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 head of the Board of Trustees for the first 25 years.

The Wilson Research Foundation, a 501(3) (c) nonprofit organization that supports the rehab center, was established in 1989 with a generous gift from the H.F. McCarty Jr. Family to honor Earl and his wife Martha Lyles Wilson.

Earl 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 Earl's eyes to the appalling lack of rehabilitation services in our state at that time. As he traveled across Mississippi as a businessman, Earl saw his family’s predicament repeated everywhere, victims of devastating stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries languished at home who could benefit from intensive rehab or assistive technology. This nurtured a vision that became a guiding force for his philanthropy and service.

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 nationally recognized rehab and research center that serves Mississippi and the region.

Thanks to our generous investors, the Wilson Research Foundation has raised millions of dollars for meaningful research, technology and advanced education at Methodist Rehab Center. Leading the way in giving are the Wilson family members, who were collectively recognized in 2013 for exceeding $1 million in giving. With many other major gifts and public support coming to fruition, the Wilson Research Foundation has established Methodist Rehab as a center of excellence, restoring ability and hope - not only for our patients - but for people around the world helped through our published discoveries.   

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