Deborah Johnson’s official title at First Tennessee Bank is “Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager”, but you might say that she and her husband, King S. Johnson, are around-the-clock relationship managers.
As Chairman of the Board for the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce, Deborah is quick to say, “If the right people get together, big things can happen for Shelby County.”
Deborah and King are some of those “right people” helping to make big things happen at Regional One Health.
Deborah’s involvement with Regional One Health began as a family connection to the hospital during the John Gaston days. Her mother had five of her nine children at the hospital and although she was always passionate about the quality of care she received there, she never expected to return as she did. After Deborah’s father passed away, her mother lost her health insurance. When she fell ill, she went to what was then the Med. According to Deborah, her mother received the same level of excellent care despite not having insurance or the financial ability to pay on her own. “Once you experience that,” Deborah says, “you know you have to give back.”
King jokes that he inherited his dedication to Regional One Health when he married Deborah, but he has personal connections of his own. He also comes from a large family and has two siblings who were born there. As an Enterprise Executive with Comcast Business, he’s worked all over the country but has always felt a strong connection to his Mid-South roots. And as a native Arkansan, he knows the importance of Regional One Health’s Level 1 Elvis Presley Trauma Center to the entire region. “You don’t wake up in the morning planning on going to a trauma center, but when you’re in a life and death situation, you need the best care.”
In talking about why they support Regional One Health, King notes,
TRAUMA HAS NO NAME ON IT. IT DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE BY INCOME, RACE OR BACKGROUND. WE CAN ALL BE AFFECTED BY TRAUMA, AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’LL NEED THAT LEVEL OF CARE. IF YOU HAVEN’T NEEDED REGIONAL ONE HEALTH’S TRAUMA CARE YOURSELF, YOU LIKELY KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS.
Although they’ve had a long history of supporting Regional One Health at some level, attending the annual ONE Night gala as the guests Dr. Belvia Carter caused them to give back even more.
Deborah also decided it was important to support her financial donations with the gift of time, making room for ONE Club, the women’s auxiliary group, in her already full volunteering calendar that includes the Community Alliance for the Homeless, the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation and Berean Missionary Baptist Church. She recently joined ONE Club for a tour of Regional One Health’s new East location and was surprised to see all that was taking place there as a “one-stop shop” for patients. She says the impact of cuddling the delicate babies in the NICU is nearly impossible to describe but it makes her want to reach in and give a little more.
When the Johnsons talk about their commitment to Regional One Health Foundation, it’s easy to see a sense of joy in giving. Both are quick to say that they feel supporting their community is an obligation that they take very seriously. “People made investments in us as we grew into the people we are today,” Deborah says. “Now it’s our turn. To whom much is given, much is required.”
For Deborah and King Johnson, every dollar given to Regional One Health is a dollar going straight into helping our community. True to their “relationship manager” natures, they see community leadership as connecting the right people to the right resources to make good things happen.
King adds with a smile,
IMAGINE THE IMPACT WE COULD HAVE IF EVERYONE GAVE JUST A LITTLE MORE. LIVES COULD BE SAVED.