Bryant L. Galusha, M.D., nationally recognized by his peers as an innovative leader in the fields of pediatrics, medical education and medical licensure/discipline died at his residence under the care of his daughters and son’s in law on November 5th just shy of his 93rd birthday. Dr. Galusha was born on November 28, 1927 in Morgantown, West Virginia, son of Harold L. and Edna Sines Galusha. He graduated from Morgantown High School in 1945 as a member of the National Honor Society; graduated Phi Beta Kappa from West Virginia University in 1948; and from Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952 and inducted as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. Residency training in Pediatrics followed graduation from medical school at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Cleveland City Hospital (now Metropolitan Hospital of Cleveland) where he served as Chief Resident of Pediatrics and Infectious Disease. He served two years as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fort Benning, Georgia where he was awarded The Infantry Center’s Certificate of Achievement Award for outstanding service. Between his third[MB1] and fourth years of medical school he trained with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. During that time, he met Dr. Carlton Watkins, a Charlotte pediatrician who was serving his military obligation at Fort Bragg. This ultimately resulted in Dr. Galusha locating to Charlotte as a partner with Dr. Watkins in the private practice of Pediatrics. Throughout his entire time in private practice he actively participated in the teaching of physicians in residency training at Charlotte Memorial Hospital. It was Dr. Galusha’s love of teaching and learning that led him to accept the position of Charlotte Memorial Hospital’s first full time Medical Director in 1962. Under his leadership the Charlotte Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (later Carolinas Medical Center, now Atrium Health) became recognized as one of the nation’s finest and most competitive community teaching hospitals. Dr. Galusha considered it an honor to be named a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine and to work with the School of Medicine in developing the North Carolina Area Health Education Program (AHEC). In 1972 he added to his responsibilities by becoming the Director of the Charlotte AHEC. This position involved oversight of education of the UNC Medical students as well as continuing education for practicing physicians, nurses and other health professionals in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. He played a pivotal role in obtaining legislative approval to expanding the AHEC program statewide, that was later adopted by many other states. He was later appointed to the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners from 1968 until 1980, serving as President in 1973-1974 and Secretary from 1976-1980. Continuing his keen interest in medical licensure he was nominated and served on The Federation of State Medical Boards of The United States (FSMB), the national umbrella organization of all state medical licensing and disciplinary medical boards. He held numerous FSMB national committee appointments and in 1981 was elected President. In 1984 he accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of the FSMB, which necessitated relocating from Charlotte to Fort Worth, Texas. He was a strong and dedicated advocate for the development of a single national medical licensing examination required for all physicians seeking the privilege of practicing medicine in the United States. During his five and a half years as leader of the FSMB, one of his many accomplishments was the creation of the current single medical licensing examination known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), now a requirement for medical licensure for all states. Dr. Galusha returned to Charlotte in October 1989 where he remained as a consultant to FSMB until June 1990. From January 1991 to June 1994, he served as a Field Representative for the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, the national organization responsible for accreditation of physician residency training programs throughout America.
Recently he ,enjoyed serving on the board of his good friend Roger Shaul, Progressive Management Marketing Company, PMMC. In July 1997 his wife of 47 years, Shirley McCann Galusha passed away. Shirley provided loving unwavering support for Dr. Galusha through medical school and his following career endeavors. He considered her the ideal loving mother for their three daughters, providing a strong Christian home. In February 2000, he married Joanne Spell. His retirement continued with sharing quality time with his wife, Joanne, golfing with friends at Carmel Country Club, fly-fishing and traveling. Sadly. Joanne passed away in November of 2018. He was especially proud of his daughters, sons in law and all of his cherished grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Dr Galusha was the recipient of numerous honors, his most treasured include: The Bryant L. Galusha Award, established in 1986, and presented annually to a resident physician who has best displayed medical professional excellence at Carolinas Medical Center; A keynote address of the annual meeting of the Federation of State Medical Boards, designated the Bryant L. Galusha Lecture, established in 1989; Distinguished Service Award from the UNC School of Medicine 1989; State of North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1978; The Governor’s Distinguished Recognition Award 1982; The Administrators in Medicine Societies’ Annual Recognition Award, 1986; Presentation of 1990 commencement address of The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine; The Distinguished Service Award of the FSMB, 1993; The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services Award for contributions to the integrity and quality of healthcare in America 1989; NC Area Heath Education Founders Award, 1997. In 2006 a conference room at the headquarters of the North Carolina Medical Board was designated in his honor.
Immediate survivors include his three daughters: Janice Steele and her husband John of Mt. Gilead, NC, Sherlyn Massey and her husband Evans of Anderson, SC, and Catherine Barbee and her husband Mark of Spring City, PA. Step-son Brian Spell and his wife Mary of Fort Mill, SC; five grandchildren are Daniel McBrayer, MD and his wife Catherine; Bryant Massey and his wife Lindsey, and Matthew, Maegan and ,Mallory Barbee; Great grandchildren included Emma Rose, Conner, Elizabeth and Charlotte McBrayer. and Wyatt Evans and Everett Walker Massey.
At Dr. Galusha’s request, a private graveside service will be held for immediate family. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105 or Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.
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