Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month

Sophia Tate

Security Guard

Describe your family: Adoring, close-knit, devoted, fierce and loving.

Describe yourself in five words: Persistent, loyal, reliable, kind and helpful.

What do you do for fun: Shop and spend time with family.

What are some of your hobbies: Working is my hobby.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Making sure the residents are safe.

Do you have any pets: I have hogs & dogs. Yorkie, Chow Pom and Pit. Names are Boston, K.J. & Oreo.

What is your favorite food: Yams & Cabbage.

What is your favorite song: Johnnie Taylor – Sending You A Kiss.

What is something you are proud of: I’m proud of the person I have become, thanks to my parents.

What would you like people to know about you: I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Sophia Tate is a security officer that is loved by the residents at Kirby Pines. She makes everyone feel safe and secure. She will take on other responsibilities because as she states, “It needs to be done”. I am very proud to have Officer Tate on my team.

-Calvin Sims, Director of Security

National Physician’s Week is March 25-31!

Doctor talking to his patient

Doctors deal with years of school, grueling shifts, and emotionally difficult decisions, and still manage to care for us with focus and kindness. Physicians drastically improve the duration and quality of life for everyone, and throughout history have done their best to use cutting-edge science to care for others. We have four residents who heeded the call; Dr. Richard Cheek, Dr. Richard Colditz, Dr. Roger LaBonte and Dr. Charles Parrott.


The medical profession is one of the oldest, dating back to 25,000 B.C. Healers completing their jobs are depicted on cave walls in France. It wasn’t until almost 20,000 years later that true surgery was born in Egypt, where the first public health system was established. In fact, Egyptians even performed root canals, much like we still do today.

In Greece, medical ethics were born. Hippocrates penned the famous and still-used Hippocratic oath around 500 B.C., which states that doctors must do no harm. By the 1100s, medical schools and hospitals began to be established across Europe. Some of the earliest ones were founded in Paris, Salerno, and Oxford. The works of Hippocrates and other Greek physicians were taught. Though medical schools had already existed for some time, the word ‘physician’ was not added to the dictionary until 1400.

There was a great expansion of the profession in the late 1700s and 1800s, starting in 1766 with the chartering of the first medical organization. In 1847, the American Medical Association was established, and 1849 saw the first woman medical student, Elizabeth Blackwell, graduate from Geneva Medical College in New York. Notable advancements of physicians in the 1900s included the 1937 establishment of the first blood bank, the first human to human heart transplant in 1967, and the first artificial heart implanted in a patient in 1982.

The movement that created National Physicians Week began in 2016 when the advocacy group Physicians Working Together (PWT) sought to celebrate and acknowledge physicians everywhere. The group started on social media with the goal to relieve stress and foster connections for doctors. The movement has come a long way — founder Dr. Kim Jackson says it has helped physicians find better connections with each other and with their patients.

When you see one of our resident physicians, especially during Physician’s Week, let them know how much they are appreciated!


There are a lot of doctors!

There are around 700,000 physicians in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Med school is more female

Up 30% from 30 years ago, it’s now estimated that over 50% of medical school graduates are women.

Physicians never stop working hard

Even after the grueling work of med school, doctors don’t stop. Over 50% of physicians report working overtime, up to 60 hours per week.

Gamers make great surgeons

According to one study, surgeons who played video games made 37% fewer errors in surgery than their counterparts who did not!

Resident Spotlight: Mary Blanche Scott


Mary Blanche Scott’s account of her life with Dr. Edwin Scott enlightens us about the sacrifices and hardships that can occur when married to a physician. “Make no mistake,” admits Mary Blanche, “I wouldn’t change my life. It allowed me to have the opportunity to serve others.” Mary Blanche continues, “It was sometimes very lonely. I had to work to help support us and care for three children as Ed had long hours away from home while in school and while completing his internship and residencies. 

Mary Blanche and Dr. Ed Scott moved to Kirby Pines in October 2013. Dr. Ed had retired after 33 years of practice. Sadly, he passed away in 2019 from complications of diabetes. This is Mary Blanche’s story: 

Mary Blanche and Margaret Ann McMullen were born on January 31, 1929, in Sumner, Mississippi. They had an older brother and sister and their father was 60 years old when they were born! Their father was a landowner and was away managing “the place” most of the time. Mary Blanche describes her youth as a happy one. Life was centered on school, friends, and church activities at the local Baptist Church. “Birthdays were big events for us,” says Mary Blanche. “One of our friends invited us to come by train to Memphis and have lunch at the Peabody to celebrate her 12th birthday.” 

As identical twins, Mary Blanche and her sister got along well. According to Mary Blanche, “We did everything together including wearing identical clothing, playing basketball, and having the same friends. We were the first identical twins anyone could remember being born in Sumner, so we were quite an event! It was said that the men who sat on benches outside the stores took turns betting 50 cents that they could tell us apart.” 

Following high school, Mary Blanche enrolled in Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi and was active in the choir and on the tennis team. Her senior year, she transferred to Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also had majors in History, Bible, and Spanish. “Zoology,” admits Mary Blanche, “was not my favorite subject. I dreaded returning to school on Monday morning to my dogfish shark that had been resting in a barrel of formaldehyde. 

