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The James H. Downey Society presents

Samuel O. Poole Award

The Medical Center Foundation’s Downey Society Honors James A. Butts, MD

The Medical Center Foundation’s physician-giving club, the James H. Downey Society, recently recognized James A. Butts, MD with the Samuel O. Poole Award. The award was established in 2001 by the Downey Society to honor physicians who exhibit outstanding leadership, generosity and service to the community such as that of Samuel O. Poole, MD for whom the award has been named. The Downey Society is co-chaired by Pepper Brown, MD, a surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates, and Buddy Langston, MD, a pediatrician retired from the Longstreet Clinic.

Following his training in oncology at Winship Clinic in Atlanta (currently Emory Clinic), Dr. Butts moved to Gainesville and served as the only board-certified medical oncologist in Northeast Georgia for more than 20 years.

“As the first and only medical oncologist in our area for more than 20 years, Jim is known for his compassionate concern for others and personal sacrifice to accommodate patients,” says Dr. Langston. “He has certainly demonstrated generosity and selfless care for others in the generous spirit of Dr. Poole, while seeking no recognition for himself. We are honored to recognize him with this award.”

Dr. Butts is known not only for his extraordinary medical contributions as a pioneer of oncology and hematology specialties in the Northeast Georgia region, but also for his role as champion for high quality healthcare for the community’s uninsured and underserved. Since 2007, he has volunteered as Medical Director of Good News Clinics, which provides free medical and dental services, as well as medications to Hall County residents who are uninsured and unable to afford health care.

Prior to hospice care, Dr. Butts assumed the responsibility of treating patients in their terminal phase of care. “Jim has always been very dedicated and highly regarded by other physicians as well as his patients,” says Dr. Brown. “He served admirably for many years as the only resource of cancer care to other physicians. He continues to provide his time and talents to our community today through his volunteer service and leadership at Good News Clinics.”

In addition to local community support, Dr. Butts has actively served in leadership roles on both the state and local levels, including his service as president of Georgia Medical Care Foundation and Northeast Georgia Medical Center Chief of Staff, as well as numerous other boards and committees.  Dr. Butts is the third recipient of this prestigious award, following Dr. Samuel O. Poole in 2001 and Dr. T. Gregory DeLong in 2008.


Co-chairs Dr. Pepper Brown and Dr. Buddy Langston with the Downey Society committee:

Dr. Jack Chapman, Dr. Tim Scully, Dr. Andrew Green, Dr. Jack Griffeth, Dr. Bill Hallowes, Dr. Jim Jackson, Dr. Mohak Dav, and Dr. Ricky LoCicero (not pictured Dr. Frank Lake III and Dr. Larry Morris)







Samuel O. Poole Award Recipients

First Recipient: 2001
Sam Poole, MD

Second Recipient: 2008
Greg DeLong, MD

Third Recipient: 2012
James A. Butts, MD




More about the activities of
 The Downey Society