Published on June 04, 2014

Baptist board member selected Hospital association trustee of the year

POINT CLEAR, ALA., — Columbus businessman and Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle board member Allen Puckett has been selected Distinguished Hospital Trustee of the Year by the Mississippi Hospital Association.

Puckett has served as a board member and past chairman of the board of Baptist Golden Triangle since the hospital was leased to the Baptist Memorial Health Care System in 1993. He also currently serves on Baptist Memorial Health Care System's Board of Trustees, a body that is appointed by the Southern Baptist Conventions of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas and provides governance and oversight to Baptist. He is also the incoming chairman of Baptist's Corporate Board of Directors.

Each year, the MHA recognizes one active member of a hospital board or its corporate board who has made significant contributions to the field of hospital governance and has made a significant impact to the hospital and community. The award was presented at the MHA's annual membership luncheon in Point Clear, Ala. on June 5.

"I would like to thank the MHA for this unexpected honor. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as a trustee. Our administrators, their staff and the physicians have done an outstanding job of providing quality healthcare at our facilities and are due much of the credit," Puckett said. "The great job they do make our jobs as trustees and directors much easier."

Puckett was instrumental in helping to gain public support for the lease of the county-owned Golden Triangle Regional Medical Center to Baptist in 1993 and the sale of the facility in 2006, according to Baptist Golden Triangle Administrator Paul Cade, who nominated Puckett for the honor.

"Al is very well respected in the community. When he spoke of Baptist's commitment to the community and the benefits of Baptist owning the hospital to business and community leaders, it carried a lot of weight. His support was a crucial part of that process," Cade said.

A graduate of Lee High School, Puckett earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management with a minor in ceramic engineering at Clemson University so he could run his family's brick business. Currently, Columbus Brick Company, started by his great-grandfather in 1890, is the only brick manufacturing company operating in Mississippi.

He is a member of many civic and community organizations on the local, state and national level, including past trustee and founding member of the Brick Research Center at Clemson University; past board member of the National Brick Industry Association; and he is currently on the board of the Mississippi Healthcare Solutions Institute.

His friends describe him as a man who believes in 'doing not boasting." But Puckett said his greatest satisfaction comes from helping those who need it the most, whether in his hometown or across the globe.

He currently serves as an elder of Hope Community Church in Columbus, a church for those who he defines as 'unchurched' or who would not feel comfortable worshiping in a traditional, formal church setting.

His family also founded and he is chairman of the board of Global Connections – a mission organization which grew out a trip he lead for 24 family members to Kenya in the summer of 2005. The organization helps meet needs in that country, especially at a children's center in Limuru. The center serves as an orphanage, boarding school, pre-school, HIV baby home and much more to children in that area of Kenya. Puckett and his family make regular visits to Kenya to help at the children's center.

"It's about the experiences you go through living life, helping the fellow next to you and can we all come along together. Can you improve the standards and quality of life of the folks around you? And it's not all economic. It's a lot more to it than that," he said of his philosophy of giving. He and his wife Anna live in Columbus. The couple has four children and one grandchild.

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