The decision to accept a teaching position in Natchez, Mississippi, was to alter the rest of Mary Blanche’s life. It was here she met her future husband, Ed Scott, who had just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. They were married in August 1951 and returned to Atlanta for Ed to complete a master’s degree. Their first son, Stephen, was born the following year. 

With a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ed was employed by Exxon for the next six years in Linden, New Jersey, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But, two older brothers had become physicians, and the call to medicine became too strong for Ed. When he was accepted to medical school in 1957 at the University of Tennessee, the family moved to Memphis. Their second son, Jeff, was born on the first day of medical school. “It was hard to tell what Ed was most excited about!” exclaims Mary Blanche. 

So, with children five years old and five months old, Mary Blanche began a seven-year teaching position at the Longfield Junior High School while Ed completed medical school, internship, and residency programs. According to Mary Blanche, “Ed chose to specialize in Internal Medicine because he always wanted to know what caused the problem and how to solve it.” Also, as previously mentioned, time with the family was limited for Ed. “To have more time with him, the children and I would eat lunch with Ed every Sunday at the old John Gaston Hospital, Ed’s training facility.” 

Wedding Day 1951

Another son, Edwin Jr., was born in 1962. Dr. Ed’s practice as a primary care physician (with an additional residency in Cardiology) grew to become Graceland Medical in Whitehaven. Fortunately, it was built close to the area that would later become Methodist Hospital. Following the establishment of Ed’s medical practice, Mary Blanche retired from teaching and devoted many hours working with the Women’s Medical Auxiliary. Because of the heavy influx of Vietnamese, auxiliary women worked with them to help establish and maintain their homes. There was also work with new mothers at John Gaston Hospital in helping them learn proper care of their babies. When time allowed, Mary Blanche enjoyed playing tennis. “I have always loved playing tennis and playing with my friends,” says Mary Blanche. 

Despite the sometimes irregular life, travel was something the family enjoyed. Mary Blanche’s twin sister was a missionary in Nigeria, and Mary Blanche visited there three times. When a son moved to England, visits with him provided the opportunity to tour many surrounding countries. In addition to her three sons, Mary Blanche’s family grew to include eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

Mary Blanche believes that the move to Kirby Pines was right for them. “I enjoyed being with Ed’s brother and sister-in-law who lived here. It is certainly a blessing to be living among Christian friends and with others who are like family to me.” She and other members of Germantown Presbyterian Church eat lunch together every Sunday. Mary Blanche enjoys reading, the Book Baggers Club, and always a good game of bridge!

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident, Kirby Pines.

Get Better Sleep!

You may recall an article a while back on successful sleep. Well, sleep is so important to maintaining good physical and mental function, we are back with more helpful sleep tips! Remember, sleep is how your mind and body recharge, and without it, you cannot function properly. 

Here are some controllable factors to help with a good night’s sleep: 

Limit Screen Time. The National Sleep Foundation recommends you stop using electronic devices, like your phone or tablet, at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If possible, avoid watching tv or using your phone, computer, or tablet, in the bedroom. The blue light emitted from these devices restrains the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. Instead, try reading a book. 

Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day. Having caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate) later in the day can keep you awake at night. The level of caffeine in your blood peaks around one hour after consumption, and stays at that level for several hours for most people. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but it is recommended you do not consume caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. 

Pick the Perfect Temperature. Sleep experts recommend keeping the room around 65 degrees, to help induce sleep and support better sleep patterns. However, if you are used to sleeping in a warmer room, slowly decrease bedroom temperatures and see if it has a positive impact. Also think about the bedding and pajamas you are wearing – are they conducive to a “cool” night’s sleep? 

Avoid Eating Large Meals Close to Bedtime. While it may seem like a good idea to go to sleep on a nice full stomach, eating a large meal right before bed can lead to tummy troubles. If your stomach is still digesting food when you lie down, you may experience acid reflux, heartburn, or nausea, which can keep you up. Remember, sleep is a time for your body to rest and that’s impossible if you’re trying to digest a meal. It is recommended that you wait three hours after eating a meal to go to bed. 

Nap Smart. Naps can help reduce fatigue, increase alertness, and improve mood and memory, but try to nap smart. Keep naps short – aim for 10 to 20 minutes. The longer you nap, the more likely you are to feel groggy. Take naps in the early afternoon. Napping later in the day (after 3 p.m.) can interfere with nighttime sleep. 

If you are struggling with healthy sleep hygiene, contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team for assistance! 

Happy Sleeping! 

Live the Life You’ve Earned at Kirby Pines!

If you think your best days are behind you, you’ve obviously never been to Kirby Pines! With our 60-acre campus, renovated luxury apartments, wonderful food and more, you can see how life, living and community can make you feel right at home. Check out our video and see why Kirby Pines makes you part of a family.

Time to Get Moving!

