Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Surgeon receives Sister Valentina Sheridan Award

Published May 1, 2014

Dr. John C. Garrett was awarded Emory Healthcare’s 2014 Second Century Award for Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (called the Sister Valentina Sheridan Award). He was honored recently at the ninth annual Second Century Awards dinner and ceremony at the Atlanta History Center.

Specializing in knee repair, Garrett helped advance arthroscopic surgery with new surgical techniques and instrumentation. He was the first surgeon in the country to transplant the meniscus (the cartilage in the joint), and he led the movement to repair the knee biologically and delay replacing it with an artificial joint.

As team physician for the Atlanta Falcons for 12 years, Garrett treated professional athletes for injuries that previously would have ended careers. Using arthroscopic surgery, Garrett helped injured athletes get back into the game within the season. He also treated amateur athletes for similar problems. “This kind of surgery is a marvel,” Garrett says. “We can help people return to their lives.”

Emory’s Development Office presents the Second Century Awards to deserving recipients at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

As director of mission integration at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Sister Valentina Sheridan is deeply committed to her ministry of service. A Macon native, she entered the Sisters of Mercy religious community after high school. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, teaching for 13 years before becoming principal of Sacred Heart School (Augusta), then principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School (Atlanta). She was director, then superintendent of education for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and in 1980 became the archdiocese’s first female parish administrator. She was the first recipient of the award that bears her name.