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Physicians embrace and support our community

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Tammi Holbrook
Physicians embrace and support our community

As physicians, William and Mayola Boykin share a passion for helping people in need. Their concern for the welfare of others extends beyond healthcare and the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, to include hope and opportunity.

“If you look at Gallup polls and how our region scores in areas such as hope and expectation of having a good life — you have to ask, how can we work together to lift people up and make it so they don’t feel invisible?” she said.

Working in medicine — she’s a radiologist, he’s a urologist — the Boykins see it as their job to serve. “As a doctor, there’s this desire to serve that extends into the greater community,” he said.

Over the years, the couple have given their time, talent and funds to support organizations that share their vision and concerns. These include the United Way of Northeast Kentucky, The Neighborhood and the American Cancer Society (ACS). William is currently serving as chairman-elect of the ACS Mid-South Division Board of Directors.

Each year, the Boykins sponsor fundraisers such as the Wine and Bourbon Ball for The Neighborhood and the White Party that benefits the Cancer Action Network — the arm of the American Cancer Society that advocates to lawmakers to fund cancer screenings, smoke-free campaigns and quality of life initiatives. Last year’s White Party was hosted at the Ashland Train Depot (the first two years the Boykins hosted the party at their home). “It was the tenth highest fundraiser nationally for the organization,” said William. “That says a lot for our community!”

Originally from Georgia, the Boykins’ passion for serving others was evident long before they moved to Ashland. Both served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army. William served two years as general medical officer and flight surgeon taking him to posts in Korea, Germany and San Antonio. Mayola served as chief of radiology at Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Fort Sill, Okla. They met in medical school at Emory University in Atlanta.

It was ultimately their contacts in the Army that helped bring them to Ashland. William discovered physicians he had served with, including urologist Tim Dixon, M.D., cardiologist John Van Deren, M.D., and nephrologist Don Hammonds, D.O., were already practicing with King’s Daughters. These friends persuaded the couple to move here.

“We embraced moving our family to a small town,” said Mayola. “Our three sons loved growing up in Ashland and living close to Central Park. Being in a tightknit community allowed us to spend more time together as a family, and we’ve all made many close friends here.”

Living in Ashland has had other advantages, as well. “You can support your community anywhere you live, but in a smaller town you can actually see the impact,” he said. “In a big city, everything is much more diluted.”

The pair also is deeply committed to the arts and their impact on education and quality of life. Every year, they sponsor jazz performances at the Paramount Arts Center. “The Jazz Alley program just keeps growing,” Mayola said. “We’re seeing many more young people attending — it’s exciting!”

The arts have greatly influenced their own children — John, 25, is a theater production major at Marshall University and Billy, 27, is pursing a master’s degree in recording engineering in Atlanta. Their middle child Mark, 23, returns to the University of Chicago in the fall and is majoring in English, chemistry and technical writing. All three are musicians. Currently, John and Mark host a radio show from 6 to 9 a.m. every Wednesday on Marshall’s radio station, WMUL, 88.1 FM.

Last year, the Boykins had the unique opportunity to support the production of a short HBO film written by their nephew’s wife, Gabrielle Fulton-Ponder. The film, Ir/Reconcilable told the story of a drug addict trying to reconcile with the family she abandoned many years before. “The film’s message was very positive – full of hope,” Mayola said, adding discussions are taking place to film the story as a feature-length movie.

One thing is certain, William and Mayola don’t wait for opportunities to help others to come to them — they seek them out.

“As physicians and as a couple, they put their heart and soul into improving the lives of others,” said Jerri Compton, executive director of United Way of Northeast Kentucky. “They see people’s needs; they see people’s potential and generously support organizations that can affect change in our region. Our community is blessed to have them.”

For more stories like this one, click here to read our Report to the Community 2016.