My children played a game called you move, you lose. When someone got up from the “choice seat” in the car or at a party, or “Daddy’s cushy chair” in front of the TV, another child would quickly sit in the coveted seat. When the first child returned to find their favorite spot taken, the “offender” shouted, “You move, you lose!” 

As we age, we find just the opposite is true; if we don’t move, we lose. Sitting for long periods of time causes our muscles to weaken and our joints to ache. Usually our worst times are in the mornings just when we rise out of bed. One of the participants in the Chair Yoga exercise class shared her secret of flexibility: she stretches head to toes, including arms, legs, fingers, and neck before she even steps on the floor every morning and then gently exercises each joint for a few minutes before breakfast. She has done this for so long, it’s a habit and she couldn’t imagine starting her day without it. 

When a joint hurts, people tend to protect and not move that joint. In a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago: “more than 40 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, remain inactive; ‘We were surprised they were very inactive,” says the lead author Jungwha “Julia” Lee, PhD, assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine, ‘Regular, moderate physical activity offers a host of benefits. It helps reduce pain and improve well-being.’” 

The moving of muscles and joints does not require expensive exercise equipment, although the Oasis has many helpful pieces of exercise equipment to keep you moving. The Nu- Step is especially helpful with movement of the arms and legs without extra pressure on the joints. Kirby Pines offers exercise classes 5 days a week. These exercise classes will help you implement safe and helpful strengthening and stretching exercises. But just getting out of your apartment and walking the halls of Kirby Pines is a great beginning for moving and gaining flexibility, strength, and balance. Remember “You move, you lose.” Move those aching joints and lose some of that pain of arthritis and lose that attitude that there’s nothing you can do about it. 


Everything’s Turning Green at Kirby Pines

Spring is finally here! Moreover, what a joy it is to have warmer weather, a nice breeze on a bright, sunny day and the budding of trees on our beautiful sixty-acre campus. In fact, the beauty of our campus makes the additional six weeks of winter Punxsutawney Phil predicted seem worth it. The sight of daffodils, irises and azaleas in bloom is a treat for all of us to enjoy. It is, in fact, a perfect time to enjoy the springtime weather and take a stroll outside along the many walkways as new blades of green grass come up. 

Speaking of green, get ready for a fun filled day as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with good Irish food in the dining room, and the “wearing of the green” by residents and staff. Allison Nolan and her team have planned some fun activities around St Patrick’s Day and throughout the month. Who knows, you may even see the “artful use of green” as fellow residents work on their creations in the Arts and Crafts room.

If you prefer a more “natural green”, then take a walk around the campus to see the beauty that Spring brings, or think about becoming a member of the Garden Growers Club and select your garden plot to seed for fresh flowers, vegetable or fruits. This club has been active for years at Kirby Pines and this year won’t find them waiting til April showers arrive. 

Here’s wishing you find your pot of gold by living the lifestyle that Kirby Pines offers you and that you worked so hard to achieve.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

Childish or Childlike

With many of you here at Kirby I’ve had fear that someday people, talking behind my back, would accuse me of being childish. The dictionary defines childish as having “immaturity and lack of poise.“ As an 88 year old, I certainly didn’t want to appear “immature.” And goodness knows, I have privately considered myself as having poise. 

Being a “person of the Book,” I remember that, when he became an ardent follower of Jesus, Paul said, I put away childish ways. However, I was forced into putting that in sharper perspective when I remembered Jesus’ word: “Let the little children come to me, for to such belongs the Kingdom of heaven.” 

I’ve had to conclude that there is a difference between childish and childlike… Rather than having “immaturity and lack of poise” as the dictionary defines childish ,“ childlike is “marked by innocence, trust, and simplicity.” 

No wonder I like Eric Marshall and Stuart Hamphill’s Children’s Letters to God. One little boy prayed, “Dear God, I’m sorry I was late for Sunday School, I couldn’t find my underwear.” And another little boy prayed, “Dear God, please tell me where everybody came from, and I hope you explain it better than my daddy did.” Children are open and alive. They have a perception that we adults seem to have lost. Best of all they have the capacity of what I call living lightly. They’re not burdened down by preconception. Their lives are not predetermined by force of habit. They’re not closed to others because of sour experiences. They don’t keep grudges. 

So for God’s sake, and for our community’s sake, let’s not be childish. Let’s pray and work hard at being childlike

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month

Willie Knight


Describe your family: Very joyful and happy.

Describe yourself in five words: Very kind and love to help others.

What do you do for fun: Go to the movies.

What are some of your hobbies: Making my car look great.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Love to make things look good.

What is your favorite food: Meatloaf.

What is your favorite song: Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday.

What is something you are proud of: My parents.

What would you like people to know about you: I’m very kind.

Willie Knight works extremely hard for a department that stands alone in what they do. He has perfect attendance and always works above and beyond what is expected of him. He has a wonderful work ethic and never complains. We are proud and lucky to have Willie in the Maintenance Department.

– Chuck Neeley, Director of Maintenance

Kirby Pines 2023 Crusade For Christ

Wednesday, February 22 – Eric Brand

Thursday, February 23 – Dr. Jimmy Latimer

Friday, February 24 – Gloryland Trio