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Cathy Sanderson gives a guitar to Dr. Tony Williams during his retirement ceremony at the Morgan County Health Department o Friday. Williams has served the community in the Health Department for the past twenty years. Sanderson's husband Scott cleaned up the guitar, which Williams already owned, and restrung it as a retirement gift.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Cathy Sanderson gives a guitar to Dr. Tony Williams during his retirement ceremony at the Morgan County Health Department o Friday. Williams has served the community in the Health Department for the past twenty years. Sanderson's husband Scott cleaned up the guitar, which Williams already owned, and restrung it as a retirement gift.

Tony Williams honored with retirement party

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

After treating patients at the Morgan County Health Department for 20 years, Dr. Tony Williams has hung up his stethoscope for the last time.

Area politicians, officials and health department employees honored Dr. Williams during a retirement tea at the health department Friday afternoon.

Dr. Williams said he knew he wanted to go into medicine after treating animals on his father's farm in Hamilton.

"Granddaddy did all the veterinary stuff on the cows, and he would have me do lots of things," said Dr. Williams. "He'd say 'Put your arm up there and pull that calf out.' "

After graduating from medical school at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, he completed a 10-year residency at Lawrence County Medical Center in Moulton. He then opened an office in Moulton but, after five years, was unsatisfied with private practice.

"The patients are always a pleasure, but the insurance companies and finances are a pain," he said. "I came (to the Health Department) so I could focus on patients."

He joined the department in 1987 as the assistant health officer and soon was promoted to health officer.

His primary duties included examining patients in the family planning and sexually transmitted-disease units, said Nursing Director Karen Butler, who has worked with Dr. Williams his entire career at the health department.

"He did clinics right up until the day he left," she said. "He's a compassionate person, and absolutely nothing was too small for him. He'd do anything."

Dr. Williams said he plans to spend his retirement travelling across the country to visit his children and grandchildren.

"I've got kids scattered from here to the Pentagon to Colorado," he said. "I'm going to go see them, grow a garden and play with my grandkids."

However, Dr. Williams said, the health department may not have seen the last of him.

"The health department is an integral part of the medical system in the county. People that don't have insurance or the means to get basic exams need this service," he said. "If they needed me, I'd be available."

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