Plough Foundation Challenges the Community to Join the Sickle Cell Center Campaign with $1 Million Challenge Grant

Published On 09/02/2011

The Methodist Healthcare Foundation has received a million-dollar challenge grant from the Plough Foundation to create a leadership position within the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center of Memphis that is being established at Methodist University Hospital campus.

"We are very grateful to the Plough Foundation for donating this extraordinary challenge gift for the much-needed Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center of Memphis," said Paula Jacobson, president of the Methodist Healthcare Foundation. "We look forward to sharing this extraordinary opportunity to double gifts with our potential supporters."

The donation will establish an endowed chair in hematology that will be a joint appointment of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The addition of an administrative and research director will provide leadership to oversee clinical operations and increase research initiatives that benefit current and future patients. Both organizations, along with The Med and the University of Memphis, have been involved in the development of the overall program.

"We are extremely grateful to the Plough Foundation and are excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center on this important sickle cell initiative," said Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, Chief Administrative Officer of Methodist University Hospital and assistant professor at UTHSC. "Our academic partnership with UT will allow us to provide outstanding academic oversight through the endowed chair, as well excellent caregivers for our sickle cell patients."

Methodist announced its plans to build the center in April 2010. The Center's inpatient unit is currently housed in Methodist University Hospital's campus in the Midtown medical center. The construction of the new outpatient clinic, the capital component of the comprehensive plan, is expected to be operating by the end of the year.

Gary Shorb, CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, said, "I know that, as a community, we can rise to this challenge and meet a very serious health need to improve the health status of the Mid-South. This center can and will affect outcomes as it will focus not just on treatment, but prevention and wellness, too."

If you would like to help, call 901-516-0500 or e-mail