MUSC Professor Emeritus receives Order of the Palmetto

Maggie Diebolt

Dec. 9, 2008

MUSC Professor Emeritus receives Order of the Palmetto

CHARLESTON -- John A. Colwell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), received the Order of the Palmetto Award in a Dec. 5 ceremony at the College of Nursing Historical Library. The Order of the Palmetto is the state's highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina.

In his letter to Colwell, Governor Mark Sanford cited Colwell's position as outstanding physician and leader in the medical community; his dedication to the cause of diabetes research, patient care and education; his vision for and guidance of the establishment of the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina; his leadership in numerous medical organizations and academic committees; his participation in various editorial boards, as a manuscript reviewer, as a teacher, and invited lecturer, and his many publications

In South Carolina, Colwell has served on virtually every committee of the S.C. Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), including chairman of the affiliate board and president of the ADA during 1987-1988. A graduate of Northwestern University Medical School, where he received his M.D., M.S. and Ph.D., Colwell served as professor of medicine at MUSC and board chairman of the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina until 2007, when he retired. The Diabetes Initiative of S.C. has produced programs of education and care for people affected by diabetes, and for health professionals in the state. These programs have contributed significantly to a 40-50 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to complications of amputation and stroke among people living with diabetes in S.C. within the last decade.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or