Dr. Charles B. McIntosh has dedicated a lifetime to improving the lives of families in the Jacksonville community. As the first African-American pediatrician to practice in Jacksonville, he noticed that there were many more health issues extending beyond his office walls, and he has been a champion affecting a change in these areas for half a century.
By organizing and implementing many health programs, the doctor has helped to heal and prevent illness for those who are unable to afford health care. The first of many organizations was the Florida Sickle Cell Foundation that he helped to found in 1973. Dr. McIntosh’s lifelong journey of organizing, leading and residing on committees and boards of these organizations have helped bring light to issues negatively affecting our community that would otherwise remain unnoticed.
He has been involved with the Head Start Program, helping to foster a nurturing learning environment for children in-need. Other areas of involvement include the Boy Scouts of America, school health programs and teenage pregnancy prevention programs. He is also a founding member and past president of Volunteers in Medicine, a free health clinic for the working uninsured. He continues to make time to volunteer there.
Colleagues and community members alike pay homage to Dr. McIntosh for his philanthropic endeavors. He has received numerous awards recognizing his outstanding service and his commitment to making a difference. In 2001, The Florida Board of Medicine honored Dr. McIntosh with the “Chairman’s Recognition Award for Excellence in the Medical Profession and Community Service.” Shands Jacksonville opened the Charles B. McIntosh, M.D. Sickle Cell Center in his honor in 2005. Most recently he was the recipient of the Certificate of Merit, the highest award given by the Florida Medical Association. His extensive involvement with the Florida Medical Association, Florida Board of Medicine, the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Florida Commission on Funding Indigent Care has elevated the level of what integrity and fortitude mean in the medical arena.
He has enriched the lives of so many because he is an advocate for those who need a voice. The Jacksonville Business Journal has honored him as one of its “Health Care Heroes” because of his remarkable community service. A revised version of the Hippocratic Oath by Louis Lasagna states, “I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.” Dr. Charles B. McIntosh has taken this to heart and our community is the better for it.