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Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James

February / March 2020

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OUT FRONT MAGAZINE

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On The Cover

Editor & Publisher

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Starting on page 16

New Beginnings Publishing Productions

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CONTENTS

Senior Editor

Phil Stewart, (deceased 1992-2006)

The Lifestyle Magazine on the Great Gulf Coast Volume 29 Issue 6 • February / March 2020

Senior Associate Editor

Bobbie Weaver, (deceased 1995-2012)

Contributing Editors Mamie Webb Hixon, UWF Writing Lab Staff

Contributing Writers

Charmere N. Gatson, Kelli Pogue, Natalie Franklin

FEATURES 16

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James

Hilary Moreno (At-Large)

04

Local Mother-Daughter Team Helps a Civil Rights Icon Share Her Story

Graphic Art Production

10

Racial Discrimination vs Equal Opportunity

Art Director/Production

Victor Mason Wallace F. LeRoy Karen Kelly (At-Large) Dick Williams (At-Large)

Digital Media Consultant

Shook PR Blair Castro, Managing Owner (850) 261-8995

Photography

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Music Reviews

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Marketing & Special Events

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Baptist Hospital: New Campus, Same Community

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OUT FRONT: The Life Style Magazine on the Great Gulf Coast is published bi-monthly (6 times a year) by New Beginnings Publishing Productions, Editorial office at 801 Violet Ave., Pensacola, FL 32505. Subscriptions: USA $28.00 per year, Canada and foreign subscriptions add $9.00 per year. Copyright 2020 by New Beginnings Publishing Productions. Postmaster: Send address change to OUT FRONT MAGAZINE, P.O. Box 17461, Pensacola, FL 32522-7461. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any unsolicited materials and will return only those accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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FEATURE

The Storytellers

A Local Mother-Daughter Team Helps a Civil Rights Icon Share Her Story

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

E

lizabeth Eckford was only 15 years old when she first attempted to attend Little Rock Central High on September 4, 1957. She and a group of African American students who would later become known as the Little Rock Nine were part of the challenging social experiment of desegregation. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled segregation unlawful in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, but schools were making very limited strides toward following the court’s mandate and desegregating their classrooms. The Little Rock Nine became famous for being the first in Little Rock to have the opportunity to take advantage of that decision. “I wanted to attend Central because I hoped to go to college,” said Eckford. “Central High was the best school in the city.” Governor Orval Faubus tried to prevent the desegregation of Central High by surrounding the school by armed Arkansas National Guard soldiers. Eckford was blocked from entering the school by the soldiers and enraged segregationists. Ultimately, President Eisenhower had to send in the 101st Airborne to ensure the safe passage of the Little Rock Nine into school. The members of the Little Rock Nine did not know that they would be signing up for a year of abuse from teachers, administrators and their fellow classmates. “We were physically, mentally or verbally attacked every day,” notes Eckford. “We stayed at Central because we knew there were many

by Eurydice and Grace Stanley

Eurydice Stanley, Elizabeth Eckford and Grace Stanley at a speaking engagement in Shreveport, LA. (Photographer: Christian Stanley)

people counting on our success.” Indeed, Elizabeth Eckford has an incredible story to tell, but given her experiences at Central High, she shunned interviews and did not think anyone would be interested in her story. Eckford and, Pensacola resident, Eurydice Stanley have been friends for more than 20 years. Stanley met Eckford while conducting military training at Camp Robinson in Little Rock. “I interviewed Elizabeth and Hazel Bryan Massery, the student who was captured in Will Counts’ famous picture taken while Elizabeth was being attacked the first day of school. The two had reconciled. I interviewed them hoping that the two could share suggestions that would help me as I wrote my dissertation which addressed racial reconciliation,” Eurydice says.

