Rebekah Naylor honored for service to medically underserved
Note: This article is adapted from a press release produced and distributed by the American College of Surgeons.
WASHINGTON, DC (SWBTS) – Surgeon Rebekah Ann Naylor, the daughter of former president of Southwestern Seminary Robert Naylor, was recently recognized for her efforts in providing surgical care to those in need by being named the recipient of the 2016 American College of Surgeons ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award. Naylor received the award for her contributions to Bangalore Baptist Hospital (BBH) in India, where she worked as a medical missionary.
Naylor was one of five humanitarian and volunteerism award recipients honored at the 2016 ACS Clinical Congress in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18. The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian and Volunteerism Awards are given “in recognition of those surgeons who have dedicated a substantial portion of their career to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement.”
Naylor was appointed as a missionary to India by the Foreign (now International) Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1973, and she arrived at Bangalore Baptist Hospital in 1974. Her work there included a clinical practice, administrative responsibility, and teaching. She served as a surgeon at BBH and became chief of medical staff four years later.
In 1984, Naylor became administrator and medical superintendent. She founded the adjoining nursing school, now named the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing, in 1995, and the school has now trained hundreds of nurses, including many from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Naylor led the development of the hospital from 80 to 160 beds, and it now has 340 beds and treats 275,000 patients per year in its clinics.
In the 1990s, Naylor organized training programs in four allied health disciplines, set up accredited residency training programs for doctors, and initiated a training program for chaplains. She also started a choir, taught Bible study, led chapels, supervised building projects, and created a strategy to reach India through the hospital’s ministry.
Naylor returned to the United States in 2002 and joined the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, as clinical associate professor of surgery, a position she held until she retired in 2010. She is also an adjunct professor of missions and special missionary-in-residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Naylor continues to travel frequently to India to participate in the ministry of BHH. She also now serves as a global health care consultant for Baptist Global Response, a non-profit relief and development organization, where she helps to mobilize personnel to meet medical needs around the world.
The surgical volunteerism awardees are determined by the ACS Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup, and the awards are administered through the ACS Operation Giving Back program. For more information on the American College of Surgeons, visit www.facs.org.
(Photo courtesy of ACS)