Harbert Theodore Tatum, the third child of James and Mary Tatum, was born on January 18, 1894 in Columbus, Texas, and christened in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He passed through this life on June 16, 1983.
Mr. Tatum’s career as an educator began first as a teacher and later as Vice-President of McDonough High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1925, he became a resident of Gary, Indiana and served as principal of Virginia Street School and East Pulaski High School until 1932. He had a long and distinguished tenure as principal of Roosevelt High School for 1933 until his retirement in 1961.
His services to the community included membership to the Board of Directors of Methodist Hospital and of the Gary Goodwill Industries. He was a co-organizer of the Urban League of Gary and recipient of the Two Friends Award. He was instrumental in the organization of the Lake County Principal’s Association and the Gary High School Principal’s Association.
In 1994 The Methodist Hospitals, Inc. offered a Family Practice Residency Program that understood and kept pace with the medical needs of Gary Indiana and it surrounding community service areas.
Accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, the nucleus for the residency program was H. Theo Tatum Family Health Center in Gary, Indiana. Located adjacent to the Methodist Hospitals, Tatum (now Ross Family Doctors of Tatum Family Health Center) is one of the most prominent and leading family health centers in Northwest Indiana.
With over 22,000 annual patient visits, the H. Theo Tatum Family Health Center functioned as a group practice, which allowed residents to work with a regular patient population. Directed by Dr. David E. Ross, Jr., Family Medicine Residency Program Director, the philosophy behind Tatum was to take charge and lead the field of family medicine and the program’s resident physicians in safe efficient and effective patient care.