Rep. Bill Clyburn was presented the first Marion Carnell Award by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association.

The award is given in recognition of a person, who over an extended period, has shown extraordinary support for community health centers, their patients and mission.

The award is named for the late Rep. Marion Carnell who served in the House of Representatives for over 40 years. During his years of service, he was committed to providing services to people with special needs and especially to those that society had forgotten.

He was a patient and Board member at the Carolinas Health.

Clyburn has served House District 82, which includes Aiken, Edgefield and Saluda counties, since 1995.

He has served his community as an educator, civic leaders and advocates for underserved populations of Aiken County. As a state representative, he has worked to promote Medicaid services for the uninsured, care for special needs populations and the elderly.

His commitment to ensuring all people have access to quality health services is not a new occurrence. Since his first years of service in the House and long before federal health care reform, he has worked and persuades others to provide help for patients in need.

When it comes to supporting community health centers, he is a “rock,” the member the association can always count upon to support centers and their patients.

He has been a strong supporter of state funding for community health centers.

He is a key member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

A quote from Albert Schweitzer that applies to Clyburn is, “The only ones among us who will find true happiness are those who have sought and found a way to serve.”

By Schweitzer’s definition, Clyburn must be a very happy man.

Clyburn has a lifetime of service to community health centers and all South Carolinians.

Because of his legacy of service and his courage to act on his convictions to serve others, he is most deserving to be the first recipient of the Marion Carnell Award.