Sarrell’s giant footprints: Cardiologist made a real difference in the lives of area residents
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Sep 28, 2012 | 2523 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In May, Anniston physician Michael Hanna penned a Speak Out letter to The Star that extolled the many virtues of Dr. Warren Sarrell, unarguably one of the legendary figures of Alabama medicine.

Hanna wrote of how Sarrell’s determination had made a real difference in the Anniston community, and how fortunate area patients were to have a man such as Sarrell influencing the growth of medical care in this city.

“There will never be another Warren G. Sarrell,” Hanna said.

We agree.

Sarrell, who had bone cancer, died Thursday morning at his home. He was 87. But today, the entire Calhoun County community needs to join arm-in-arm in remembrance of the man Hanna aptly described as having left “giant footprints in our medical community.”

Those unfamiliar with Sarrell’s legacy may recognize him from the dental office that carries his name. The Sarrell Dental Clinic, which operates an Anniston office and 14 facilities overall in Alabama, is less than a decade old but is already heralded for its efforts to provide quality dental care to low-income children on Medicaid.

Sarrell, a cardiologist, and his clinic have been godsends to literally thousands of Alabama children. We shudder to imagine how little care those kids might have received in recent years if not for the Sarrell Dental Clinic.

After Sarrell’s death, Anniston physician Robert Lokey told The Star that Sarrell “was a pioneer,” an opinion no one should dispute. Many northeast Alabamians who have used Regional Medical Center for their health care during the last half-century have benefited directly from Sarrell’s expertise and leadership. As technology changed, particularly in Sarrell’s field, he led the way to bring new machinery, new techniques and expanded services to RMC.

Isn’t that the purest definition of a doctor, a caregiver, a healer? Someone who constantly strives to help those in need?

Through his statewide dental clinics, Sarrell’s name will live on as a reminder of his never-ending goal of providing quality health care to those who need it, regardless of status or place. That’s a fitting tribute.

Yet, we can think of few others in this community, past or present, who deserve stronger posthumous commendations that may come their way. If ever a man was worthy of having his name and his work carried on after his passing, Warren Sarrell is the one. His legacy and his impact are immeasurable.
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