“She has been after me for 20 years trying to get me to tell my story,” notes Eckford. “She finally wore me down I guess.” Eckford has been a mentor to Grace Stanley since she was a child. “I have learned so much from Auntie Elizabeth about being resilient,” said Grace. “I wanted to share her insights with others.” Grace, a junior at West Florida High School, was 15 years old when she co-authored The Worst First Day, the same age Eckford was when she first attempted to attend Central High 60 years earlier. “I truly don’t know what I would do if I had to face the same circumstances,” said Grace. “You would do what you have to do,” assured Eckford. “The civil rights movement was conducted by

. . . Continued on page 6

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FEATURE . . . “The Storytellers” continued from page 4 ordinary people who had an extraordinary mission,” noted Eckford.

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

The Worst First Day tells Eckfords autobiography in verse. It is filled with images from the era, graphic artwork commissioned from Rachel Gibson and intriguing essays. It was written to share overlooked leadership insights from the Central High Crisis with the next generation. “Too many students do not know the truth about the Central High Crisis or that a President had to send soldiers to an American school. That is a great shame,” said Eckford. Since the book’s release last year, the writing team has travelled extensively to share Eckford’s anti-bullying message of resilience, tenacity and inspiration. “I never ask students to place themselves in harms way when they see someone being bullied, but I do encourage them to befriend the person being bullied so they know they are not alone. Many times, we were hurt more by the bystanders who watched than the bullies who attacked us,” said Eckford. The Worst First Day is available on Amazon. The book has received rave reviews from numerous agencies and several awards including the 2018 Moonbeam Multicultural Nonfiction Gold Children’s Book Award and the 2019 NABE Pinnacle Book Award for Social Justice. The book is also a finalist for the Indie Author Legacy Award in the Children’s Book category. Additionally, Eckford received an honorary doctorate last year from Knox College for her contributions to the civil rights community. “This has all been more than I could have ever hoped,” said Eckford.

The Little Rock Nine being escorted from Central High by the 101st Airborne. Image courtesy of the Little Rock Central High National Park Service.

The authors enjoy sharing the crucial messages shared in The Worst First Day, particularly Eckford’s favorite, #WalkPastHate.

“I consider this book to be my legacy,” said Eckford. “This was my first time telling my story my way.”

The cover of The Worst First Day.

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OutFr

FEATURE

Racial Discrimination vs Equal Opportunity

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

W

by Natalie Franklin

hat do you think is the most reported form of workplace discrimination in today’s society? Given current social constructs, one might say ageism. Yes, America’s modern workforce is saturated with boomers, those born between 1946-1964, Generation X, those born between 1965-1980, and millennials, those born between 1981-1996. The cultural differences between these generations alone can be the cause of workplace friction. And yes, over the last few decades, reports of age discrimination have hit record highs. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement and Litigation statistics, between 1997- 2018, 422,866 age discrimination complaints were filed. Almost half a million age discrimination complaints, and it’s still not the most reported form of workplace discrimination. Some may answer that sex discrimination is the most reported form of workplace discrimination. Coverage of popular social movements such as #MeToo and the fight for equal pay for men and women skyrocketed these last couple of years. Our society is no stranger to inequality amongst genders. In the 20th century, suffragettes fought for the right to vote for women. Now, in the 21st century, women are fighting for equal pay and reproductive rights. According to the EEOC Enforcement and Litigation statistics, between 1997- 2018, 570,360 sex discrimination complaints were filed. Over half a million sex discrimination

Mr. William Clay

complaints, and it’s still not the most reported form of workplace discrimination. At this point, you may be asking yourself what exactly is the most reported form of workplace discrimination in our modern 21st century society. According to the EEOC Enforcement and Litigation statistics, between

1997- 2018, 710,512 racial discrimination complaints were filed. Racial discrimination is the leading workplace discrimination complaint in America. This unsettling information may come as a shock to most people, especially when you consider other facts and figures. For example, the National Center for

. . . Continued on page 12

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FEATURE . . . “Racial Discrimination” continued from page 10 Education Statistics reported that in the 2016-2017 academic year, 10.5 percent of African Americans received a bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution. This percentage may seem like a small faction; however, it does not seem as small when you take under consideration that African Americans make up 13 percent of the population.   Minorities’ education and qualification can’t be the sole cause of workplace racial discrimination, especially when evidence supports that minorities are qualified and educated. How can society tackle racial discrimination to stomp it out for good? 

