2005 Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award
Jon M. Regis ’73
At the Black Alumni Reunion 10 years ago, Bushey Regis got talking with his old friend Keith Wilson, whose father was a government official in Liberia. When Keith found out that Bushey runs a health services company in New Jersey, he told him that Liberia was coming out of its seven-year civil war with its health care infrastructure badly damaged. That conversation led Bushey to make numerous humanitarian visits to West Africa, not only to Liberia but to Mali and to The Gambia as well.
With support from the United Nations Developing Nations Program, he arranges for hospitals in the Atlantic City area to donate their used equipment—still sound but replaced with newer models—and sets up transportation for it. Recently, he mobilized medical equipment and medical textbooks for the University of The Gambia’s newly established medical school. Out of his own pocket, he paid the tuition for medical training for a number of local students.
Longtime friend Phillip McAlpin ‘75—who works with him on these humanitarian missions—calls Bushey a dreamer, the kind of person who looks at a situation and says, why not? “Then he’ll try to come up with the way, the how and why to do something,” Phillip said. “He has been very successful in doing so.” His business in New Jersey started small and expanded dramatically to become what’s probably the largest minority health provider in the state. An OB-GYN by training, Bushey has been for the last twenty years a medical businessman focusing on women’s health and indigent inner city populations.
He had wanted to go into medicine since junior high, probably, he says, because he saw how a doctor who lived near him was respected in the community and contributed to the community. From the beginning, he has believed that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that those who have take care of those who do not. His commitment to health care in West African nations is part of his belief that African-Americans should have a closer, stronger association with Africa and should look for ways to export their expertise to the motherland.
Bushey, friends say, has always been willing to share what he has. Vincent Papaccio describes him as “an individual who has a sincere compassion for treating the underserved, who is committed to their cause and who is tireless in his efforts to recruit others in joining this noble mission.” Besides serving as one of the first physician executives in the practice management industry, Bushey speaks at public forums on urban health care delivery issues and educates the public on the disparities in health care delivery in the United States.
He is, says Lucille Rendina, an employee for many years, a true visionary. He is “sincere in his compassion and dedicated to his mission to helping those who are less fortunate. In his efforts and as an employer, Dr. Regis is serious yet humorous, demanding yet kind, a whirlwind yet stable. Though he is my quote-unquote boss, I also count him as my friend. He is a man who is truly worth getting to know.”