Martin Receives Prestigious Award
Dr. Robert Gale Martin has received the state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, for his contributions to health care.
He is a world-renowned ophthalmologist in the field of cataract and refractive surgery and the founder of Carolina Eye Associates (CEA) in Pinehurst.
Martin, who was heading out of town, was surprised when notified of the award by phone by longtime friend Dr. Kirby Kilpatrick. The award will be presented to Martin later this month.
"This is a very happy moment for us to honor such a remarkable and courageous man," Kilpatrick said. "I am sure this good news comes with the blessings of the thousands of patients he has treated, and will treat in the future. He has changed the system for the better and helped so many people to see."
Kilpatrick, state Sen. Harris Blake, Dr. David Bruton, a past recipient of the award, and Dr. Gregory Mincey nominated Martin for his contributions to health care and the community.
Kilpatrick said that Martin was overcome with emotion upon hearing of the award.
"He just kept saying, 'Wow' and was obviously very touched," Kilpatrick said. "He's not the type of guy that thinks about life in terms of awards, so this was very special to him. It's an award that makes a native Tar Heel very proud."
Blake praised Martin's extraordinary commitment to his patients and his generous support for the community over the years. He added, "It is obvious that Dr. Martin has captured the true meaning and spirit of what we North Carolinians have adopted as our state motto, 'Esse Quam Videri -- To be, rather than to seem.'"
Claudia Watson is a Pinehurst freelance writer and may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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