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

Of course there are laws in place to protect minorities from racial discrimination in the workplace. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. There is also the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office which ensures compliancy with the laws, regulations, policies, and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the federal workplace. Then there are individuals who dedicate their time and work to research and address racial discrimination in the hopes of bringing about real change.  William Clay is a federal and state compliance consultant based in Pensacola, Fla. Clay’s doctoral research is in public administration and industrial and

organizational psychology. Recently, his research has been focused on the inequality of public funding and contracts and the economic gap it creates for specific communities and minorities, in particular.

female-owned business enterprise utilization plans.

“Racial discrimination in the workforce is still prevalent,” Clay said.

Statistics and data are just pieces of a larger puzzle. Clay also speaks with individuals who have first-hand experience with racial discrimination in the workplace. This qualitative research is another method to better understand equal opportunity, or the lack thereof, in the workplace.

Clay often attends county commission meetings, speaking directly with county commissioners, the county administrator and the county attorney. He reviews EEO-1 Reports, which are compliance surveys mandated by federal statute and regulations. The survey requires company employment data to be categorized by race or ethnicity, gender and job category. The EEO-1 Report is used by the agencies to collect data from private employers and government contractors about their female and minority workforce. The agencies also use the EEO-1 Report data to support civil rights enforcement and to analyze employment patterns, such as the representation of females and minorities within companies, industries or regions. “I mostly look at the disparity between people of color when it comes down to public contracts as well as other public funding as it applies to getting white females and people of color equal opportunity to public contracts, goods and service contracts,” Clay said.  Clay mentioned that many entities don’t have good faith effort programs in place. A good faith effort program ensures that a contractor documents its good faith efforts toward meeting certified minority and

“Without good faith effort programs, how will you be able to execute an equal opportunity,” Clay asked.

Clay shares and communicates his quantitative and qualitative research and findings to local leaders, such as the county commissioners, in hopes that equal opportunity will be given to all. The data supports the fact that racial discrimination is the leading workplace discrimination complaint in America. Of the 710,512 racial discrimination complaints that were filed between 1997- 2018, only 15 percent of the complaints received a favorable outcome to the charging party. These merit resolutions, or complaints with an outcome that is favorable to the charging party, are significantly lower than those of other complaints like sex and age discrimination.   Again, the question arises: how can society tackle racial discrimination to stomp it out for good?  Starting a dialogue and having open, honest and informed conversations like William Clay is a step in the right direction if our society ever wants to see real change.

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FEATURE

Gen. Daniel “Cha

by Natalie Fran

W

hat is a hero? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “hero” as “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities.” Now the question arises, what constitutes an achievement or noble quality? In order to achieve something, one must show effort, courage or skill. Heroes are typically a rarity and hard to come by. Fortunately for the Pensacola community, there is a homegrown, magnificent hero who is just now getting the recognition he deserves. Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. was born on February 11, 1920, in Pensacola, Fla. James was the first African American to become a four-star general in the U.S. Air Force. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1937 and went on to college at the Tuskegee Institute. It’s said that James always wanted to fly planes. There were some people who doubted James, saying that a black man couldn’t fly a plane, but James never let anything stop him from achieving his dreams. 

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

In James’ family, the matriarch, Lillie Anna, had a special saying. She believed in an 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not quit.” James took her words to heart, and in 1943, after years of hard work and training, he became a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

B

Colonel (Retired) Roosevelt Lewis, USAF and Joseph Denmon, President and Board Member, Chappie James Foundation

His career as a pilot was slow to start. During World War II, he instructed African Americans in the 99th Pursuit Squadron. However, during the Korean War, James began flying combat missions. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, and in 1970, he became the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Area of Public Affairs. James finally became a four-star general in 1975 and was the first African American to achieve this high honor. His hard work had paid off. James’ accomplishments were inspiring to men, women and children nationwide, especially in his hometown of Pensacola. 

