Distinguished Service Award Winners

2019 - Sen. Dean Burke, Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Hospital and Manor


Sen. Dean Burke is the chief medical officer (CMO) of Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge, where he oversees medical staff affairs and employed physicians and physician practices. He has served Senate District 11 since being elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2013. Since then, through his roles as CMO and a legislator, he has been instrumental in supporting the work of Georgia’s hospitals to transform the delivery of health care. In 2013, he sponsored a bill requiring the Department of Public Health to establish a Maternal Mortality Review Committee to review maternal deaths and devise solutions to this public health crisis to ensure that childbirth is safe for every woman in Georgia.


As vice chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and chairman of the Senate Health Subcommittee of Appropriations, Sen. Burke supported state budget increases in emergency department reimbursement, including a 20 percent increase and 40 percent increase for urban and rural hospitals, respectively. He was also instrumental in raising the Rural Hospital Tax Credit to 90 percent from 70 percent during the 2017 Georgia General Assembly session and then to 100 percent during the 2018 session.


During the 2019 legislative session, Sen. Burke sponsored a bill that extended the sunset for the Rural Hospital Tax Credit and would create an office of Health Strategy and Coordination that, among other things, would develop innovative approaches to stabilizing costs while improving access to quality health care. The bill also included language to update and modernize certificate of need while maintaining the health planning process that preserves access to health care for all Georgians.


“Our hospitals have benefited tremendously from the legislative efforts of Sen. Burke,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “He continually looks for ways to serve and enhance his community and the entire state; we are extremely appreciative of all that he has done. He is a most-deserving recipient of this esteemed award.”


Sen. Burke is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Southwestern University and went on to graduate from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He completed specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon.



Past Distinguished Service Award Winners

2018- Starr H. Purdue, Navicent Health

2017 - Charles Moore, M.D., Grady Health System

2015 - Don Thomas, M.D., Hamilton Medical Center, and William Pannell, M.D., Crisp Regional Hospital

2014 - Walter C. McNeely, Southeast Georgia Health System

2013 - Aretha Neal, Monroe County Hospital, and Lila Hertz, Piedmont Healthcare

2012 - Benjamin H. Underwood (Gold Honor Award of Excellence), Charles 'Pete' Wood, WellStar Health System, and W. Woodrow Stewart, Northeast Georgia Health System

2011 - A. D. 'Pete' Correll, Grady Health System

2010 - Leonard Fant, Hutcheson Health Foundation, and R. Lee Smith, Jr., University Hospital

2009 - Sen. Greg Goggans (R-7), Coffee Regional Medical Center, and Norman Morris, Upson Regional Medical Center

2008 - James Lanier Allgood, Jr., Fairview Park Hospital, and Richard B. Hubbard, III, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Inc.

2007 - Levi W. Hill, Augusta, and William Waters, III, M.D., Atlanta

2006 - H. Duane Blair, M.D., Decatur, and Eldred Tippins, Jr., Claxton

2005 - Romeo Adams, Royston, and Howard Stroud, Sr., Athens

2004 - David Apple, Jr., M.D., Atlanta, and Wayne T. Sikes, Lawrenceville

2003 - Robert L. Brown, Jr., Atlanta, and George Jeter, Columbus

2002 - James Floyd, Jr., Hinesville, and Judy McMahan, Decatur

2001 - Rosemary Evans, Forsyth, and Willie (Bill) H. Odom, Macon

2000 - William M. Huffman, Rome, and W. Harry Wilson, Albany

1999 - Frank S. Dennis, Jr., Augusta, and John B. Prince, III, Tifton

1998 - Clarence C. Butler, M.D., Columbus, and Damon D. King, Macon

1997 - Jeff Kinlaw, Alma, Edward D. Griffin, Sr., Columbus, and Pauline Channell Richardson, Greensboro

1996 - Charles B. Eberhart, Decatur

1995 - B. G. Early, Rome, and Harley Langdale, Jr., Valdosta

1994 - T. Richard Daniel, Augusta, and Hulett D. Sumlin, Atlanta

1993 - Edward C. Loughlin, Jr., M.D., Atlanta, and Perry G. Busbee, M.D., Cordele

1992 - Alana Smith Shepherd, Atlanta, and C. Jackson Bandy, Dalton

1991 - Harold Nichols, Blairsville, and Charles R. Underwood, M.D., Marietta

1990 - J. William Pinkston, Jr., Atlanta

1989 - J. N. Cook, DeSoto, and Richard L. Olson, Columbus

1988 - Richard E. Bird, Statesboro, and W. Carl Gordon, Jr., M.D., Albany

1986-87 - T. W. Lord, Jr., Marietta, and J. Roger Sumner, Rome

1985 - Frederick Higginbotham, Atlanta, and James P. Hollis, Newnan

1984 - William T. Barnes, Macon, and Charles Yager, Dahlonega

1983 - George M. Rooks, Jr., Hartwell, and Aldine Rosser, Statesboro

1982 - Jack Hughston, M.D., Columbus, and Edwin B. Peel, Atlanta

1981 - Norman Dorminy, Fitzgerald, and Byron L. Southwell, Tifton

1980 - Mary W. Schley, M.D., Columbus, and Charles D. Hudson, LaGrange

1979 - Harry W. Jernigan, Jr., Augusta, and Robert W. Woodruff, Atlanta

1978 - J. P. Turner, Jr., Dalton, and Samuel R. Hunter, Sr., Americus

1977 - John Holt Moye, Columbus, and William C. Wardlaw, Jr., Atlanta

1976 - Hugh B. Landrum, Jr., Columbus, and James R. Lientz, Savannah

1975 - Lucius H. Atherton, Sr., Marietta, and John W. Gates, Rome

1974 - Glenn M. Hogan, Atlanta

1973 - Carl T. Barrett, Canton, and J. W. Fanning, Washington

1972 - John Rufus Evans, M.D., Decatur, and Fuller E. Callaway, Jr., LaGrange

1971 - Harry H. Purvis, Cornelia, Judge B. B. Heery, Savannah

1970 - Louie D. Newton, Atlanta, and George Lamar Westcott, Dalton

1969 - Boisfeuillet Jones, Atlanta, and Elbert P. Peabody, Augusta

1968 - John A. Sibley, Atlanta, R. C. Williams, M.D., Atlanta, and Reuben G. Clark, Savannah