NASHVILLE -- Dr. James Ray McKinney, a family practice physician with Takoma Medical Associates, has been honored with the prestigious "Meritorious Service Award" from the Tennessee Hospital Association.
McKinney was honored for his 52 years of excellent service to patients in this region at an awards ceremony held Oct. 24 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.
"We are all very excited that Dr. McKinney has been recognized with this special award," said Daniel Wolcott, Takoma's president and CEO, in a hospital news release.
"Dr. McKinney is an outstanding physician, beloved friend and mentor to many, and a godly man who has dedicated his entire career to providing and improving healthcare in Greeneville and Greene County," Wolcott added.
McKinney arrived in Greeneville in 1960, fresh out of medical school at Loma Linda University in California.
He joined Dr. L.E. Coolidge, a well-known surgeon who was founder of Takoma Regional Hospital, then known as Takoma Adventist Hospital.
"Dr. Coolidge took Dr. McKinney under his wing and shared his expertise," Wolcott said. "Dr. McKinney jumped right in and worked all of the emergency room visits and all of the night shifts by himself for an incredible seven years."
McKinney's career has run the gamut. He has served as a general surgeon, delivered babies, performed C-sections and hysterectomies, set bones and performed amputations.
He was known to treat patients wherever they needed to be seen, whether it was in his office, at the hospital or even at their homes.
"Dr. McKinney's leadership, clinical skills and dedication to this community are a key reason Takoma enjoys a great reputation today," Wolcott said. "He has served Takoma faithfully as a physician, as our chief of staff and is in his 52nd year on our operating board, where his opinions are greatly valued."
He is married to Phyllis McKinney and continues to practice medicine full time with no plans to retire.
"Dr. McKinney still has plenty to offer his patients through his clinical expertise and compassion," Wolcott said.
McKinney was also recognized for his passion for higher education, noting that he served for many years on the board of Southern Missionary College, now called Southern Adventist University in Collegedale.
He also is a strong supporter of his church, serving as an elder and board member, both locally and at the conference level.
He is known as a tremendous Bible scholar and beloved teacher of God's Word. He also is a popular lay preacher.
McKinney also is a gifted pianist and organist, and performs a free Christmas concert with his talented family each year as a way of giving something back to the community he loves.
"Dr. McKinney is a shining example of all that a physician can and should be," Wolcott said.