Colonel (Retired) Roosevelt Lewis, USAF pictured with Montoria Hubbard, Chapter President, Tuskegee Air, Inc. Orlando, FL, Claude James and Family

Ellis Jones was a child when he first learned about James. “I recall vividly that one day for recess, our teachers told us that there was going to be a treat during recess,” Jones said. The teachers told the children to “keep your eyes peeled to the sky.” Jones describes seeing an airplane in the sky doing dives and climbs.  “He treated us to something totally different,” Jones said. “You could see that he was deliberately making roundabouts so that we could see the airplane.” 

David Alexander and Colonel (Retired) Roosevelt Lewis, USAF

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The little school expanded yet again, and the house next door was purchased to teach children. “For 58 years, she taught and administered Ms. Lillie James School.” In fact, James himself was a student at his mother’s school, before attending high school at Booker T. Washington and eventually getting his bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee Institute.

Booker T. Washington High School Vocal Harmony (Mr. Micah J.M. Roland, Director) That introduction made a lasting impression on Jones, who is now chairman of the Chappie James Museum. The Chappie James Museum opened about two years ago in James’ childhood home at 1608 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The home, built in 1909 housed two local heroes: James and his mother, Lille Anna. The entire property was added to the United States Registry of Historic Places on Dec. 13, 2000. “They did it basically to recognize the accomplishments of Gen. James and his mother, Ms. Lillie Anna James,” said Jones. Lillie Anna James was an educator and an innovator in her own right. She established a school for African American children in Pensacola, Fla. “She decided to tutor neighborhood kids, and word got around about how great she was doing, so that tutoring effort expanded to where they

Four-Star General, Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr

The museum showcases the life of James, highlighting his life and formative years, his education and his achievements.  

“The house is divided into three major phases of Gen. James’ career. Since his mother and father played such a big role in his accomplishments, one of the rooms is dedicated to his mother,” Jones explained.   Joseph Denmon, board member of the Chappie James Foundation and longtime family friend of Gen. James, has first-hand knowledge of the excellence of the Lilile Anna James School.  Denmon’s mother attended the Lillie Anna James School, and his father, a master chief in the Navy, was good friends with James.  “Whenever the general would come home, they’d go on an outing... they’d fly fish and talk and enjoy and laugh,” Denmon recalls.   James was an inspirational figure in Denmon’s life. James’ values, integrity and strong work ethic influenced Denmon in a way that ultimately led to his life’s purpose. 

. . . Continued on page 18

Pictured (l-r): Clifton Curtis, Jr., President, Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Flight Academy; Colonel (Retired) Roosevelt Lewis; Cris Dosev, Chairman, Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Memorial Bridge Foundation and Ellis Jones, Board President, Chappie James Museum of Pensacola.

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y.”

had to move from the house to a small building in the backyard,” Jones explained.

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FEATURE . . . “Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James” continued from page 17

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Flight Academy “General James is my sole purpose for going into the military,” Denmon said. Denmon served in the Air Force for decades as a combat engineer, and he always thought of James as a role model.   

