MAG honors DPH leader with award for contributions to medicine

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J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., received the Lamartine Hardman Cup during a ceremony that took place in conjunction with the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) 162nd House of Delegates meeting in Savannah on October 15. The MAG award is given to a physician who has solved an outstanding problem in public health or made a discovery in surgery or medicine or a contribution to the science of medicine. 

In nominating him for the award, the Medical Association of Atlanta’s president, Thomas E. Bat, M.D., wrote that, “Dr. O’Neal deserves this honor because of his contributions to addressing the Ebola epidemic, along with his efforts to help develop and secure funding for an interrelated trauma system in Georgia…his efforts have and will continue to save the lives of many people in Georgia.”

Dr. O’Neal is the director of Health Protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health, where he oversees several important areas – including emergency Medical services (EMS), trauma, emergency preparedness, epidemiology, infectious disease, immunizations, and environmental health.  

Along with being one of the leading advocates for the trauma system in Georgia, Dr. O’Neal has been a key figure in the development of MAG’s Medical Reserve Corps – which supplements the official medical and public health and emergency services resources that are available in the state. 

Dr. O’Neal has also been instrumental in the development, adoption and enhancement of the Georgia Immunization Registry (GRITS) system – as well as expanding the system from pediatrics to adults.

The award was named for Lamartine Hardman, M.D., who was Georgia’s governor from 1927 to 1931 and who was a successful physician, entrepreneur and farmer from Jackson County.