“My grandfather was a country doctor and all my life I heard how 'Faddy' would treat patients right on the front porch. He never turned anyone away and, of course, they were poor and paid him in chickens and what not. So I thought of a doctor as being a service provider…”
J. Gresham Barrett
“TAKING TO THE ROAD TO SERVE THE NEEDIEST CHILDREN!”
What's a pediatrician to do if the poorest children in her county can't make it to her office for proper care? If you're Sallie Carter, you close the office, retrofit a 45–foot RV into a state–of–the–art pediatric clinic, hitch it up to "Old Glory," your American–flag bedecked '97 Chevy Silverado, and take it to them at all ten elementary schools in School District 5—with the unanimous approval of the Board of Education!
“This style of practice is really something I wanted to do,” says Carter of her mobile health effort, which she incorporated as "Wellness for Children." Carter arrived in Anderson in 1989 armed with a degree in divinity from Yale University, experience providing medical treatment to children in West Africa, and a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, her native state. With lots of good intentions and limited funds, she opened a Medicaid pediatric practice, where she not only healed children but worked to heal parents who needed lessons in proper parenting. Reportedly, Carter never turned any child away and provided free services to hundreds of families over the years.
Says longtime friend Fay Brown, of the Foothills Alliance community services organization, “Physician, mother, chaplain, friend, coworker, Dr. Carter is an amazing woman whose driving force in life is to respond to children in need.” Echoing Brown, Assistant Majority Whip of the House Representative J. Gresham Barrett [R–SC–3] nominated Carter as a Local Legend for her "dedication to providing health care to children from families of very limited resources who might not otherwise have received proper medical attention."
The goal of Carter's mobile practice is to make sure that the children who for whatever reason do not have access to medical services receive them so that they can be physically healthy and mentally alert when they are in school. “When kids are too sick to be in class, parents often must miss work while they wait for the child to get the care they need,” Carter explains.
Her compassion for needy children extends beyond the workplace into her own home. When two local newborn girls needed homes, she adopted them! Although now a single mother with a hectic professional schedule, she felt strongly that she should adopt a baby girl from China, where female babies are often little–valued by their families. So off she went to pick up her newest little girl and return home, her family complete. To everyone's amazement, all during this time she continued to run her practice and serve on the staff of AnMed Child Health Center, the local hospital.
Carter, who also was president of the Anderson County Medical Association, has received a number of awards, including the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award from the AnMed Family Practice Program, the Anderson Breast Feeding Coalition Award and the South Carolina Perinatal Association Award, Piedmont Chapter. From 1990 to 2003, she was a Clinical Instructor, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina.
Awarded Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School
Earns MD degree from Medical College of Georgia
Establishes Wellness for Children, LLC, a mobile pediatric office
Stanford University School of Medicine