Lourdes Health Foundation Honors Dr. Edwin Messey with Healing Spirit Award
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Lourdes Health Foundation has chosen recently retired, long-time Lourdes family physician, Edwin Messey, M.D., as one of the two recipients of its 2012 Healing Spirit Awards. The annual award honors a Lourdes physician for his or her compassion, dedication to patients and years of service.
The 2012 award will be presented to Dr. Messey on April 21 at the Lourdes Health Foundation's annual fundraising gala and silent auction, "The Dance 2012 -- Old Hollywood Glamour," held at Caesars Atlantic City. Proceeds from the black-tie event will benefit Lourdes Health System's areas of greatest need, as well as community programs and services.
"It is an honor to receive the Healing Spirit Award," says Dr. Messey. "I feel privileged to have had the chance to serve so many wonderful patients and families over the last 50 plus years."
For more than five decades, Dr. Messey served his patients out of his Willingboro home office. Over that time he cared for four generations of families and, in many cases, was the only doctor his patients ever knew.
When Dr. Messey announced his retirement at the end of 2011, it was met with an unexpected response. "People actually tried to talk me out of it," he laughs. "My patients in particular were very upset and some even placed a guilt trip on me."
It's more than the span of Dr. Messey's career, however, that has made him a beloved fixture in the community. It's also his passion for family medicine.
"I often likened the interaction between me and my patients to exchanging gifts," he explains. "I provided them with a diagnosis, treatment and care, and in return I received the satisfaction of knowing that I've made a positive impact in their lives. In that way, I found medicine very rewarding."
Dr. Messey's giving spirit has also benefitted the broader medical community. On a regular basis, he welcomed second- and third-year medical students from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Drexel College of Medicine into his practice to hone their clinical skills. Dr. Messey himself received his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in 1959.
As an active member of the medical staff at Lourdes Medical Center at Burlington County since 1960, Dr. Messey has served on the Continuing Medical Education and Biomedical Ethics committees and is the former chair of the Tissue Committee. He is a past president of the Burlington County Medical Society and has held several posts, including chairman of the Judicial Council. Dr. Messey even hosted a society-sponsored radio talk show called, "Ask Your Doctor" for two years.
As a member of the Medical Society of New Jersey, Dr. Messey serves on the Bioethics Committee, and Constitution and By-Laws Committee. He served for nine years on its Board of Trustees and chaired the Committee on Medical Education.
Dr. Messey's community involvement is extensive and includes membership on the Board of Education of the Burlington County Special Services School District and the Willingboro Rotary Club, over which he served as president from 1970 -- 71.
Despite being retired, Dr. Messey stays abreast of the latest medical advances. He regularly attends CME meetings at the hospital and reads medical journals voraciously.
Never one for being bored, Dr. Messey has filled his free time since retiring with his other passion: painting. He paints landscapes, still lifes and portraits using watercolor, oils and acrylics.
"I've finished four portraits in the past six weeks!" he exclaims.