Earl R. Wilson | A Legacy of Hope
Every dream fulfilled begins with someone who sees a need, imagines a solution and works tirelessly to bring that vision to life. For Methodist Rehabilitation Center, that dreamer and doer was Earl R. Wilson – the hospital’s founding chairman and member of the Board of Trustees for 25 years.
The Wilson Research Foundation is a 501(3) (c) nonprofit organization that connects state-of-the-art research to state-of-the-art patient care. The foundation was established in 1989 with a generous gift from the H.F. McCarty Jr. Family Foundation, to honor Earl Wilson, and his wife Martha Lyles Wilson’s service to physically disabled Mississippians.
Mr. Wilson knew firsthand how families are affected by a loved one’s disabling injury or illness. His own father suffered a stroke at a young age, and his struggles opened Mr. Wilson’s eyes to the appalling lack of rehabilitation services in our state at that time. As he traveled across Mississippi as a businessman, Mr. Wilson saw his family’s predicament repeated in community after community. Victims of devastating stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries mostly languished at home, unable to gain the skills to live more independently. And their needs nurtured a vision that became a guiding force for Mr. Wilson’s philanthropy.
Earl Wilson put his faith as a committed Methodist to work as he inspired business and healthcare leaders to come together in 1975 to open to what is now a treasure for Mississippi, a world-class regional rehabilitation center.
Since 1989, the Wilson Foundation has contributed more than $2.6 million to meaningful research and services, mostly through the Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery at MRC. In 2010, the foundation announced an incredible milestone, with the Wilson family personally reaching $1 million in lifetime gifts and pledges toward this work. Other major gifts are also coming to fruition, helping the Wilson Foundation to restore abilities and hope for Methodist Rehab patients, and others around the world through our research successes.
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