NGMC Family Medicine physicians win top state award

Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Dr. Monica Newton and Dr. Samuel Le Church, Family Medicine physicians at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), were recently honored with two of the highest honors given by the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) at their annual House of Delegates meeting in Savannah.

“These awards are great examples of the amazing physicians we have teaching the next generation. Our Family Medicine residents truly are taught by the best physician faculty in the state of Georgia,” says John E. Delzell, Jr., MD, MSPH, vice president of Medical Education for Northeast Georgia Health System and Designated Institutional Official for NGMC.

Dr. Newton received the Lamartine Hardman Cup, an award named for Lamartine Hardman, MD – who was Georgia’s governor from 1927 to 1931 and a successful physician, entrepreneur and farmer from Jackson County. Since 1931, the award honors physicians who solve a problem in public health or make a discovery in surgery or medicine or a contribution to the science of medicine as well. The association cited Dr. Newton’s commitment to “improving the health of the community” through public health and educating the future generations of physician leaders to solve community problems.

Dr. Newton, the program director of NGMC’s Family Medicine Residency program, was the first Family Medicine physician to receive this honor, the first osteopathic physician to receive the Cup, and one of a handful of female physicians.

“I believe health is primary. It is fundamental to educational attainment, rising out of poverty and living the American dream. Focusing on broad spectrum training with an emphasis on population health is what is going to make us better. There is no better place to put my efforts and honestly, there is no better place to highlight the role family physicians play in making Georgia healthier than here at MAG,” says Monica Newton, DO, program director of the Family Medicine Residency program at NGMC.

Dr. Samuel Le Church, NGMC Family Medicine Residency faculty and practicing family physician from Hiawassee, received the Physician Award for Community Service. His significant work in medical coding, his pioneering COVID vaccine clinics and lifelong service to the northeast Georgia region were highlighted.

“It is a privilege to serve my community through medicine and all that it touches outside of the clinic. The great things we have been part of are only possible with the support of our staff and our service-minded community members. This is a recognition for the entire community,” says Dr. Church.

To learn more about NGMC’s Family Medicine Residency program, visit

About Northeast Georgia Medical Center

Since 1951, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. With hospitals located in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder and Dahlonega, the four NGMC campuses have a total of more than 700 beds and more than 1,200 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit that cares for more than one million people across more than 19 counties. Learn more at