R. Clayton McWhorter

September 27, 1933January 23, 2016
Obituary of R. Clayton McWhorter
R. Clayton McWhorter, age 82, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on January 23, 2016. He is preceded by his brothers Fred and Wayne McWhorter. Surviving Mr. McWhorter are his wife Michelle Smith McWhorter; sister Bernice McWhorter Beasley (Raymond) Ringgold, GA; son, Stuart C. McWhorter (Leigh Anne Hendrix) Nashville; daughter, Jodie McWhorter (Bishop, GA); stepdaughters Kimberly Ross Miller (Tyler) Brentwood; Amy Ross Bahur (John), Spring Hill; and granddaughters Grace, Caroline, Marleigh, and Layla McWhorter; Courtney Kline; Lucy Miller; and grandsons Clayton and Thomas McWhorter; John Austin, Matthew, Jackson, and Sam Miller, and Andrew Bahur; nieces Teresa Beasley Collison, Robbie Beasley Leonard and Elaine LeBlanc; and nephews Shawn, Neal and Mark McWhorter. McWhorter was the son of Gladys McWhorter Franks and Ralph Clayton McWhorter. Born September 27, 1933, in Chattanooga, TN, McWhorter attended Pre-Pharmacy at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and received his B.S. Degree in Pharmacy from Samford University in 1955. At the time of his death, he was Chairman Emeritus of Clayton Associates, LLC, a venture capital firm founded in 1996 with his son Stuart McWhorter and friend and business associate Bill Cook. He began his career in healthcare as assistant administrator at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, GA. He served as administrator of Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, GA, and West Georgia Medical in LaGrange, GA. McWhorter joined HCA in 1970 as administrator of Palmyra Park Hospital in Albany, GA, in 1985 became HCA’s President and Chief Operation Officer. In 1987 he led the formation of HealthTrust, Inc. as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer until its merger with Columbia/HCA in 1995 where he served as chairman until 1996. HealthTrust was one of the most successful Employee Stock Ownership Plans and has served as a guide for future ESOP’s. A firm believer in networking, in 1991 McWhorter joined with Belmont University to establish the Peer Learning Network bringing together top executives of Nashville’s best-run companies to encourage learning among peers and creating a network within Nashville’s business community. In 1996 in collaboration with Belmont University, the Center of Entrepreneurship was created to share his business experience with people interested in starting new ventures. In 1996, he founded LifeTrust America with a vision to bring a unique environment to the assisted living and senior services. He served as chairman until its sale in 2004. Mr. McWhorter was active in numerous non-profit organizations. He served as a member of the United Way Board serving as campaign chairman in 1991, as chairman for the deTocqueville campaign in 1994, and honored with the deTocqueville Award in 1992; served on the board of the National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee; was member of the American Cancer Society; the YWCA Advisory and YMCA boards; Middle Tennessee Council Boy Scouts of America Board and later as a Council Trustee receiving the Silver Beaver Award in 1997 for his service. His many honors include election to the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame; Junior Achievement’s Free Enterprise Award; Easter Seals Nashvillian of the Year; the Sales and Marketing Executives named him the 1996 Salesperson of the Year; and the Joe C. Kraft Humanitarian Award in 2009. His civic involvement included the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and chair of the 1995 Partnership 2000; Tennessee Tomorrow; Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, serving as its chairman in 2003. He was a member of INROAD’s Advisory Board; a member of the Tennessee Minority Purchasing Council; and assisted in founding the Nashville Healthcare Council and the Tennessee Business Roundtable. He was a member of the Board of Third National Bank, later SunTrust Bank; Ingram Industries; Corrections Corporation of America; StaffMark; Ortholink Physicians Corporation and served as chairman of Gordian Health Solutions. He founded PharmMD, a medication therapy management company in 2006 as a result of a promise made to his older brother Fred, also a pharmacist. In 2010 he served as founding chair for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Active in industry related organizations he was a board member and served in 1992 as Chairman of the Board for the Federation of American Health Systems who in 1997 awarded him its first Life Time Achievement; served on the board of the American Hospital Association; was