THOMASVILLE — Linda Walden, M.D., received the Phenomenal Women in Medicine Award from the National Medical Association Region III.
In addition to Georgia, the region includes Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The National Medical Association, founded in 1895 in Atlanta, is the nation's oldest and largest African American Medical Association, representing 45,000 physicians.
"I was very humbled, excited and very appreciative to have received this honor," Walden said. "I was informed by Regional Chairman Dr. Edith Rayford from Mississippi that I was the 'voice' for NMA Region III. They let me know my work is not in vain."
Walden said her mission has been to reach out to make a difference.
"If I can help somebody as I pass along, my living shall not be in vain," she said.
A native of St. Albans, New York, Walden said she returned to her family roots in Cairo and Thomasville to do God's will.
A graduate of Florida A&M University and Mercer University School of Medicine, Walden said she is the first female physician — Black or white — to establish a medical practice in Cairo, and the first African American chief of staff at Grady General Hospital in Cairo.
Upon moving to Grady County, Walden conducted a visual assessment of the community and realized she needed to do more than practice medicine.
She is founder of Health is Life Ministry, with a passion to empower people to take charge of their lives with emphasis on preventive medicine through education.
Walden was selected Grady County's "2013 Remarkable Woman" for outstanding leadership, commitment and devotion to making a difference in the community.
Gov. Roy Barnes appointed Walden to the Georgia Composite Board of Medical Examiners. She is past president of the Georgia State Medical Association and served as board chairman in 2016-18, and established the Griffin-Jordan MAPS Chapter at Albany State University.
Walden received the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Community Service Award and the Special Congressional Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievements, Service and Public Distinction.
She was selected Physician of the Year in 2005 by the National Medical Association and received the George H. Johnston Jr. Community Service Award in 2003 and 2007.
Walden is founder and past president of Grady County Habitat for Humanity Inc.