Friends and family are mourning the loss of Mr. Chris Ramsey, a beloved Chattanooga native known for his tireless effort to bridge the health care gap in minority communities.
Mr. Ramsey, 54, passed away unexpectedly last Saturday following a battle with COVID-19.
Mr. Ramsey served as executive director of Chattanooga’s Tech Town from 2017-2018, and for nearly two decades has been co-chairman of the annual Hamilton County Minority Health Fair, which has grown into the area’s largest event of its kind.
Since 2002, the Hamilton County Minority Health Fair has provided free and lifesaving services to people of all ages–bringing healthcare entities and patients together to assure access to screenings, health specialists and family doctors for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
When the pandemic struck in 2020, Mr. Ramsey brought his passion to the frontline,
coordinating COVID-19 testing for underserved black and brown communities.
He partnered last summer with the Hamilton County Health Department and African-American churches who offered their parking lots and congregations to host drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites.
A Chattanooga native, Mr. Ramsey graduated from Brainerd High School in 1984. He received his bachelors of business administration from Austin Peay State University in 1988, and his Masters of business administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1990.
Mr. Ramsey served as the chief strategy officer at Yesmar Strategy and Consulting, and was formerly the president of the Southeast Tennessee Health Consortium foundation. He worked for 24 years at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in a variety of management roles, including director of policy and regulations.
He also operated the Chris Ramsey Insurance Agency.
Mr. Ramsey was an active member at New Covenant Fellowship Church, where he joined in 2004. He served as a deacon and in 2014 was ordained as an elder. He served as the leader of the Altar, Health & Wellness and Welcome Ministries.
Mr. Ramsey was the co-chairman for the Annual Boys Leadership Summit, and was the first Black chairman of the Boys & Girls Club of Chattanooga. He also served on a number of other local boards, with a focus on mentoring and improving the lives of inner-city youth.
He was an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Mr. Ramsey leaves behind his wife Lacreesha and their three children–Bria, Chris Jr. and Evan.
Visitation will be held on Jan. 22, 1-6 p.m. at the John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave. A Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity memorial ceremony will follow at 6 p.m., at an undisclosed location.
A “Celebration of Life” service for Mr. Ramsey will take place at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23, at New Covenant Fellowship Church, 1326 N. Moore Rd. It is suggested that only family and close friends attend this service, as seating is limited due to compliance with COVID-19 protocols.