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Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown's life of service leads to NCís highest honor
Physician earns Order of the Long Leaf Pine
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:03 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Novant Health President and CEO Carl Armato hands the Order of the Long Leaf Pine proclamation to Novant physician Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown.

North Carolina wouldn’t be the same without Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown.

Her work as a physician and chief community wellness and healthy equity executive for Novant Health, led the state to award Garmon-Brown the Order of the Long Leaf Pine this month; the highest honor a civilian can receive in North Carolina.

A surprise ceremony took place on July 16 where Garmon-Brown received the certificate signed by Gov. Roy Cooper among family, friends and colleagues.

“Ophelia is a remarkable woman with extraordinary gifts and talents,” Novant Health President and CEO Carl Armato said. “As a physician, minister, volunteer, advocate, community leader — she embodies the spirit of giving and caring for others.”

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine dates back to 1963, and awarded based on service to the community as well as career accomplishments. Garmon-Brown joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan (1985), evangelist Billy Graham (1996) and poet Maya Angelou (1992 and 1996) among the list of honorees. Her impact in Charlotte has been felt for nearly 40 years. While Detroit may have been her home, Garmon-Brown earned a degree in biology from N.C. Central University, followed by a medical degree from UNC Chapel Hill. She became the first female African-American alumnae of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte’s residency program, where she concentrated on family medicine. Her last 20 years practicing medicine in Charlotte have been with Novant Health, while also serving as a medical missionary in countries such as Uganda, South Africa, Jamaica, Kenya, Guyana.

Garmon-Brown also has a master’s of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, which she earned in 2003. Today she serves as a member of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church.

Garmon-Brown co-founded the Charlotte Community Health Clinic—Mecklenburg County’s first free clinic to earn distinction as a federally qualified health clinic. She was the first African-American elected president of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society, served as the medical director for the Salvation Army’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter’s health clinic, as well as a volunteer at the Charlotte Pregnancy Care Center. Additionally, she co-chaired the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, which the city and county established to address disparities regarding upward economic mobility; an area where Charlotte ranked 50th out of 50 cities for leaving poverty if one was born into it.

“Ophelia’s contributions to the community of Charlotte and the people of North Carolina has been nothing short of amazing,” Armato said. “Some say nobody cares how much you know until they know you care, and we surely know how much Ophelia cares.”

Garmon-Brown has also earned the following awards: 2007 Charlotte Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award, Black Women’s Caucus Trailblazer Award, the 2010 Charlotte Woman of the Year award, the 2011 Thurgood Marshall Award of the Year, the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from Wells Fargo and Charlotte Business Journal, and the Mecklenburg County Medical Society President’s Award.

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Awesome! God is so good!
Posted on October 12, 2018
Congratulations! Couldn?t have happen to a more deserving person. I will always remember my work family in the chaplaincy office.
Posted on August 10, 2018
Well deserved!!!
Posted on August 9, 2018
An example of an amazing role model! Well deserved, and then some.
Posted on August 9, 2018
Congratulations! Oh what a LEGACY for someone to follow, so well deserving.
Posted on July 27, 2018
What a life! What a legacy!
Posted on July 26, 2018
Well deserved award for all you have poured into with your heart & soul. Love you!!!
Posted on July 26, 2018
Congratulations! A most deserving recipient of North Carolina' highest honor
Posted on July 26, 2018
Posted on July 26, 2018
Congratulations ?????
Posted on July 26, 2018

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