Late senator honored with Carnell Award by SCPCA
An award luncheon was held by HopeHealth on April 28 at the Florence Country Club to posthumously present the Marion P. Carnell Award to Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman on behalf of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association.
Leatherman was chosen for the award at the 2022 SCPHCA’s annual State Policies and Issues Forum.
The prestigious award is named after the late Rep. Marion Carnell who served in the S.C. House for more than 40 years.
Presented to Leatherman’s wife, Jean, on behalf of her late husband, the award is given to the person who has, over an extended period, shown extraordinary support of community health centers, their patients, and their mission.
Leatherman was a longtime member of the S.C. Senate, serving for 40 years. He was an advocate for health care access and ensured that his district, which was often underserved, received resources to provide health care access for members of his community.
Francis Marion University President Dr. Fred Carter discussed the Senator’s commitment to accessible health care.
“Sen. Leatherman would be terrifically pleased… with this award. He had a strong sense of obligation to ensure that every South Carolinian had access to primary health care, and that it be affordable, accessible, and equitable in its distribution across the state,” said Carter.
“From the time he became Senate Finance Chairman in the early 2000s, health care became an overriding concern of his agenda every single legislative session.”
HopeHealth Chief Executive Officer Carl Humphries told a story about his first time visiting the senator’s office to advocate for health center funding.
Upon being presented with the award, Jean Leatherman spoke to her husband’s partnership with Dr. Carter. Ultimately, she shared the award with Dr. Carter, stating, “Nothing in this [Pee Dee] area, in the area of health care, would be possible if it weren’t for the greatest partnership that ever existed - Fred and Hugh. This is truly a joint award.”