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

One phase is dedicated to James’ education at Tuskegee Institute, and the other phase is dedicated to his military career. The Chappie James Flight Academy, which is on the same site as the Chappie James Museum, opened in 1996. According to its website, the Chappie James Flight Academy “aims to provide a future workforce for the aerospace industry and to inspire good citizenship using the legacy of General Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Jr.” The flight academy services teens from low to medium income families and focuses on aviation basics and aerodynamics, academic excellence, independent thinking and decision making, presentation and public speaking skills and financial life skills.   “These are a group of black pilots who’ve been coming back to Pensacola for the last 20 to 25 years,” Jones explained. “They provide an effort to stimulate/motivate kids to think about STEM. They use their flight experience as a way of motivating kids.” The flight academy does a beautiful job of combining both James and Lillie Anna’s legacy. The young minds that are serviced at the flight academy are educated, motivated and inspired to do great things. “On the last day of the class, they take the kids to a local airfield, and the kids get a chance to actually get into a two seat small airplane,” said Jones. “The thrilling part about this is that the kids will get into the air and then they’ll get a chance to control the airplane for a few minutes. It’s quite a confidence builder for kids.” It’s easy to see why Jones and other like-minded individuals have dedicated their careers to highlighting the accomplishments and success of Gen. “Chappie” James. James is both a natural hero and a community hero.

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Bridge Committee, Pensacola, FL In 1966, James was named vice commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand. As commander of an Air Force base in Libya, James faced down a threatening Libyan Colonel named Muammar Gaddafi over his attempted entry into the general’s base. Denmon can recount details from this heroic tale. As Gaddafi attempted to storm the base, James met him at the front gates. “He noticed Muammar had a pearl-handed, fancy pistol on his side, and Muammar put his hand on that pistol,” Denmon recounted. “Of course Chappie said, ‘If you pull that, you will never clear your holster.”    James’ strength and skill were evidently threatening to Gaddafi, who quickly retreated and left the base.    “That’s pretty much cowboy stuff to me,” Denmon chuckled.    James showed real courage and patriotism during this standoff. He was later promoted to a four-star general in 1975, making him the first African American with this honor in the history of the U.S. Air Force.    James flew about 180 missions before he was made the commander of NORAD/ADCOM at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. In this position, he oversaw air defense forces for the United States and Canada. In his last post, he served as a special assistant to the chief of staff.   Despite the progress that we’ve made as a country regarding tolerance and equity, there is still a lack of celebrating African American historical figures.    “Those figures who should have received recognition have often not been in our history books,” Jones said. “We have to do what we can to put forth a favorable image of these people.”    That’s why Jones is passionate about the Chappie James Museum and the flight academy. James’ accomplishments and his core values are something to be celebrated.   “It’s kind of a shame that people who grew up and were raised in Pensacola don’t know about Gen. James because he is not only a national hero, but he is a community hero,” Jones said. “Our goal

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FEATURE is to publicize his accomplishments and to utilize his value system. When people come in [to the museum] we want them to know that it wasn’t just by luck that he obtained the four stars. It was through hard work and the values he learned at an early age.” This year, on what would have been James’ 100th birthday, several organizations planned events in his honor. The Air Force and the American Legion hosted events to honor James’ life and legacy. Also, the Pensacola City Council president read a proclamation marking Feb. 11 as Gen. “Chappie” James Day in the city. The Chappie James Museum hosted a gala to celebrate James. There were about 340 attendees according to Jones. Col. Roosevelt Lewis gave the keynote speech, delivering an intriguing history lesson on James and his time as a Tuskegee Airman. James’ remaining son, Claude James, who lives in New Mexico, attended the Gala. In fact, Claude James and other members of Gen. James’ family have visited Pensacola for the past several years. “They are deeply in favor of everything we do,” Jones said. “We are greatly encouraged by their participation in our efforts.”  General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. retired from the Air Force in 1978. He died on February 25, 1978, two weeks after his 58th birthday and three weeks following his retirement. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

In February, state Sen. Doug Broxson made a Senate proclamation in honor of Gen. James and pushed forward with the bill that will rename the Pensacola Bay Bridge after Gen. James. After months of resolutions, legislature and politics, the renaming of the bridge to honor James is looking very promising. There was a community vote on what the bridge should be renamed which included several names.  “About 60 percent of people thought that Gen. James should be the name of the bridge.”  Jones is on the advisory board of the Memorial Bridge Foundation, and he is confident that the bridge will be named after Gen. James. 

