Comforting Polar Bear

USA • Mid Atlantic Area

Chess Yellott

2019, Ron Hering Awards

“As a man among men I nourish social justice everyone has a place and a voice.

Chess Yellott is a retired physician that fills his days saving lives at the Renovo Center, in small-town West Virginia. He also can be seen and heard advocating for people that are largely without a voice. Chess states that he does what he does because the opiate drug addicts he serves are in mortal danger, yet many don’t consider what addicts suffer from to be an illness. As a doctor of medicine, Chess challenges this view with the logic that nearly all people want to live and be happy. Opiate drug abuse is a direct threat to both, so it follows that an illness must be present.

Chess, 70, is a graduate of Tuft’s University in Boston, MA, is married since 1969 to Lynn, has a daughter, Stephanie, and lives in a small town in West Virginia. Beyond fighting addiction, overdose and discrimination, his hobbies include folk singing, and, as he jokingly states, serving as a “”entomological nutritionist.”” This last is a reference to the number of bugs he feeds via his organic gardens.

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