Dr. Mike Oxford has been a fixture in the Thomaston-Upson community for many years. During his tenure as a physician in his hometown, he took helping others to a new level and has embodied the true meaning of the dedicated and loving small town physician. Therefore, as a celebration of his devotion to the area and those whose lives he touched, Dr. Oxford was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012 from the Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce.
His son, Wade, was proud to brag on his father and given an account of his life during the Chamber’s 66th Annual Awards Dinner and Banquet and credited Dr. Oxford’s upbringing to making him the man he is today. Dr. Oxford was born in 1939 on a farm in Culloden to Guy and Mildred Oxford and was the third generation to live on the family farm. He spent the majority of his youth doing farm chores and milking cows in the family dairy, both of which helped to instill his great work ethic. His parents were role models in his development of love and humble respect for others.
After graduating college and a short stint as a Staff Surgeon for the Air Force, he returned to Thomaston in 1973 to go into practice with Dr. Mac Dallas. The two doctors were known to work around the clock, never turning away a patient and even making house calls. His wife, Jane and children Wade and Susan, shared Dr. Oxford with his patients, but according to Wade, they were more than happy to do so.
During his 40 plus years of practice, Dr. Oxford has had many achievements, such as: establishing Upson Regional Medical Center’s (URMC) first tumor registry in 1991, performing the first laparoscopic surgery at URMC and establishing the hospital’s pacemaker program. Locally, he served on several committees at First United Methodist Church, the Board of Directors for Upson Regional Medical Center for several years and on many state and national boards and committees. He still serves on the Hospital Foundation, The Gordon College Foundation, the SouthCrest Bank Board, and the Hospice Board in Upson County.
Accepting his award, Dr. Oxford stated that his entire life has been the American dream, from childhood through today. He considers his service to the community to be a wonderful, grateful and thankful time and something he was proud to have the privilege to do. He noted that it is not what you have, but what you enjoy that constitutes the abundance of life and that the Thomaston community has helped him with that in many ways.
“Thomaston has been very good to me and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world,” said Oxford. “I want to thank the Chamber and all of you good people, and the good people who have made all of this possible for me through the years. It has been a wonderful, wonderful time and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and for this award. May God bless this wonderful community.”
Other awards given out at the banquet were: Here’s Looking at You (Cooks Market); Outstanding Community Service (Upson Regional Medical Center Auxillary); Executive of the Year (Jeff Stribling-Quad Graphics); Business of the Year (The Rock Ranch); New Business of the Year (Alltel Wireless); and Chamber Champ (Janice Bennett). For photos of other award winners, see Page 6B.