TUPELO-J. Edward Hill, M.D., a family physician and faculty member at North Mississippi Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Center, was awarded the 2013 John G. Walsh Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians at its annual meeting in San Diego.
Established in 1973, the John G. Walsh Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the AAFP.
Hill began his career in the rural Mississippi Delta where he practiced for 27 years in a full-service practice. He developed a maternal health program that lowered the fetal mortality rate from one of the highest in the United States to below the national average. He served as director of the Family Practice Residency Program at North Mississippi Medical Center from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2008 through June 2013.
Hill served in a variety of leadership positions in several medical organizations, including chairman of the board of trustees and president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, president of the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians and president of the Southern Medical Association. He also served as chair of the council of the World Medical Association from 2006 through 2010.
A member of the AAFP since 1970, Hill served on the Task Force on Clinical Policies for Patient Care, the Special Task Force on Student Interest in Family Medicine and as the Mississippi AFP delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates. He also served on the Commission on Membership and Membership Services for several years.
Hill was elected three times to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees and became chair in 2002. He was elected president-elect in 2004 and assumed the presidency in June 2005. Previously, he also served as an AMA delegate to the Mississippi State Medical Association and as vice chair of the AMA’s Council on Legislation.
Hill was also an active participant and leader in community activities while practicing in the Delta. He served as president of the Mississippi affiliate of the American Heart Association, chair of the Industrial Development Committee for his local Chamber of Commerce, member of the advisory board for the county Head Start program and president of the local school board.
A board-certified family physician, Hill received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Mississippi, Jackson. He completed his family medicine residency while serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and as a general medical officer in a naval destroyer group.
Designed to recognize long-term commitment, rather than any single significant contribution, the Walsh Award is given on the basis of dedicated, effective leadership toward furthering the development of family medicine. The Walsh Award is not an annual award, but is given at the discretion of the AAFP Board of Directors. The late Dr. John Walsh, for whom the award is named, devoted his career to family medicine. He distinguished himself by becoming the first individual ever to hold the presidency of three major family medicine organizations: the AAFP, the American Board of Family Medicine and the Family Health Foundation of America, now the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide.