In 1985 I moved to Memphis and immediately began calling it home. We liked Memphis from the start – the people, churches, shopping, weather, beautiful homes, sporting events and opportunities.
That year the city leaders had decided to call our city America’s Distribution Center. I remember seeing a map of the United States as if it were a dart game and the dart had struck Memphis. And Memphis has in fact become America’s Distribution Center.
There are rows and rows of large distribution buildings in virtually every part of the city. And when you think about it you would not have to ask why. There are many good reasons that include our first major asset The Mighty Mississippi River. Then there are the five major railroads each with a very large intermodal facility.
The Memphis International Airport provides a link to the world. The United States Postal Service has a major distribution facility. There are dozens of trucking companies and, of course, the biggie is our homegrown FedEx with its major sorting hub at Memphis International Airport which is going through a $1.5 billion modernization. It includes a sorting facility at the airport for United Parcel Service and now there are four Amazon warehouse distribution facilities here.
In the United States and in many foreign countries, whenyou purchase something online, there is a good chance it will go through Memphis.
Now is it time for us to take on an additional motto -- “Medical Center of the South”? Almost daily we read about some new breakthrough in medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just a few weeks ago, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital performed the first voice box surgery of its type to give a child the ability to speak for the first time. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center produces some of the finest new medical doctors. One of the other major hospitals is adding cutting edge stroke treatment facilities. There are more than 100 medical implant manufacturers here. If you have had a knee or hip replacement or have a pacemaker you may have some Memphis inside your body.
The Campbell Clinic wrote the book on cutting edge orthopedic procedures. We have some of the best cardiovascular centers, cancer treatment centers, orthopedic centers and hundreds and hundreds of great medical doctors.
Our Regional One Health has the only trauma center in the state of Tennessee including a major burn unit. The Medical Education & Research Institute (MERI) is here and provides state-of-the-art, hands-on educational courses for physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals from across the country and around the world.
There are more people employed in the medical field here than in any other type of business. So why not begin to claim what we are – The Medical Center of the South.
James K. Grubbs is the publisher of the Best Times.