Dr. John Kirkland, a vascular surgeon with Harbin Clinic, recently received the 2021 Excellence in Community Service Award from the Society for Vascular Surgery. Over the past four decades, he has been instrumental in bringing modern vascular surgery to Rome and beyond.

The Excellence in Community Service Award honors professionals who work in the community practice setting and demonstrate outstanding leadership as a practicing vascular surgeon. Kirkland was one of only three vascular surgeons to receive this award. Chosen individuals show exceptional personal integrity and reflect the highest standards of the profession.

Kirkland has been in practice at Harbin Clinic since 1978. In collaboration with a colleague, he established a multi-specialty vascular program that included the first dedicated vascular surgery practice in Georgia outside of Atlanta. The program also brings vascular care provided by vascular surgeons to the tri-state area of North Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. This development led to the first accredited Vascular Laboratory in Georgia and the first Hybrid Operating Room in the southeast.

Partnering with a local community college, Kirkland also assisted in developing accredited training programs for Registered Vascular Technologists. The programs have resulted in full training for over 100 RVTs.

Working through the state Certificate of Need Program, Kirkland and a colleague authorized and developed a cardiac surgery program at a local hospital in 1986, the first new program in Georgia in over 20 years.

“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to start the first dedicated outpatient vein center in this region,” Kirkland said. “In 2017, I was privileged to develop a Transitional Year Residency Program at a local Rome hospital where I was named program director. Along the way, my goal has been to bring awareness of vascular disease among the medical staff and community at large.”

The award was presented at the 39th Vascular Annual Meeting held in San Diego, California, in August.

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