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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sisters Establish Community Diabetes Lectureship in Memory of Their Parents at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

— Inaugural John Ed and Odessa Williams Endowment Lecture Brings Diabetes Expert to Campus —

Community Diabetes Lectureship at Univ. of Tenn

Sisters Beverly Williams-Cleaves, MD, second from left; Ethelyn Williams-Neal, MD, center; and Willie Williams Crittendon, PhD, are pictured at the inaugural Community Diabetes Lectureship, which they endowed in memory of their parents at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Guy Reed, MD, chair of the UTHSC Department of Medicine, is at far left, and featured speaker, James Gavin III, MD, is at right.

Memphis, Tenn. — The first John Ed and Odessa Williams Endowment in Community Diabetes Lectureship brought diabetes expert James Gavin III, MD, to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) campus as the keynote speaker.

The lectureship was established by sisters Willie M. Williams Crittendon, PhD, an educator; Ethelyn Williams-Neal, MD, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor at UTHSC; and Beverly Williams-Cleaves, MD, an internist/endocrinologist and clinical associate professor at UTHSC, in memory of their parents, John Ed and Odessa Williams.

The endowment was developed to encourage greater diversity in support of UTHSC, to highlight the importance of excellent community care for those with diabetes, and to provide ancillary financial support for minority medical students at UTHSC.

“We were excited to have the opportunity to launch this inaugural lectureship,” Dr. Williams-Cleaves said. “Diabetes and community health are topics that are very dear to our hearts.”

As part of the two-day event at UTHSC, Dr. Gavin, clinical professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, gave a lecture for physicians, residents and medical students; consulted with endocrinology fellows; and spoke to the Bluff City Medical Society, which was founded by a group of African-American physicians to promote wellness and decrease health disparities in the African-American community. Dr. Gavin is past president of the American Diabetes Association and immediate past chairman of the National Diabetes Education Program.

“We were extremely pleased and honored to have Dr. James Gavin as our inaugural speaker,” Dr. Williams-Cleaves said. “He brought great stature to this event.”

As Tennessee’s only public, statewide, academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. Offering a broad range of postgraduate and selected baccalaureate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains cohorts of medicine, pharmacy and/or health professions students — in addition to medical residents and fellows — at its major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. Founded in 1911, during its more than 100 years, UT Health Science Center has educated and trained more than 57,000 health care professionals in academic settings and health care facilities across the state.

For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu. Follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/uthsc, on Twitter: www.twitter.com/uthsc and on Instagram: www.instagram.com/uthsc.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Sheila Champlin – (901) 448-4957, schampli@uthsc.edu or
Peggy Reisser Winburne – (901) 448-4072, mreisser@uthsc.edu