Aug 14, 2018 12:00 PM
Alana Shepherd, Co-Founder, Shepherd Center
Shepherd Center Today – The Future to Come
Alana Shepherd and her family co-founded Shepherd Center in Atlanta in 1975 to treat patients with spinal cord injuries. Through the years, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed rehabilitation hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Now, Shepherd Center treats about 900 inpatients, 575 day program patients and more than 7,700 outpatients each year. Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.
Alana, Harold and James Shepherd were awarded honorary doctorate of humane letters degrees in December 2011 by the University of Georgia, in conjunction with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, in recognition of their contributions to healthcare and the state of Georgia.
Alana has received many awards, including the 2012 J.W. Fanning Award from Leadership Georgia and the Georgia Hospital Association's 2009 Lifetime Heroic Achievement Award for her lifetime of service to enhancing operations and patient care at Shepherd Center. She also received Atlanta Gas Light’s and WSB Radio’s 2005 Shining Light Award. Alana was included on the Georgia Trend list of Notable Georgians for 2009 and inducted into the National Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame in 2008. She also has been named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of “Who’s Who in Healthcare” multiple times. In 2015, the Georgia Historical Society inducted Alana as a Georgia Trustee, and that same year, she also received the Andrew Young International Leadership Award for Public Service and Advocacy. In 2017, the Delta Air Lines Advisory Board on Disability chose Shepherd Center co-founders Alana, Harold and James Shepherd as the 2017 recipients of Deltas Jay & Hagar Award for servant leadership.
Alana’s numerous civic involvements have included serving as former vice president and current member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Greater Grady Task Force and secretary of the board of directors for the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.
In 1989, Alana was the first woman elected to be a member of the Buckhead Coalition, and in 2003, she became the first woman elected as chairman of the Coalition. She was also the first woman elected to the board of directors of Genuine Parts and the board of directors of Wachovia Bank of Georgia.
Through the years, Alana has been Shepherd Center's chief fundraiser and prime mover-volunteer. Alana is known for her upbeat honesty, business savvy and relentless drive. She continues to serve as secretary of the board of directors at Shepherd Center, and she is a constant presence at Shepherd Center, meeting and offering encouragement to new patients and their families, leading tours and championing Shepherd Center’s mission and vision.
INVOCATION: George Wieder