March 19, 2007
(Atlanta, GA) – State Senator Jim Whitehead (R-Evans) today introduced legislation to pave the way for renaming the School of Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia for the late U.S. Representative Charlie Norwood, DDS.
“Charlie Norwood’s lifetime dedication to dental health coupled with stalwart support for MCG throughout his congressional career more than merits naming the new dental school in his honor,” said Whitehead. “But his role as perhaps the leading health care reformer in Congress over the last decade demands it.”
Whitehead’s resolution urges the Medical College of Georgia to “honor the lifetime achievements and legacy of the Honorable Charlie Norwood D.D.S. of Augusta, Georgia, for his state, his nation, and his profession by naming the new dental school after him.”
Norwood was a lifelong dentist, first as a MASH officer with the U.S. Army Dental Corps, then for 25 years as a private practice dentist in Augusta.
The full text of the Whitehead Resolution follows.
WHEREAS, with the passing of Representative Charles Whitlow Norwood, Jr., the State of Georgia has lost a distinguished public servant, the nation has lost a tireless healthcare advocate, and the dental profession has lost their champion in the nation’s Capitol; and
WHEREAS, Charlie Norwood earned his dental degree from Georgetown University Dental School in Washington, D.C.; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Norwood then served as a dental surgeon in the U.S. Army Dental Corps with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in a combat zone in the Republic of Vietnam in 1968-1969, delivering dental and emergency medical services while under enemy fire, and was awarded two Bronze Stars and a Combat Medic Badge; and
WHEREAS, During his military career, Charlie participated in experimental dental practices that are now standard procedure for all the armed forces including the Army’s outreach program that delivered dentists to forward firebases, and provision of some of the first field-based dental treatment of military guard dogs; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Norwood started his successful private practice career in Augusta, GA immediately after his discharge, and continued both his practice, and later, a dental device manufacturing lab, for the next quarter century; and
WHEREAS, During his private practice, he served as President of the Georgia Dental Association in 1983, and the Eastern District Dental Society and he was elected as a Delegate to the American Dental Association in 1984-85, and was founder of the Augusta Dental Disaster Society; and
WHEREAS, He remained a member of the American Dental Association, the Georgia Academy of Dental Society, the Augusta Dental Society, was an Honorable Fellow of the Georgia Dental Association, and a Fellow of both the International College of Dentistry and the American College of Dentistry Sciences until the day he died; and
WHEREAS, Based largely on his concern for the future of dentistry, and health care as a whole, Charlie sold his dental practice in 1993 to run for Congress, and was elected to Georgia's Tenth District seat in November 1994 where he served on the Commerce Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce both having profound impact on dental practices; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Norwood fought throughout his career for the Medical College of Georgia; and
WHERAS, The entire Georgia Congressional delegation has supported the effort to rename the dental school at the Medical College of Georgia after Dr. Norwood; and
WHEREAS, as a member of the United States House he provided outstanding representation to the people of the Tenth Congressional District of Georgia from 1995 until 2007, fighting tirelessly to improve health care quality and access for all Americans and never forgot he was a dentist first;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY Senate that the members of this body urge the medical College of Georgia to honor the lifetime achievements and legacy of the Honorable Charlie Norwood D.D.S. of Augusta, Georgia, for his state, his nation, and his profession by naming the new dental school after him;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the Senate is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the family of Charlie Norwood.