a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; and was a member of the American Health Services Leadership Institute. A strong advocate of higher education he served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Tennessee for 12 years, serving as vice chair in 2003 and 2004; Belmont University’s Regents Board and later its Board of Trustees; the Advisory Board for Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and served as the inaugural chairman of its Board of Overseers. In addition to devoting his time, he funded scholarships to The University of Tennessee; The University of Tennessee – Martin; The William G. Leech Scholarship – The University of Tennessee School of Law; and Middle Tennessee State University’s John Bragg Scholarships. In 1993 Samford University bestowed upon McWhorter the honorary degree Doctor of Commerce, and in 1996 named its School of Pharmacy in his honor – The McWhorter School of Pharmacy. The University of Tennessee in 2013 presented him with the Natalie and Jim Haslam Presidential Medal for outstanding contributions in philanthropy, leadership and service. On October 12, 2015, McWhorter was one of eight inaugural inductees to the Tennessee Healthcare Care Hall of Fame, who honored as pioneers and current leaders who formed Tennessee’s health and Health care community. Belmont in 2002 honored him as Doctor of Humanities, Honoria Causa, and in 2010 he was named Emeritus Trustee. McWhorter Hall, built in 2010 and home to the Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy, honors him and his mentor pharmacist brother Fred. In 2013 the McWhorter Giving Society was established to support scholarships for the Colleges of Health Sciences and Nursing and Pharmacy and the MBA program for Health Care Professionals. Following retirement in 1996 he continued to live by the four principles he adopted early in his career, “Find a Mentor, Be Prepared, Act Like an Owner, and Give Back” by mentoring young people in their educational and career goals. At the time of his death McWhorter was devoting much of his time and focus on healthcare reform. In 2007, he founded SHOUTAmerica to promote a dialogue among young people on health care reform; co-founded and chaired in 2008 the Rolling Hills Group, a group of business, consumer, provider, policy and other opinion leaders focusing on quality healthcare reform for Tennessee and eventually the nation. His ability to network and to bring parties together to work for the betterment of all was reflected by his comment, “Any success I have enjoyed in the hospital business has, in large part, been through the talents of others.” McWhorter co-authored MANAGEMENT DIMENSION: NEW CHALLENGES OF THE MIND and was the subject of a biography by Bob Vraciu, LEADERSHIP TO WIN. He was a member of the Woodmont Christian Church, and remained a member of his mother’s church, Ringgold United Methodist Church, Ringgold, GA, until his passing. Visitation with the family will be on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 4pm – 7pm at Woodmont Christian Church, 3601 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215. Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 2pm at the McAfee Concert Hall at Belmont University, 2100 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212. Pallbearers are Bo Bartholomew, Bill Carpenter, Jim Fitzgerald, Landon Gibbs, John Ingram, Carl Johnson, Milton Johnson, Matt King, Larry Kloess, Clinton Olive, Tom Raney, Paul Rutledge, Parker Sherrill, Bob Vraciu, and Bob Yeager. Honorary Pallbearers are Craig Becker, Jack Bovender, John Burch, Vic Campbell, Lew Conner, Bob Fisher, Joe DiPietro, Thomas Frist, Jr., Aubrey Harwell, Orrin Ingram, Gordon Inman, Arch Kelly, Charlie Mann, Charlie Martin, Rudy Ruark, Joe Russell, Gary Sasser, Andrew Westmoreland, the employees of Clayton Associates, Members of the Nashville Zodiac Club: Torry Johnson, Ben Rechter, Bob Buchanan, Denny Bottorff, E.W. (Bud) Wendell, Townes Duncan, George Anderson, Jack May, Jeff Gould, Rep. Jim Cooper, Hon. Karl Dean, Marty Dickens, Lee Beaman, Earl Swensson, Chancellor Nick Zeppos, Steve Turner, Tom Ervin, and Judge Tom Wiseman, and members of DAG: Tom Foster, Ron Dix, George Mangum, Steve Griffin, Brandon Hayden, Elvis Butler, John Waller, and Johnny Hudson. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: First Steps, Inc. McWhorter Family Children’s Center, 1900 Graybar Lane, Nashville, TN 37215. Boy Scouts of Middle Tennessee, 3414 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215. Guests are encouraged to park in the Curb Parking Garage. Please visit the Belmont website for a map and additional information on parking:

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