“We think it has reached all of its challenges and that it will soon be decided,” Jones said. Denmon can also attest to the challenges they’ve faced during the process naming the bridge after James. Those working so hard to make this change happen are almost at the finish line. The bill that will name the bridge after James is currently “sitting on the governor’s desk” awaiting his signature.  “There’s nobody more deserving that I can think of,” Denmon said.  Gen. James has undoubtedly left a lasting legacy not only in the Pensacola community but also in the rest of the nation.  “We want people to look at his life and respect and honor the things that he did,” Jones said. “His accomplishments are something that we in Pensacola can brag about.

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The Memorial Bridge Foundation and various community partners are now working to rename the Pensacola Bay Bridge after Gen. James. The entire process has taken about eight or nine months, but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

Time Capsule for the General “Chappie” James Museum & Flight Academy

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Beverly Crosby was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. She started singing professionally in her early twenties, but she has been singing all her life in church and school.

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EDUCATION

Leary Named Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives at Pensacola State College Leary also is a business instructor at the College, and was recognized as the 2018-2019 Outstanding New Faculty Member.

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

Leary has an extensive background in television news and diversity initiatives. While employed at WCSC-TV Channel 5 in Charleston, South Carolina, she worked as a producer, reporter, news anchor, “Live 5 News at Noon” host and public affairs director. While at Trident Technical College in Charleston, she served as assistant director of recruiting, and “spearheaded” numerous community projects. Leary received a master’s degree in management with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Maryland. She earned a Doctorate in Communication from Regent University. Her dissertation focus was colorism (intra-racial discrimination) in film. The study was entitled “Colorism in Media Content: A Qualitative Study Focusing on Film and Perception.” She explored its impact on African-Americans in the industry and society as a whole.

Dr. Rameca Vincent Leary

D

r. Rameca Vincent Leary has been named Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives at Pensacola State College.

Her duties encompass recruiting students and minority employees and producing and hosting responsibilities for the “PSC Today” and “PSC Aware” programs aired on WSRE-TV. An integral part of this position also entails assisting and leading various Cultural Diversity Committee initiatives and activities.

Also, Leary was awarded two Community Service Awards from the City of Charleston and has received numerous accolades for her work with Project Cool Breeze, an initiative she co-founded, which helps provide brand new fans and air conditioning units for senior citizens. In 2009, she was recognized by the South Carolina State Senate and received a special proclamation for her outreach initiatives. Pensacola State President Ed Meadows stated that PSC’s having Leary in this role will enhance the efforts of the College in minority recruitment of students and faculty and staff. He added it will also further the College’s efforts to better serve the community with meaningful outreach initiatives.

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COMMUNITY

O

Blair Castro ~ Digital Media Consultant

ut Front Magazine is proud to announce that Blair Castro, Managing Owner of Shook PR, will be joining our team as Digital Media Consultant. Blair brings a wide array of experience in digital marketing, targeted advertising and public relations to the table and will lead Out Front Magazine as we transition into the digital arena. You can learn more about her at www. shookpr.com.

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Blair Castro, Managing Owner of Shook PR

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HEALTH

Baptist Hospital: New Campus, Same Community by Natalie Franklin

offices. Total costs are expected to be around $550 million.

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“This is going to be a significant financial investment,” Faulkner said. The new project will have a major effect on the community at large, financial as well as social. “We have made it clear early and often that all things being equal, our preference is that we use local talent, local trades, local skills, contractors and vendors to do the work.”

