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The Medical Center Foundation’s James H. Downey Society presents Dr. James A. Butts, center, with the Samuel O. Poole Award for leadership, generosity and long-term service to the community. Presenting the award are society co-chairmen Buddy Langston, left, and Pepper Brown.

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Downey Society honors physician with Poole Award

The Medical Center Foundation’s James H. Downey Society physician-giving club recently recognized Dr. James A. Butts with the Samuel O. Poole Award at their donor recognition event hosted at the home of Dr. Dan and Mollie Winston.

The award, established in 2001, honors physicians who exhibit outstanding leadership, generosity and long-term service to the community. It is named for the late Dr. Samuel O. Poole.

Butts is the third recipient of the award, following Poole in 2001 and Dr. T. Gregory DeLong in 2008.

“Jim is known for his compassionate concern for others and personal sacrifice to accommodate patients,” said Dr. Buddy Langston, co-chairman of the Downey Society. “He has certainly demonstrated generosity and selfless care for others in the generous spirit of Dr. Poole, while seeking no recognition for himself.”

A Blairsville native, Butts trained in oncology at Winship Clinic in Atlanta, later known as Emory Clinic. In 1968, he moved to Gainesville and joined the practice of Jennings, Stribling and Poole as the first and only board-certified medical oncologist in Northeast Georgia for more than 20 years. He and his partners were founding members of Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic.

After Poole’s death, Butts became Good News Clinics’ Medical Director in 2007 and continues to provide health care for the community. Under his leadership, Good News Clinics has added 13 physicians as volunteers. He also oversees the training of medical students and nurses, and classes through Brenau University’s BULLI program.

Butts has served as president of Georgia Medical Care Foundation and Northeast Georgia Medical Center Chief of Staff.

“Jim has always been very dedicated and highly regarded by other physicians as well as his patients,” said Dr. Pepper Brown, the society’s other co-chairman. “He served admirably for many years as the only resource of cancer care to other physicians.”

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