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Donor's Generosity Supports Future Doctors and Continues Legacy of History Making Physician

The late Dr. George Smith made history as one of Murfreesboro’s first prominent African American physicians. Now his legacy has inspired an anonymous donor to invest locally in the education of doctors-in-training. With a $100,000 gift, the donor has established the Dr. George W. Smith Family Medicine Residency Memorial Endowment through the Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation. One portion of this gift will support mental health and wellness activities for members of the University of Tennessee at Murfreesboro Family Medicine Residency Program and another portion has been earmarked to directly support residents of color.

Dr. Smith founded Family Health Associates in 1979 and the practice is still thriving today. He was the beloved physician of many Middle Tennessee families until his passing in March 2018. At the time of his passing, Dr. Smith was the longest-serving African American Physician in Rutherford County. He served as a trustee of the Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Board and on the hospital’s Continuing Medical Education and Medical Executive committees. As a co-founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund of Rutherford County, Dr. Smith spent more than 30 years securing scholarship funds for high-achieving black students.

The 3-year University of Tennessee at Murfreesboro Family Medicine Residency Program accepted its first residents in 2015 and has 24 members across cohorts in any given year. In the spirit of Dr. Smith, the family medicine residents are already making a difference in the community. They see patients at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford and at the Ascension Medical Group Saint Louise Clinic, a clinic that serves uninsured and underinsured patients. Dr. Smith’s family (pictured below) had the opportunity to tour the Saint Louise Clinic last week to speak with residency program leaders about how the gift will benefit doctors in training.

The donor simply says, “I am honored to recognize a dedicated physician who did so much for the community.”

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