AMA Honors Winston-Salem Physician

The AMA today presented its 2011 Distinguished Service Award to Winston-Salem surgeon Jesse H. Meredith, MD, Past Chair of the NC Public Health Commission. The award is given 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, MD. “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) and has made several important contributions to the field of medicine. He was the first surgeon in the western world to successfully reattach 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. He 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.

Dr. Meredith is a Life Member of the NCMS, which he joined in 1964. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. During his forty years on the NC Public Health Commission, Dr. Meredith served as chair for thirty years. Under his leadership, the Commission adopted more than 2,000 public health regulations.

The Institute for Regenerative Medicine of North Carolina recently named its surgery center in honor of Dr. Meredith. He was given the State of North Carolina Award for Public, 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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1 Comment

  • Sharon M. Carter, MPH

    I worked for the Department of Surgery at BGSM in the 1970s and worked with Dr. Jesse Meredith as he saw patients in the surgical office area. He was not only an amazing physician, he was a really nice person. One could tell even then that he was extraordinary.
    Congratulations to Dr. Meredith for all the well deserved praise.