September 11, 2023
On Thursday, September 7, members of Team Colleton gathered to honor and celebrate the remarkable career and retirement of Dr. Craig Ward.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ward joined the United States Air Force and served as the Base veterinarian and Chief of Veterinary Services for the 354th Tactical Hospital Squadron at Myrtle Beach. Four years later, to the benefit of every patient in Colleton and surrounding counties, Dr. Ward went on to medical school.
Dr. Ward graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, completed a residency in Family Medicine, and became a diplomat of the American Academy of Family Medicine. He started and managed a successful multi-physician private Family Practice in Columbia, SC. But then emergency medicine called. Dr. Ward earned his board certification in Emergency Medicine and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
To the great fortune of so many, Dr. Ward served as Colleton Medical Center’s Emergency Department Medical Director from 2008-2017 and has continued to provide exceptional care through the challenges of COVID and the many changes that have occurred in healthcare.
Colleton Medical Center CEO, Jimmy Hiott said, “In reflecting on Dr. Ward’s career, I am reminded of the principles we speak about at Colleton Medical Center and throughout our healthcare system. We speak about compassion, ownership, excellence, and coaching those around us. Dr. Ward’s career is the embodiment of those principles."
When Dr. Ward informed hospital administration and clinical teams that he would be moving on to the next chapter of his life, it was clear that there needed to be an appropriate recognition of his career and the legacy he left at Colleton Medical Center. “This proved not to be an easy task. How do you honor someone who has made such a lasting impact on our community that patients ask for him by name when visiting the ER?” Hiott added.
With special consideration, on September 7, 2023, Colleton Medical Center officially dedicated the ER triage area to the exceptional record of Dr. Ward’s career. “Our triage center is where we greet our patients and where we recognize the urgency of their need. It is where we rise to meet that need and where we acknowledge the humanity of the individual we care for. Dr. Ward’s career is a living example of those priorities,” said Hiott.
Dr. Thomas Martin, M.D., Emergency Department Co-Medical Director added, “ Our provider group felt honored to be part of recognizing Dr. Ward’s remarkable career. His practice will serve as the example of what a caregiver should be. We will always see the importance of being the physician-servant, the caregiver that sees the person and not merely the acute medical problem. Dr. Ward will want us to move forward caring for the patients that he loved, guided and motivated by his example.”