November 16, 2001

Whetsell receives Massey award

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Whetsell receives Massey award

Dr. William O. Whetsell, professor of Pathology and Psychiatry, received the 2001 Jack C. Massey Leadership Award from the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee at a celebration dinner at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza on Nov. 8.

The award is presented every two years to an individual whose leadership and accomplishments have enriched the quality of life for citizens of the Middle Tennessee community. Whetsell was honored for his many contributions supporting the Mental Health Association (MHA), the Tennessee Alliance for the Mentally Ill and public education in the areas of dementia and mental illness, as well as support and contributions to several of the arts organizations in Nashville, said Dr. Michael H. Ebert, James G. Blakemore Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt and current president of the MHA of Middle Tennessee board of directors.

Whetsell was instrumental in establishing—through the MHA of Middle Tennessee—both a Family Resource Center and an Adult Day Center to support the families and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. He has served on numerous local, regional and national boards, and currently serves on the International Council of the International Society of Neuropathology.

Whetsell has received the President’s Award from the MHA of Middle Tennessee, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Medical University of South Carolina, the Partners in Excellence Award from Opera Guilds International, and the Opus Award from the Nashville Opera Association.

The Jack C. Massey Leadership Award was established in 1986 to honor one of Nashville’s most noted philanthropists. The late Mr. Massey oversaw the growth of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation to one of the world’s largest commercial marketers of prepared foods, and with Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., he formed the Hospital Corporation of America.

Whetsell is the first Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty member to receive the Jack C. Massey Leadership Award. Previous honorees include Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers, Leah Rose Werthan, Buddy Killen, Governor Ned McWherter, Senator Howard H. Baker Jr., Annette Eskind, and Alyne Massey.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have been selected for this award and especially to be included with the group of outstanding citizens of our community and our state who have been so honored previously,” Whetsell said. “I am very grateful.”