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Wallace Conerly, Physician Friend of AARC, Dies

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January 23, 2012

Dr. A. Wallace ConerlyDr. A. Wallace Conerly, vice chancellor emeritus for health affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and dean emeritus of the School of Medicine, died earlier this month in the UMMC hospital that bears his name. He was 76.

Conerly served the respiratory care community throughout his career. A medical advisor for the Mississippi Society for Respiratory Care, he also worked on the national respiratory stage as a representative to the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Care Education (the precursor of COARC). Additionally, he was a former examiner and Board member for the National Board for Respiratory Care.

He lobbied for our profession and appeared before Senator Trent Lott, who eventually sponsored a bill on behalf of the AARC.

Conerly was admitted to the Wallace Conerly Critical Care Hospital at the Medical Center for complications related to Parkinson’s Disease.

Jerry Bridgers, CRT, a personal friend and respiratory therapist in Mississippi, said, “He loved respiratory. He loved our profession, and he was an ardent support of our community.”

Conerly served a three-year term as the American College of Chest Physicians’ commissioner on the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. He also served a four-year term on the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, the first Mississippian ever to do so.

In 2003 Conerly received the Distinguished Citizen Award from The Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America.

In recognition of his many contributions to Mississippi, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove declared March 19, 2003, “Wally Conerly Day in Mississippi” and each house of the state legislature held a special ceremony and adopted a resolution in his honor. In 2009, former Gov. Haley Barbour also honored Conerly with a Medal of Service for a lifetime of significant contributions to the state.

More information about his life and career are published on the website for Ole Miss.