Dr. Tamara Johnson was recently named the 2020 recipient of the Walter E. Harrison, Jr., MD, Humanitarian Award. Johnson was presented the award at the 26th Annual Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation Love Light ceremony held in the Kate Jeter Serenity Garden.
This award, named in honor of beloved physician Dr. Walter E. Harrison, Jr., is presented annually to an individual health care worker who demonstrates a commitment to compassionate health care service and community outreach. These were the guiding principles of Harrison’s medical career.
Harrison believed in helping those in need and he practiced this belief both at home and in medical missions abroad. The Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation established the award following Harrison’s death in December 2010.
Johnson began her career at Colquitt Regional as a hospitalist in the summer of 2017. In addition to her hospitalist role, Johnson serves as an infectious disease specialist with the Sterling Physician Group. During her tenure, she has also served as chairman of the Colquitt Regional Medical Staff Infection Control Committee.
“We are proud to honor Dr. Johnson with the Harrison Humanitarian Award,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “Dr. Johnson’s role became increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. She served at the helm of our COVID-19 task force and her insights and experience continue to be an invaluable asset to our leadership team and organization as a whole.”
From the onset of the pandemic, Johnson attended daily COVID-19 briefings and stayed in constant contact with hospital leadership and medical staff as protocols were established. Her understanding of disease processes and prevention practices guided the work of Colquitt Regional’s patient care teams.
In the nomination letters the selection committee received, Johnson was described as an “intelligent, compassionate, and true servant” with an “extraordinary commitment” to the community and her patients.
“Dr. Johnson embodies the principles that guided Dr. Harrison’s work,” said Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation Chairman John Mark Mobley. “As our hospital had to adapt to a new normal in the middle of a global pandemic, Dr. Johnson played an essential part in ensuring that our entire organization was educated and prepared to meet COVID-19 head on, all while continuing to provide care to her patients.”
Previous recipients of the Harrison Humanitarian award include Dr. Billy Ray Price; David Spence, RT (R, ARRT); Karen G. Hart, RN, CMSRN; Barbara James, RN; Dr. D.W. Adcock; Dr. Patricia Lee June; Denise Linnenkohl, RN; and Dr. Seth Berl.
The annual Love Light Ceremony was held on Tuesday evening in the Kate Jeter Serenity Garden. Santa along with VIP Tree Lighters Tripp DeMott and Abram Pitts flipped the switch to light up the garden.
The lights on the Love Light tree each symbolize a gift in honor or memory of a loved one. The purpose of Love Light is to benefit the Colquitt Regional Medical Foundation's Children's Fund, which was established to provide medical equipment for obstetric, nursery and pediatric services.
The public is invited to visit the Love Light Garden of Trees by driving by or walking through while maintaining social distancing requirements.
The garden will be fully lit each evening at sunset from December 9 until January 2. Love Lights are still available for purchase at https://colquittregional.com/love-light or by calling the Foundation Office at (229) 890-3416. Names of memorials and honorees will be updated on signage in the Garden each week.
Love Lights must be received by December 15 to be included in the Love Light listing which will be published in the Christmas Edition of the Moultrie Observer.