Mark Faulkner, President and CEO, BHC

A

bout seven months ago, Baptist Hospital announced that it will be building a new campus at the intersection of Interstate 110 and Brent Lane. The project is currently in its design phase with the architect, program manager and general contractor already selected. According to Mark Faulkner, president and CEO of Baptist Health Care, the 650,000-square-foot

replacement hospital and medical office building project is “right on track.” “We’re in the phase where much of the work is less tangible, less visible, but no less important,” Faulkner said.  Baptist Health Care is looking at a summer 2023 occupancy for the new campus, which will feature a full-scale, 250bed hospital with medical

For the next three years, during which the new campus will be constructed, there will be local job opportunities. Faulkner also foresees the new campus as an opportunity for the hospital to grow, hopefully leading to more employment opportunities at the hospital in the future. “We don’t see a significant uptick in immediate employment opportunities, but we do see more of a long term trajectory of growth that will positively impact employment in

. . . Continued on page 26

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HEALTH . . . “Baptist Hospital” continued from page 24

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

BHC Hospital Rendering

our community,” Faulkner said.   With the construction of the new campus, there are also new growth opportunities for the community that have not yet been seen before. The community can expect to see new commercial development in the area surrounding the new campus, such as retail, hotels, and mixeduse space. “That is a third opportunity that is new to Baptist – the opportunity to have our new campus spur the growth of commercial enterprises nearby as well,” Faulkner said.

accelerated adoption of technology which leads to better outcomes and better care,” Faulkner explained. However, improved technology is only one piece of the puzzle. The new campus will also be more accessible to the community at large. Currently, the main campus is situated in an area that is difficult for some patients to navigate.   “The new campus will offer increased accessibility to the broader community that is limited today in our current location,” Faulkner said. 

The existing Baptist Hospital was built almost 70 years ago in 1951. The current infrastructure doesn’t adequately support today’s healthcare. The new campus will provide patients with enhanced healthcare services and increased accessibility.

The new campus will also feature a more “patient centered” environment. Patients should expect upgrades to areas such as waiting rooms, patient rooms and overall improved wayfinding. Visitors can also expect a simplistic design that

“Our community and our caregivers can expect

. . . Continued on page 28

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ENTERTAINMENT

Private Rosamond Johnson Jr. was celebrated and honored at an annual event on May 4, 2019, at Johnson Beach in Perdido Key, Florida.

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Pe

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HEALTH . . . “Baptist Hospital” continued from page 26

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BHC Hospital Site Plan

makes hospital navigation easier and more user friendly. There are many changes coming to the new Baptist Hospital campus, but the community this hospital serves will be happy to know that the new campus is only 2.5 miles from the existing campus. This short distance was a calculated move by hospital administrators.  The new Brent Lane location met all of the top priorities for the hospital including where patients come from currently, where employees live, travel corridors and public transportation routes and options. The new location was definitely chosen with the community in mind.  “The economics would have told us to go further north...where a lot of new construction, new development, new growth is happening. This is not an economic decision. This is a community decision,” Faulkner said. 

According to Faulkner, community feedback has been overwhelming positive across the board. Baptist Health Care made efforts to ensure that community concerns were heard, and the organization made tremendous efforts to maintain transparent. “We’ve been just overwhelmed with how positive and how curious the community has been,” Faulkner said. “There is just and ongoing dialogue, an ongoing curiosity and interest in this project, all born out of positivity and excitement for our future.”  The conversation has been focused on the new campus as well as the old campus. Hospital services will of course be moved to the new campus, however there are conversations still being had about the future of the existing campus.

. . . Continued on page 30

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HEALTH

. . . “Baptist Hospital” continued from page 28 “We’re interested in learning what type of healthcare services are still needed at our current location or what kind of social services are still needed at our current location,” Faulkner explained.

FEBRUARY / MAR CH 2020 OUT FR ONT MAGAZINE

The new campus comes on the heels of several revitalization efforts already taking place in the community. “I think this is another important component, another piece of the puzzle to move us forward,” Faulkner said.  Baptist Health Care strives to better its community. Every decision, every choice is made with the community in mind.  “There’s a whole lot of someones that walk around this organization with that mindset, including our Board,” Faulkner said.

“We’re here to evolve, to shape and to be a part of and a supporter of the improved

quality of life in our community.”

Together, we win.

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