Health Center Stars Honored with TPCA Awards of Excellence
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Section: Spotlight Articles, October/November 2017

The Tennessee Primary Care Association recently recognized several Community Health Center leaders with Awards of Excellence. The awards, named for early leaders in the statewide primary care movement, were presented at TPCA’s 2017 Annual Leadership Conference. This year's award recipients represented Rural Health Services Consortium, Rural Medical Services, Christ Community Health Services, and Faith Family Medical Center.

The Caryl E. Carpenter Excellence in Community Support Award, which recognizes an individual (not employed by a health center) for his or her support of health center programs through participation on the board, as a policy maker, or in the community, was awarded to Robert Cutshaw of Greeneville, Tenn., who has served on the board of Rural Health Services Consortium since 2001. During his service, Cutshaw (pictured third from right) has proved leadership in the capacities of secretary, treasurer, chair, and his current role as vice chair. He was instrumental, along with his fellow Camp Creek Ruritan Club members, in spearheading RHSC’s effort to open a clinic in the Camp Creek Community in 2015, bringing care to an area that had previously been severely underserved.

The Charles E. Darling Organization of Excellence Award, which recognizes a team or organization that has exhibited innovation and dedication to the delivery of primary care, was awarded to the Hispanic and Farmworker Outreach Program of Rural Medical Services. The program brings together a team of medical and behavioral health providers, nurses, patient service representatives, case managers, interpreters and others to visit migrant farmworker housing areas during the summer months to offer free medical screenings and provider visits. The visits incuse blood pressure monitoring, blood glucose screening as needed, depression and substance abuse screening, and an opportunity to meet one-on-one with medical and behavioral health providers. Counseling and prescriptions are provided to patients as needed, and follow-up appointments are made to come in to a clinic.

The Logan Beasley Leadership Excellence Award, which recognizes an individual within a health center whose leadership has improved access to primary health care, was presented to Angel Gates, oral health practice administrator for Christ Community Health Services. Dr. Gates (pictured, center) has a passion for oral health education, and helps ensure that CCHS is educating patients as well as treating their immediate needs. Having served as a dental hygienist at CCHS for a number of years, she has demonstrated her passion for the community and good oral health. She has seen the dental outreach program expand from 10 to 20 Head Start sites and more than 60 school locations.


The Outstanding Practitioner of the Year Award, which recognizes a clinical practitioner whose work has demonstrated outstanding leadership, community involvement and dedication to patient care, was awarded to Carolyn Williams, a physician assistant at Faith Family Medical Center. Williams (pictured, center) first served Faith Family while working on a clinical rotation as a student, and she has practiced there since 2007. In addition to standard primary care visits, Williams has taught group diabetes education classes for several years. A notable example of her dedication to Faith Family and the population it serves came in 2012 when after the departure of a bilingual nurse practitioner, she used her vacation time to go to immersion school in Central America to learn Spanish, enabling her to shoulder a heavier patient load.

About the Awards of Excellence Namesakes

The Caryl E. Carpenter Excellence in Community Support Award: Carly Carpenter administered rural Community Health Centers in East Tennessee and serves as TPCA’s first president, from 1976-1978. 

The Charles E. Darling Organization of Excellence Award: Dr. Charles E. Darling dedicated his life to serving the prenatal health needs of women in East Tennessee, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Logan Beasley Leadership Excellence Award: Throughout his career with the U.S. Public Health Service, Logan Beasley steadfastly worked both regionally and with individual centers to develop primary care services and to strengthen Community Health Centers.

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