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Forrest General Healthcare Foundation announces inductees for 2018 Doctors’ Hall of Fame - Forrest Health
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    Published on April 18, 2018

    Forrest General Healthcare Foundation announces inductees for 2018 Doctors’ Hall of Fame

    The Forrest General Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce that four local physicians have been chosen as inductees for the Doctors’ Hall of Fame.

    The Doctors’ Hall of Fame is organized by the hospital’s foundation to honor those physicians who have contributed to the improvement of health care in Hattiesburg and to the growth and excellence of Forrest General Hospital. Any physician serving Forrest General who meets the specified criteria, whether they are still practicing, retired or deceased, may be nominated for this award. Out of the outstanding nominees submitted for this year’s induction, the following physicians were honored for the 2018 Doctor’s Hall of Fame:

    Nagen Bellare, M.D., began medical school at Bangalore Medical College in Bangalore, India, when he was only 16 years old. He came to America in 1967 and began his internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He served his residency at Northwestern University in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Bellare completed fellowships in Hematology/Oncology at Cook County Hospital and Bone Marrow Transplantation at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In 1988 he founded Hospice in Tulare County, California.

    At Forrest General, Dr. Bellare served as president, Forrest General Medical Staff; chairman, Medical Quality Improvement Committee; chairman, Department of Medicine; co-chairman, Cancer Care Committee; medical director, Cancer Center; member of the Cancer, Transfusion and Quality Improvement committees; and a member of Board of Managers Healthcare Alliance. Dr. Bellare was also a member of the American Society of Executive Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Mississippi State Medical Association, and South Mississippi Medical Society. At Hattiesburg Clinic, he served on the Board of Directors and as secretary and treasurer of the Executive Committee. 

    In 1990 the American Cancer Society awarded Dr. Bellare the Esther Grunberg Memorial Award for Fundraising and in 2005 named him South Mississippi Outstanding Physician of the Year. Dr. Bellare made three medical mission trips to Brazil, and he was a Stephen Ministries Leader. He served Forrest General for 21 of the 48 years he practiced Oncology and Hematology.

    In his spare time, he enjoyed cooking, photography, gardening, and was a certified sommelier. Upon retiring in 2013, he and his wife, Patty, moved to Orange Beach, Alabama. They have four children – Nita, Jay, Nicole, and Maureen – and two grandchildren – Leyla and Kai. Dr. Bellare passed away in March 2017, but his memory and legacy live on in the many patients’ lives he touched.

    Michael J. Stonnington, M.D., graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 and attended medical school at Duke University, where he graduated in 1992. He did a Surgery internship and orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Florida, and Pelvic Surgery training at Tulane University.

    In his 17 years at Forrest General, Dr. Stonnington has been a founding co-director of Orthopedic Trauma Services; chair, Department of Surgery; vice president of the Medical Staff, and is currently president of the Medical Staff; member of the Medical Executive Committee, Accreditation Committee, Bylaws Committee, Disaster Planning Committee, Infection Prevention Committee, Trauma Committee, Trauma Council, Allied Health Committee, Quality Management Committee, Surgery Q.I. Committee, Credentials Committee, and he is a past president of Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A. He is also a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a leader in Orthopedic Traumatology. In addition, he is an adjunct clinical professor at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    A Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the U.S. Air Force for five years. Dr. Stonnington is deeply involved in the community, serving with Gideon’s International, Stone County Humane Society, Phi Beta Kappa, and is a consultant for 3M Brace Company. He is a member of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Pine Burr Country Club in Wiggins, and active in 4-H of Stone County. He is the owner and operator of Stonnington Farm, raising American Grassfed Association Certified Grassfed Beef.

    In his free time, Dr. Stonnington enjoys horseback riding on his farm and karate. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Wiggins. He and his wife, Katie, have three children – Henry, Grace, and Christian. 

    Steven M. Murphey, M.D., graduated from Mississippi State University in 1980 with his master’s degree in Engineering. He then attended medical school at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated in 1984. Dr. Murphey completed his internship and Radiology residency at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    During his 28 years at Forrest General, Dr. Murphey has served on the Radiology Quality Assurance Committee, Credentials Committee, Medical Records Committee, chairman of the Department of Imaging, QCIC Committee (Radiation Safety), and as an officer of Hattiesburg Clinic. He is a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association, American College of Radiology, Radiology Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Mississippi Radiological Society.

    Dr. Murphey has served as president of the Hattiesburg Civic Arts Council, co-chair of the United Way Grand Givers and on the Board of Extra Table. He is a member of the Partners for Arts, the USM Foundation, the Hattiesburg Arts Council, and a member of the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation Chairman’s Society. 

    Dr. Murphey plays the piano, organ, and electronic keyboards. He also enjoys jazz music, photography, boating and fishing, computers, and biking. He is an active member of First Presbyterian Church, having served two terms as a deacon.

    He and his wife, Anita, have two children – David and Will – and two grandchildren – Tatum and Kiel Stokes Murphey.

    William B. Strong, Jr., M.D., received his bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in 1972 and his medical degree from the University of Mississippi in 1976. Dr. Strong completed his Pediatric internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and received additional medical training in Anatomic Pathology from the University of Tennessee Memphis, as well as Anesthesiology training from the University of Texas, Medical Branch Galveston in 1980.

    During his 37 years at Forrest General, Dr. Strong has played an instrumental role in making the cardiovascular unit what it is today with his expertise in Cardiovascular Anesthesia. Forrest General was able to recruit its first cardiovascular surgeon because of Dr. Strong being on staff, and he was able to help others in the department get more comfortable with the expanded scope of services. He has served in various roles at Forrest General, including secretary, Medical Staff; chairman, Anesthesiology Department Committees; a member of the Quality Committee and Credentials Committee; and represented the Anesthesia Department on the Medical Executive Committee. Dr. Strong also performs surgeons’ performance reviews at the request of hospital administration. He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Medical Association, the Mississippi State Medical Association, and past president of the Mississippi Society of Anesthesiologists.

    Dr. Strong supports the arts, education, and healthcare communities in Hattiesburg and is a member of the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation Chairman’s Society. In his free time, Dr. Strong enjoys photography. He and his wife, Marcella, have two children – Leigh Anne and Ben. 

    These four outstanding physicians represent a wide range of specialties and have offered, and continue to offer, hope and healing to patients from all walks and all stages of life. Nominees must have 10 years of service on Forrest General’s medical staff and be highly involved, not only at Forrest General, but in the community, medical societies and academia, and be considered a leader in their specialty. Inductees are chosen by a nomination sub-committee made up of members of Forrest General’s medical staff, administration and Foundation Board of Directors, as well as community members and retired physicians. A call for nominations is released every other fall for this biennial event. 

    For more information on the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation, visit www.FGHFoundation.com.

    Pictured: Left to Right: Patty Belare, Dr. Bellare’s wife representing their family; William B. Strong, Jr., M.D.; Steven M. Murphey, M.D.; and Michael J. Stonnington, M.D.


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