Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center celebrated the formal unveiling of the Willie F. Hawkins Community Center on Nov. 9 at the LSU Health Baton Rouge North Clinic on Airline Highway.

Hawkins was instrumental in helping LSU secure the land where the clinic now stands, a news release said, as well as serving the public through various state administrative positions, Louisiana Health Care Authority and other health care and nonprofit organizations. He served with the U.S. Army and with the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam and received the Ford Foundation Fellowship Award.

“For more than 42 years, Willie Hawkins served his community as a dedicated public servant and a champion for better health care, social services and higher education for all Louisiana residents,” said K. Scott Wester, president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake. “The Willie F. Hawkins Community Center honors his lifelong commitment to community and will be a place for people to come together for health fairs, educational events and other group meetings.”

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broom, state Sens. Regina Barrow and Yvonne Colomb and state Rep. Edmond Jordan joined Hawkins’ widow, Claudia, in the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Hawkins. The Rev. Johnson Kuriappilly concluded the dedication ceremony with a blessing of the room.

The Willie F. Hawkins Community Center can be reserved online through the Our Lady of the Lake website at no cost.