Since 2007, we annually present the Founder's Award to an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the Center.

Beginning in 2008, we began presenting the Mountain Laurel Award, awarded each year to an individual or group who has made extraordinary, lasting and substantial contributions to wilderness medicine in the southern Appalachians. It is intended to be a lifetime achievement award, and is the highest honor we can bestow.

  • 2008: Tom Kessler of Gallatin, TN (WMS Student Elective in the Great Smoky Mtns, TN)
  • 2009: Jack Ditty of Morgantown, WV (director of the Appalachian Wilderness Medicine Conference, WVU faculty)
  • 2010: Michael Caudell of Augusta, GA (MedWAR founder, MCG Wilderness Medicine faculty)
  • 2011: Justin Padgett of Cullowhee, NC (founder and director of Landmark Learning; founder and author of Starguard Wilderness Lifeguard course)
  • 2012: Chris Moore of Chattanooga, TN):  founder of the Southeastern Wilderness Medicine Conference; Venue Medical Coordinator, Whitewater Competition, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games; Medical Director, World Cup Whitewater Competition; Founder, Wilderness Medical Society Environmental council; Wilderness Medical Society's Delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro
  • 2013: Slim Ray
  • 2014: Seth Hawkins of Morganton, NC
  • 2015: Jono Bryant, Bryson City, NC
  • 2016: Fred Baty, Knoxville, TN