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From Virginia to Tennessee: Born in Jonesville, Virginia, tucked between the Kentucky and Tennessee borders, Nancy Barnett moved to Memphis before her senior year of high school. A White Station High School graduate, Nancy attended Mississippi University for Women and the University of Alabama where she earned an undergraduate and master’s degree in Social Work.
A caring heart: After school, Nancy began her career as a Medical Social Worker, working in a variety of healthcare settings, which would eventually lead her to a lifelong commitment to working to ensure quality healthcare for everyone.
Compassion for mothers & children: After marrying her husband, Ed Barnett, in 1986 and living in Mississippi for one year, Nancy returned to Memphis and started working at the University of Tennessee Newborn Center. “We provided counseling to high risk mothers. We also took care of the babies in the nursery and provided counseling to families to prepare them to take high-risk infants home.”
Focus on family: After 10 years at UT, Nancy decided to take time to focus on her family, which grew to include three children, Wes, Walter and Nicole. While caring for her own children, Nancy continued her passion for other families as a member of the Le Bonheur Club, eventually serving as President from 2004-2005. “I was President before the new hospital was built. So, I was able to attend visits to other children’s hospitals to get ideas for the new Le Bonheur hospital. That was so inspiring!”
On board: As President of Le Bonheur Club, Nancy had the opportunity to serve on the Le Bonheur Foundation Board of Directors. Because of her passion for the healthcare system, she was later invited to join the Methodist Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors.
Generous leadership: For over 11 years, Nancy and Ed have generously given of their time, talent and treasure at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. To name just a few examples, the Barnetts supported the campaign to build Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, projects at Methodist Germantown Hospital and the construction of the Methodist Hospice Residence.
A greater calling: After hearing about uncertainty around the future of the historic Germantown Baptist Church on the Methodist Germantown campus, Ed and Nancy felt called to conserve the sacred piece of history. “For me, the connection between faith and health at Methodist has always been so strong. So, I thought, ‘we need to save the church’.” In 2013, Nancy and Ed launched the fundraising campaign to restore the historic church, and the restored chapel, appropriately dedicated The Barnett Chapel, was completed in 2016. “We were proud to be a part of such a worthwhile project.”
Heart for Hospice: While she is unsure of what her next project will be, Nancy has an inkling it will be in support of Hospice. “Ed and I got real involved with hospice because both of our mothers were patients with the home-based hospice. I just really love the Hospice Residence and plan to be a part of making sure it continues and grows.”
In her “spare” time: In addition to her dedication to Methodist, Nancy keeps busy with her family that now includes five grandchildren. She is also very involved in her church, Germantown United Methodist, enjoys gardening and is an avid reader.
Committed to serve: “Ed and I are lifelong Methodist supporters. We have always loved the mission and the connection of faith and health. That is very important to us. We just love what Methodist does in the community. It is a wonderful organization and something we are honored to be a part of.”