostered a culture of genuine caring at the hospital, inspiring others to give of their own time and energy.

After receiving his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and completing his residency, William Schaffner, MD, joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After fulfilling his selective service obligation as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Schaffner returned to Vanderbilt, devoting his entire 50-plus year career to enhancing Tennessee’s reputation as a national leader in infectious diseases and public health.

William Schaffner, MD

Schaffner is one of the nation’s pioneers of rigorous infection control programs in hospitals, removing the threat that once was serious infections acquired by admitted hospital patients. His Nashville program became the standard of excellence nationwide.

His career has spanned creating new epidemiologic science, translating that science into progressive national health policy and communicating these advances and critical public health issues eloquently to the public and medical professionals via mass media published around the globe. He is a national leader on the subject of adult immunizations, having contributed more than 300 original research papers and 200 invited chapters, reviews and editorials. He was president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and is now its medical director. He is the longest serving member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and is a founding member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) of which he is past president.

He co-chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of the Agence de Médecine Préventive, a nonprofit that researches vaccines and trains vaccine professionals in West Africa. He has also served on the board of International Federation of Infection Control. He is a member of three professional colleges (Physicians, Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine), each of which has awarded him their highest distinction. He also received the prestigious Sedgwick Medal from the American Public Health Association, as well as the association’s John Snow Award. The American Pharmacists Association gave Schaffner their Immunization Champion Award. He has received numerous accolades for his teaching at Vanderbilt as well as national recognition with a mentor award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and two similar distinctions from the CDC.

The Tennessee Medical Association and Tennessee Public Health Association created a new joint award in his name for “extraordinary efforts in the advancement of public health in Tennessee.” Schaffner authored the first documentation that car restraint seats profoundly reduced infant and child injuries and deaths in car crashes. Tennessee was the first state to mandate the use of child car seats, and his publication catalyzed the adoption of similar laws in the other 49 states.

Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, associate professor of Nursing, emerita, has been a passionate advocate, change agent and professional role model for decades, revolutionizing established processes, protocols and policies for the vulnerable and voiceless in Tennessee, the United States and the world.

Carol Etherington, MSN, RN

Etherington earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing at Catherine Spalding College in Louisville. She moved to Tennessee in 1973 to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt and has lived and worked in Tennessee since that time. Etherington’s career has been marked by an unwavering commitment to serving vulnerable populations. In the 1970s, she worked as the first nurse employed by the Davidson County Police Department. There, she conceptualized and established model programs for counseling trauma victims that are still in existence and replicated nationally.

In 1989, Etherington was challenged by Nashville’s mayor to address emerging substance abuse problems in the city. Over two years, she assembled a network of champions who founded the Nashville Prevention Partnership (NPP) in 1992. Today, robust NPP programs serve thousands of Middle Tennesseans with a special emphasis on youth prevention. Etherington established a volunteer mental health pool for the Red Cross, convening providers to respond to the 1998 Nashville tornadoes and a host of ensuing regional disasters.

She subsequently led teams responding to floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and the Sept. 11 attack while continuing to serve on multiple local and national boards. She currently chairs the Metro Nashville Board of Health.

Internationally, Etherington served in the aftermath of the Cambodian Pol Pot genocide. She completed a mental health care feasibility study leading to integration of large-scale mental health services in Bosnian health centers and trauma training work with post-war health care professionals in Tajikistan, Kosovo, Angola and a number of other countries. Etherington often returned to evaluate program and training outcomes and to recommend additional program improvements.

Etherington’s awards include: 1980 Red Cross Jane Delano Award, 1983 Tennessee Political Women’s Caucus Rogers Humanitarian Award, 1995 Tennessee Nurses Association Gault Leadership Award, 1996 American Red Cross Clara Barton Award, 1997 International Red Cross Florence Nightingale Medal, 1999 American Academy of Nursing Inductee, 2003 International Council of Nursing International Achievement Award, 2005 Nashville YWCA Women of Achievement Award, 2007 Vanderbilt University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, 2009 International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and 2013 Vanderbilt University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

The Health Care Hall of Fame nomination process began in January and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field who:

  • Was born, lived or worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibits the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serves as an outstanding role model in their community

Among the nearly 40 highly qualified nominees, inductees were chosen by a Selection Committee made up of health and health care leaders from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators.

Since its creation, the Hall of Fame has previously inducted seven members with ties to Vanderbilt including Stanley Cohen, PhD, Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, William Frist, MD, Ernest Goodpasture, MD, Harry Jacobson, MD, Stanford Moore, PhD, and Mildred Stahlman, MD.