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Winston-Salem Physician Wins AMA Distinguished Service Award

For immediate release:
Nov. 12, 2011

New Orleans The American Medical Association (AMA) today presented Winston-Salem, N.C. physician Jesse Hedgepeth Meredith, M.D., with its 2011 Distinguished Service Award Saturday at its semi-annual policy-making meeting in New Orleans. The award is granted for meritorious service in the science and art of medicine.

"Dr. Meredith has devoted himself to advancing clinical medicine as well as the public health," said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D. “His tremendous contributions to the field of medicine and his work to improve the public health will benefit both future generations of physicians and their patients."

Dr. Meredith, a general and thoracic surgeon, is professor emeritus at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (WFUSM) (formerly Bowman Gray School of Medicine) and has made several important contributions to the field of medicine. He was the first surgeon in the western world to successfully re-attach a severed hand, and he designed the first intensive care unit (ICU) in the country. Dr. Meredith started the organ transplant program at WFUSM/WFU Baptist Medical Center and also founded and served as the first director of WFUSM’s Biomedical Engineering department. He was a charter member of the Southeastern Organ Procurement Foundation, which set standards for donor organ procurement, preservation, and tissue typing, and served as a model for the current national standard for organ transplantation. Dr. Meredith became the director of the first burn unit and tissue bank in North Carolina and, with a colleague planned and initiated the first comprehensive course for ambulance drivers, which eventually became the EMT program.

For 40 years – 30 as chair – Dr. Meredith served on the North Carolina Public Health Commission, the rule-making body for public health in the state. Under his leadership, more than 2,000 public health regulations were passed. Dr. Meredith was on the faculty for 41 years prior to becoming professor emeritus at WFUSM where he continues to serve on the Institution Review Board. He teaches gross anatomy and clinical-based learning to freshmen at WFUSM. The Institute for Regenerative Medicine at WFUSM has just named its surgery research center in honor of Dr. Meredith. He was given the State of North Carolina Award for Public Health, the highest honor the state can bestow and was inducted into the "Order of the Long Leaf Pine" by Governor Beverly Perdue in 2009, the highest honor given by the governor to a civilian.

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Contact:

Shannon O'Brien
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4443
Shannon.Obrien@ama-assn.org

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