JEFFERSON — In his long career, Dr. Edward J. Miller has mended bumps and bruises from Alabama to Ashe County.
In fact, the good doctor has worked for more than 50 years putting the men and women of the High Country back together again.
Now the newest wing of Margate Health and Rehabilitation will bear his name and family and friends gathered to honor Miller’s 50 years of service as a doctor in Ashe County.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve called on him at the hospital,” Laura Lambeth, Ashe Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “He was always there to help us and to provide support for a patient or a family and he is certainly the epitome of what a physician should strive for.”
Miller earned his undergraduate degree and medical education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a rotating internship and an internal medicine residency at Mid-State Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.
He later joined the United States Air Force’s Medical Corps where he became the commissioned officer in charge. During this time, Miller was based in Montgomery, Alabama and was in charge of the Air Force base clinic.
Miller returned to Ashe County and opened a general medicine clinic located in the Old Ashe County Hospital on Sept. 8, 1965. In December of that year, Miller became the doctor of the first family planning clinic at the Ashe County Health Department. Miller was appointed as medical examiner for Ashe County in 1972 and remained in that position for 30 years.
During his career, Miller has been a physician for the Ashe County Detention Center, worked multiple shifts in the emergency room of Ashe Memorial Hospital and worked as the medical director of Margate Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was elected to the Ashe Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees in 1997, and is currently the senior member of Mount Jefferson Family Medicine.
Aside from his medical career, Miller has been actively involved in the community. He began coaching little league baseball in 1970 and was also involved with basketball sporting teams in the county. Miller is also an active member of Nathan’s Creek United Methodist Church in Crumpler. He has five children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
During the reception, guests were able to view newspaper articles and pictures from the last 50 years that highlighted Miller and his accomplishments.
Miller’s friends and colleagues including Jan Caddell, Luther Davis, Dr. Charles Jones, Polly Osowitt, Martha Kincaid, Dr. Chris Campbell, Dr. Kevin Kurtz, Jim Gambill, Dr. Vickie Ingledue, Dr. Chan Badger, Dr. Melinda Wonsick, Heather Peters, Cathy Clark, Melissa Daskins and Joe Thore spoke during the ceremony held in Miller’s honor.
Tom Efford, chairman of Ashe Memorial Hospial board of trustees, also spoke and read a resolution approved by the board that recognizes Miller for his 50 years of service. The board voted Friday, Aug. 21 in support of the resolution.
Margate Health and Rehabilitation CEO-Executive Director Scott Davis and owner Bob Walker were present to speak of Miller during the ceremony.
“I’m so happy over the last three years I’ve been here to be affiliated with Doc and have his leadership and support really for the healthcare and just the betterment of the community,” Davis said. “It’s been great to get to know him.”
“We love Dr. Miller here at Margate,” Walker said. “The first time I met him, my first observation was how compassionate, dedicated and him just having a great passion to serve patients and serve this community and he’s kept that all the years I’ve known him.”
Lambeth announced that the new addition of Margate Health and Rehabilitation is to be named for Miller.
“In appreciation of Dr. Miller, the hospital and the board recommended that the new addition be named ‘Dr. Edward J. Miller Rehabilitation Center’ in recognition of his 50 years as an exceptional physician, mentor and community leader and his dedication to the citizens of Ashe County,” Lambeth said. “It’s an honor to be here to celebrate with Dr. Miller.”
In response to the announcement, Miller stated the he was appreciative of the gesture and that it was a privilege and a honor.
“He’s just been an asset to Ashe Memorial Hospital and certainly to the community of Ashe County,” Lambeth said. “50 years of service, what a legacy he has.”
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.