April 10, 2008 — The Virginia College of Emergency Physicians recently awarded Dr. Marcus Martin the 2008 Heatwole Career Achievement Award at its annual meeting held in Richmond.
VACEP, an organization to promote and protect the interests of emergency physicians and the patients they serve, created the award in 1998 to publicly recognize individuals who have given unselfishly and worked tirelessly to advance the interests of the organization and of fellow emergency physicians over the course of their careers. The Career Achievement Award is named after the first recipient, Dr. Stanley E. Heatwole, who was a full-time emergency physican from 1971-1997 in several hospitals around the commonwealth of Virginia.
Award-winners typically show innovation, dedication and outstanding clinical care. They are inspirational to others and good administrators.
Martin's "vision and enthusiasm, enduring leadership and sense of duty and consideration for others is truly a source of encouragement for many, and an example to be followed," wrote Gwen E. Messler Harry, executive director of the VACEP, in her award letter.
Martin, who is now associate vice president in the U.Va. Office for Diversity and Equity, was the first African-American chairman of the Health System Department of Emergency Medicine from July 1996 to December 2006. He is still a professor of emergency medicine. As chairman, his responsibilities included the adult and pediatric emergency departments, several related emergency services, the Blue Ridge Poison Center and the residency and fellowship programs. Most recently, he was a member of Gov. Tim Kaine's Virginia Tech Review Panel.
With a team of U.Va. health care providers, Martin traveled to Louisiana in September 2005 and February 2006 to serve the disadvantaged populations — black and white — through medical relief efforts in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Originally a chemical engineer, Martin was a member of the charter class of Eastern Virginia Medical School and was its first African-American graduate earning his medical degree in 1976.