AUGUSTA, Ga. – One long-time Augusta physician was honored for his community advocacy and another for his professionalism Friday by the Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.
Dr. William L. Farr Jr., Chief Medical Officer for University Hospital for a dozen years, received the MCG Community Advocate Award from Dean Peter F. Buckley. Dr. Anthony L. Pearson-Shaver, Chief of the Section of Pediatric Critical Care at MCG and Clinical Service Chief of Pediatric Medicine at the Georgia Health Sciences Children’s Medical Center, received the Professionalism Award.
Award recipients were announced Friday by Buckley during his second State of the College Address.
“We want in a very public manner to recognize community advocacy and professionalism, two key areas of development, focus and importance to this medical school and really to any organization,” said Buckley, who presented the inaugural awards last year to Karyn Nixon, Executive Assistant to Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver and the now-deceased Dr. Alan Roberts, Associate Professor of Medicine at MCG, whose many accomplishments included starting the medical school’s Mini-Med School for the public and serving as a strong advocate and educator of physician ethics.
Farr, an internist with a master’s degree in business administration, oversees clinical quality, patient safety, case management and performance improvement at University Hospital, a large community facility that is strengthening its affiliation with Georgia Health Sciences University and its medical school.
The agreement, which will be fully operational this summer, expands resident and medical student education at University Hospital, which served as the teaching hospital for GHSU from the university’s founding in 1828 until it opened its own hospital in 1956. “University Hospital is dear to the hearts of many of our alumni, and now future generations will have these memories as well,” Buckley said.
“Dr. Farr has embraced the sentiment of reuniting on the important ground of educating physicians for our community and state,” Buckley said. He characterizes Farr as a “senior physician leader, wonderful partner and highly regarded member of the Augusta community. He could not be more helpful,” the dean said.
Pearson-Shaver is “a gentle giant of the institution,” who exemplifies professionalism and routinely exceeds the call of duty for patients, families, colleagues, students and residents, Buckley said. “This man is a leader. He has a remarkable ability to be introspective and critical about issues where we need to improve while remaining very positive and committed to our institution. He encourages us to make things better. This is a great skill many of us do not have. In addition to all those other aspects of professionalism and leadership with respect to patient care, training, modeling, mentorship, he also is someone who ‘shows up’ for things,” the dean said. “You can count on Tony to be there.”
Pearson-Shaver joined the MCG faculty in 1986 after completing his pediatric critical care fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He served as Medical Director of the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team for a decade and of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for 13 years. He chairs the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Management Group.
He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Transport Medicine Conference Planning Committee and served for many years on its Committee on Hospital Care, which earned him a Service Award in 2009. Pearson-Shaver earned the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Award for Patient Care from the MCG Faculty Senate.
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