A new Foundation Chair, Suresh Chawla, has been appointed to serve a three-year term for the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board on June 28.


Chawla received the ceremonial gavel from John Pittman, who has served as the chairman of the board since 2005. 


“This hospital took care of my dad during a tough time for him and my family and this town gave my dad the opportunity to succeed in life that other cities in other countries never offered him,” says Chawla. “So, serving on the foundation in this capacity is my chance to thank the community and the hospital for what it gave my dad and my family.”


Chawla will be filling big shoes left behind by Pittman, whose accomplishments for the hospital and the foundation were showcased by Christine Hemphill, director of the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Foundation, including the a multitude of projects completed since fundraising began in 2006 during his final meeting as chairman. Many of these projects would have gone unfunded without the generosity of the community and hospital employees. 


Under Pittman’s leadership, close to $1 million was raised by foundation volunteers serving on various fundraising committees. These donations from physicians and members of the community aided the hospital in purchasing state-of-the-art equipment to better meet the needs of patients. 


Hospital employees donated over $660,000 during Pittman’s tenure to update patient care and waiting areas throughout the hospital and on the hospital grounds. 


Chawla has already begun to hit the ground running on his plans for the future of the hospital and the foundation by encouraging others to make gifts to help their community hospital.


“Helping the foundation is a perfect opportunity for citizens in Greenwood and Leflore County to show support for the well-being of our area,” says Chawla. “My initial contribution of $1,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to my work and future hopes and goals for this undertaking.”


The Greenwood Leflore Hospital Foundation was formed in August of 2005 to help provide support for important healthcare services and programs at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. 


To date, over $282,000 has been donated toward equipment to treat newborn babies spending time under a radiant warmer, jaundice and sleep apnea in newborns, patients undergoing home sleep studies, EKGs, gynecological ultrasounds and other radiological testing. The money has also benefitted patients in physical, occupational, cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs, expectant mothers undergoing c-section deliveries, patients with traumatic head injuries, those in respiratory and cardiac distress, patients experiencing severe back pain and diabetic patients. 


Among the biggest projects completed were the relocation of the hospital chapel, the replacement of outdoor furniture on hospital grounds, creation of the education center, independent living apartment and community transitions center for Leflore Rehab and the hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation center.


Additional projects include the provision of a security system in the hospital’s labor and delivery, newborn nursery and pediatric units, as well as updates to the Outpatient Rehab and Wellness Center, New Beginnings Geri Psych facility, the Sleep Disorders Center, and the former skilled nursing unit. 


Updates have almost been made in the hospital conference rooms and in the replacement of the nursing station in ICCU. A fun transformation was made in the pediatric wing in the form of festive and colorful murals to provide a pleasant distraction for young patients. 


For more information regarding donations and volunteer opportunities, please contact Christine Hemphill at 451-7548 or 


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