Local Heroes of 2020 Honored by Historic Peabody Hotel

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The Peabody Hotel unveils a plaque honoring Local Heroes of 2020. City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris were among the speakers at the induction ceremony. (Photo courtesy of the Peabody Hotel)

Medical experts, health care providers, first responders, and community leaders were honored Tuesday by the historic Peabody Hotel as part of the induction of “Local Heroes of 2020” into the Duck Walk Hall of Fame. The event honored Memphis’ local heroes for their ongoing efforts and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jon McCullers, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, senior executive associate dean of Clinical Affairs in the UTHSC College of Medicine, and pediatrician-in-chief of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital was among those invited to attend the small gathering on behalf of UTHSC and Le Bonheur.

“I am fortunate to be the public face of many hard-working heroes at UTHSC and Le Bonheur who have risen to the occasion that the COVID-19 crisis demanded,” Dr. McCullers said. “It was an honor to represent our health care teams at this event.”

The Peabody Hotel honored Local Heroes of 2020 into the Duck Walk Hall of Fame at a small, socially distanced gathering September 15. (Photo courtesy of the Peabody Hotel)

In addition to Dr. McCullers, community leaders including Michael Wiggins, president of Le Bonheur, and Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, associate professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing and director of the Shelby County Health Department, and James Downing, MD, professor in the UTHSC College of Medicine Department of Pathology, and president and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, were present to accept the honor, where a commemorative plaque was unveiled and will be displayed on the sidewalk surrounding the hotel.

“This year, instead of honoring one person, we wanted to show our gratitude to the first responders, infectious disease experts, and the health care community as a whole for their dedication and tireless efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ and keep Memphis and Shelby County safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Douglas V. Browne, president of the Peabody Hotels & Resorts, said in a press release.

Induction into the Duck Walk Hall of Fame is typically given to individuals who champion the growth and success of the city of Memphis. The Peabody’s Duck Walk Hall of Fame was created in 1996 and past recipients include Phillip Belz, Jack Belz, Henry Turley, Danny Thomas, Kevin Kane, Bernard Lansky, Elvis Presley, Pat Kerr Tigrett, Richard Shadyac, Linn Sitler, Jack Soden, and Cybill Shepherd.