October 4, 2005
05-222

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations, Amanda Edwards Student Intern

VSU Honors 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

Valdosta State University will honor Charles Gordon Howell Jr., M.D. with the 2005 VSU Distinguished Alumnus Award on Friday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the Alumni Association Annual Dinner. Dr. Howell, originally of Lakeland, Georgia, is the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), in Augusta.

Dr. Howell is a 1970 alumnus of Valdosta State College (VSC), where he received an undergraduate degree in premedical studies. During his senior year, 1969-1970, he served as the president of the VSC student body. This was all done while holding down a part-time job at Pineview Hospital, now South Georgia Medical Center.

After graduating from VSC, Dr. Howell attended the MCG, School of Medicine. While there, he was an outstanding student and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Upon receiving his M.D. in 1973, Dr. Howell remained at MCG for an internal medicine internship that was followed by a four-year residency in general surgery. He completed a fellowship in pediatric surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. This is the most prestigious pediatric surgery fellowship in the U.S., graduating only about 50 pediatric surgeons in America each year.

Since 1982, Dr. Howell has served as a pediatric surgeon on the faculty at the MCG. Since 1990, he has held the position of professor of surgery and pediatrics at the college. He has been co-director of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program since 1985, chief of the Pediatric Surgery Department since 1993, medical director of Operative Services since 1998, surgeon-in-chief of the Children's Medical Center since 1998, and vice chairman of the Department of Surgery for the MCG since 2002. Dr. Howell is credited as being one of the moving elements that led to the founding of the Children's Medical Center at the MCG. He has presented papers at many national meetings on various topics in pediatric surgery and is a nationally recognized expert in this field.

During the 22 years he has served on the teaching faculty at the MCG, he has trained hundreds of surgery residents and taught thousands of medical students, some becoming practicing physicians in Valdosta. Dr. Howell has brought pride and honor to VSU and is clearly deserving of the distinguished alumnus award.

The Alumni Association Annual Dinner will be held at the Valdosta Country Club. Cost is $20/person and reservations are required. For more information contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (229) 333-5797.