For Immediate Release

Georgia-based African-American Physician Association Celebrated its 125 Year Anniversary

(June 27, 2018) – Georgia State Medical Association, Inc. (GSMA) hosted its 2018 Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly on Hilton Head Island, June 13-16, 2018. This year’s theme: 125 Years of Service: Champions For Quality and Health Equity. For 125 years, the Georgia State Medical Association, Inc. (GSMA) has served as a reliable information source and strong advocate for physicians practicing in the state. GSMA continues to strive to assist physicians in providing high quality, equitable care for our patients.  As a part of these initiatives, GSMA convenes an annual educational meeting that brings physicians together from across Georgia to learn and to share ideas.

GSMA represents over 2500 African American physicians (family physicians/internal medicine and every specialty) across the state. Prominent participants and members include David Satcher, MD, PhD (16th U.S. Surgeon General), Louis Sullivan, MD (former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary), Valerie Montgomery-Rice, MD (President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine), Paul L. Douglas, MD, M.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I. (Past-President of the Association of Black Cardiologists), Doris Browne, MD, MPH, (National Medical Association (NMA) President), Lawrence Sanders, MD, MBA, and Winston Price, MD (Both Past NMA Presidents), Patrice Harris, MD (First African American Women elected President-Elect American Medical Association), Maurice Gilbert, MD (Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists President), Lisa Perry-Gilkes, MD (Board of Directors of the American Academy Of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Board of Governors for Women in Otolaryngology-newly elected to the nominating committee, and 1st VP Medical Association of Georgia), and GA State Senator Lester G. Jackson, III.

This year’s Award winners include: Linda I. Walden, MD, FAAFP, National Medical Association, Region III Chair (Distinguished Service Medallion-Highest GSMA honor bestowed upon a member); Sheila Robinson, MD (Presidential Commendation for Outstanding Service); Adrienne Mims, MD, MPH (Presidential Commendation for Outstanding Service); M.J. Collier, Jr, MD (Presidential Commendation for Outstanding Service), David Williams, MD (George A. Johnston, Sr Community Service Award), and Kimberly Williams, PhD, Executive Director (Award of Excellence). Emanuel Wilkes, MD, GSMA Board Chair, passed the gavel to Shelby R. Wilkes, MD, MBA, inaugurated as GSMA President. This year’s Annual Meeting was held at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront resort. GSMA has held its Annual Meetings at this same location for 30 years.

Media Contacts:
Linda I. Walden, MD, GSMA Past Board Chair
Kimberly D. Williams, PhD (770-883-3753) GSMA Executive Director

About GSMA:
One hundred and twenty-five years ago in Augusta, GA, African-American physicians formed the Georgia State Medical Association. This organization was founded to further the advances of medicine for African-American physicians and their patients across the state. Prohibited from joining the majority physician associations because of their race, these physicians in 1893 came together and chartered the first state-wide African-American medical association in the country. Dr. H.R. Butler and Dr. G.N. Stoney being inspired by Booker T. Washington and the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta three years earlier (1890), the Association was founded. These two physicians, plus 22 others organized to address the issues of rampant disease, frequent epidemics, and the vast disparities in health care for their patients across the state. GSMA continues to be the collective voice of African-American physicians and a leading force for health equity. GSMA is committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through its membership, professional development, community health education, advocacy, and research and partnerships with federal and private agencies.



Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center (GA-HITEC) is Georgia’s Health IT Center for assisting clinicians in the redesign of healthcare delivery through the successful adoption of Electronic Health Records. Our goal is to support clinicians as they use health information technology to manage and coordinate patient care. This goal aligns with Morehouse School of Medicine’s, National Center for Primary Care’s mission to minimize disparities and employ clinical models to achieve health equity.

GA-HITEC is a trusted resource for clinicians in implementing proven strategies that advance the interoperability of Health IT and clinical practice transformation through the use of technology.  As experts, GA-HITEC leads the way in educating health care professionals, as they increase patient delivery efforts by providing technical assistance to hundreds of clinicians across Georgia. GA-HITEC is privileged to support successful participation in the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program, and Quality Payment Program-MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System).
GA-HITEC health information product, Georgia Health Connect (GaHC), became the first regional health information exchange connecting to Georgia’s statewide Health Information Network, GaHIN.  Providers are now able to bridge the health information gap by magnifying care coordination and improving quality of care.

GA-HITEC is at the nucleus of the nation’s health information technology capital, keeping clinicians informed and facilitating patient care continuity.