T. Reginald Harris, FACP
Reginald Harris, FACP, a former president of the American Society of Internal Medicine who played a pivotal role during last year's merger negotiations, died on March 6. He was 72 years old and a resident of Charlotte, N.C.
"Reggie was one of the behind-the-scenes heroes of the ACP-ASIM merger," said Walter J. McDonald, FACP, the College's Executive Vice President. "The new organization owes him a great debt of gratitude."
Dr. Harris, who received a posthumous Mastership Award last month at Annual Session, served as ASIM president from 1985-86 and served on the ASIM Board of Trustees until 1996. "Dr. Harris characterized the very best of the organization," said the College's Associate Executive Vice President, Alan R. Nelson, FACP. "He made his mark improving the practice environment by reducing the hassles that take internists away from patient care, and we'll remember his loud voice and gentle manner."
President of the North Carolina Society of Internal Medicine from 1973-74, Dr. Harris was also Governor for the College's North Carolina Chapter, which awarded him a Laureate Award in 1998. Because he had so many years of service in both organizations, he was a valuable facilitator during merger discussions, Dr. Nelson said. Dr. Harris was also active in other state and national medical organizations, serving as an AMA delegate and chair of the AMA's Current Procedural Terminology editorial panel.
He earned his medical degree in 1955 at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, where he also served his residency. He later completed a fellowship in pulmonary disease at Duke University.
In 1966, Dr. Harris was one of the founders of Shelby Medical Associates, a multispecialty clinic in Cleveland County, N.C., where he was still working at the time of his death. Also in the 1960s, Dr. Harris helped establish Cleveland Home Health Care, a home health care agency. Seeing the need to expand local community-based medical resources, Dr. Harris also helped organize a county-wide network of clinics in the early 1990s.
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