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Cardiac rehab program founder honored

William Hazzard Barnwell II, M.D., a retired MUSC cardiologist and professor, died Feb. 6. He was 83.
Barnwell is credited with initiating the cardiac rehabilitation program at MUSC in 1979. He practiced cardiology at MUSC until his retirement as a professor in July 1995. He served as the director of cardiac rehabilitation until July 2004.
Barnwell was born Nov. 8, 1925 in Charleston. He was the second son of Helen Tolbert Lucas and John McCrady Barnwell. Barnwell began his education in Paris, France in 1931 and graduated from Greenville High School in 1941. He attended Furman University where he graduated in 1947 after serving two years in the Army Air Force. He received his medical degree from MUSC in 1951. After completing an internship at the Jersey City, New Jersey Medical Center, he practiced general family medicine in Mount Pleasant until 1965. He completed a fellowship in cardiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969. He was board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.
Barnwell was a member of St. Philip’s Church and numerous other social and professional organizations.
Barnwell is survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren. Barnwell's funeral was held on Feb. 10.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Philip’s Church for missionary work, and MUSC cardiology and/or oncology divisions for medical research.

“I knew Dr. Barnwell both socially and professionally for many years. To me he represented all that is right with medicine. Dr. Barnwell was devoted to his family, his church and to his profession. He was always the perfect gentleman and vey humble about his outstanding career. We will all miss him very much.”
—Joseph Good, JD, University Counsel

  “Bill Barnwell was one of the original family physicians in the Mount Pleasant area who went back to train in cardiology in 1965 at UNC. I will remember him as a most practical, kind and generous man who loved to take a history and spend time examining patients at the bedside. Although rounds may have been long, they were special and he taught medical students and house staff the importance of the bedside consult. It wasn’t just about numbers and data to Bill, it was about the person he was asked to consult on. I will miss this important member of our MUSC community.”
—Jan Basile, M.D., Chief, Primary Care Service Line, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Professor of Medicine

“Bill Barnwell was a friend to many of us who were junior faculty back in the 1970s. He knew the Charleston scene and culture but was never fast to judge. He had the kindest of voice and demeanor when it came to interviewing patients and the kindest of hands when it came to examining them. His was a unique style of posing and answering questions, never arrogant and always conciliatory. His experience with the range of cardiac diagnoses was legend even well into his late service. He brought an old fashioned love of patients to the bedside and a cutting edge sense of the new to their prolonged care. That his multidisciplinary persona will not grace our clinical grounds nor gird our medical souls leaves us with a unqualified void.”
—Joseph F.John Jr., M.D.

  “Dr. Barnwell was one of the truly great gentlemen of medicine, and it was a privilege to know him. He had a curious, disciplined mind and a deep seated spirituality that suffused our serious conversations during his illness. He also had the most beautiful twinkling smile that I have ever encountered. He made great contributions to MUSC, but never sought recognition for them. He was an inspiration for humanistic physicians.”
—Robert K. Stuart, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Medical Director, Clinical Trials, Hollings Cancer Center


Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

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