Sawyer honored for lifetime of work

Published 4:56 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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WINTON – As he prepares to close a long and successful career as a family doctor, the tributes to Dr. Charles Sawyer are beginning to take place.

One such tribute was held here on Monday of this week when the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, at their regularly scheduled meeting, adopted and presented a resolution honoring the career of Dr. Sawyer.

The resolution noted that Dr. Sawyer has served the Hertford County community for over 57 years, first at Ahoskie Family Physicians and then worked at Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center since its founding 18 years ago.

It also praised his involvement in the local community outside the healthcare field by noting his volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America, Vestryman and Senior Warden of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Ahoskie; a past member of the Board of Directors of Centura Bank in Ahoskie; and served as President of the UNC Alumni Association – Roanoke Chowan Chapter.

“The Hertford County Board of Commissioners express its deepest appreciation for the outstanding contributions made by Dr. Sawyer during his nearly six decades of service to the county and extends its best wishes as he approaches retirement,” the resolution stated.

“I can’t thank you enough for honoring me,” Dr. Sawyer told the commissioners just after the resolution was read into the official minutes of the meeting. “My time in practicing family medicine in Ahoskie since 1965 has been enjoyable, meaningful, and rewarding.

“I’m sad and emotional about retirement,” he added. “However, I feel, as does my family, it’s the right time to retire.”

Sawyer, age 90, said he will move to Wilmington, where he and his wife, Lois, will be close to his son, daughter and two grandsons.

“I will miss Ahoskie and northeastern North Carolina a great deal,” Dr. Sawyer stressed.

Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center will host an event from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, May 12 to celebrate Dr. Sawyer’s work. That event is open to the public.

“It has been one of the distinct honors of my professional career to work with Dr. Charles Sawyer,” said Kim Schwartz, RCCHC CEO. “So many times in trying to explain who and where we are at the health center, as soon as I say, where Dr. Sawyer is – there is a nod of recognition and it is all ok.

“We have laughed and cried together and gotten through some tough times – through it all, he has been my North Star. I know there are many who are so grateful for his life’s service in medicine,” Schwartz added.

Dr. Sawyer and his wife are honorees of the RCCHC Foundation. Those who wish to honor him can contribute to the RCCHC Sawyer-Flood Foundation’s Dr. and Lois Sawyer Endowment.

“I met Dr. Sawyer while I was in Pharmacy School,” said Angie Kent-Mitchell, RCCHC Pharmacy Director. “So, professionally, I’ve grown up with him. He has taught me the importance of perseverance, pouring your heart into your patient relationships, and giving back to the most vulnerable communities. Even though this area is my home, he helped me to understand the importance of identifying the need in my own community and returning here to serve.”

Dr. Sawyer graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1963. He received the Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice in 1971; is a Fellow of the American Board of Family Practice; is a member of Phi Gamma Delta, UNC; Phi Chi University of North Carolina Medical School, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Practice, the Seaboard Medical Association, the North Carolina Medical Association and the North Carolina Academy of Family Practice.

He has been married for over 65 years.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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