Mitchell, Hays (Cleveland)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hays Mitchell, M.D., F.A.A.P., 81, of Cleveland, died on Monday, July 12, 2010.

He was a member of Broad Street United Methodist Church. He served as Captain in the USAF during the Korean War and was stationed in Anchorage, AK. He was a graduate of UT College of Medicine.

Dr. Mitchell was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and was the first pediatrician to practice in Cleveland in 1957. He founded the Pediatric Center of Cleveland. Dr. Mitchell was past President of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and of the Tennessee Pediatric Society and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Medical Association. He was elected “Pediatrician of the Year” for Tennessee in 1992 by Tennessee Pediatricians.

He served as chairman of the Tennessee Medical Association government services committee and was the chief liaison with the Medicaid Bureau prior to TennCare. He was chairman of the T.M.A. primary care liaison committee and visited some seventy county medical societies, establishing “medical home’ programs in fifty counties. The roster of “medical home” physicians in each county “opened” their practices to people in the county who did not have a physician as established by the county health departments. They agreed to let their offices be the patients’ “medical home” regardless of their ability to pay. He chaired the Tennessee Primary Care Advisory Board that monitored physician supervision of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

He retired from private practice in 1988, while maintaining his home in Bradley County, became the Director of the Tennessee Department of Health Access in Nashville. With the financial incentives of The Health Access Act his department recruited more than 100 physicians in physician shortage areas of Tennessee, including Bradley County during his 4 years of leadership.

In the past few years Dr. Mitchell has served on the advisory board of the American Academy of Pediatrics out of Chicago, helping to distribute $100,000 grants to pediatrician groups across the U.S. who volunteered their services for poor children. He also chaired several of the Academy’s national committees during that time.

He also served on the Robert Wood Johnson Advisory Board out of Princeton, N.J., helping to distribute $250,000 grants to volunteer physician groups across the U.S. offering their services to people without adequate health care.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Janice Mitchell of Newport, Ark.; sister, Juanita Cole of Memphis; and son-in-law, Nick Caruso.

He is survived by his wife, Geneva Crone Mitchell, of Cleveland; daughters, the Reverend Cheryl Caruso of Cleveland and Joanie Johnson and husband Greg of Morrisville, NC; son, Alan Mitchell and wife Sara of Knoxville; and grandchildren, Jessica Mitchell Hobby and husband Derick of Knoxville, Jacqueline Mitchell of Murfreesboro and Jeremy Caruso of Cleveland; niece, Pat Jameson and husband Herb of Pinson, Ala. and their children, Jennifer Chapman and husband Michael and Chris Jameson; nephew, David Cole and wife Cindy and their children, Natalie and Ashley.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, at Broad Street United Methodist Church with Reverend Debbie Stokes officiating. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens with military honors. Drs. John Appling, Richard Hughes, Danny Hays, John Bryan, Bob Thurman, C.A. Kyle and Pete Bryant will serve as honorary pallbearers.

His family will receive friends on Thursday, July 15 from 12-1:30 p.m. at the church prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to Broad Street United Methodist Church, 155 Central Ave., Cleveland, TN 37311 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tn. 38105.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Mitchell family guestbook at www.fikefh.com. Fike Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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