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Robert Ball MD, MPH

Robert T Ball MD, MPH

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  • Assistant Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Public Health Sciences
Academic Focus
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health Sciences
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Short introductory bio for Robert T. Ball, Jr, MD MPH FACP     2018

Adjunct Professor, MUSC and College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

A 7th generation Charleston physician & CofC graduate, Robert obtained his MD in 1970 from the Medical University of SC (MUSC), did an Internal Medicine internship at UAB in Birmingham. He then directed an Army Emergency Department for 2 years during the Vietnam War.  He returned to Charleston for his Internal Medicine Residency and an Infectious Disease/ Virology/ Immunology Fellowship.  He was in part-time private practice in Charleston from 1977 to 1987, specializing in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and HIV-AIDS care.  Robert was credited with being the first physician to diagnose & report AIDS in SC (1982).  While in practice, he was also Clinical Adjunct Professor in the Infectious Disease Division at MUSC.

In 1987 he left practice to obtain his MPH (Masters in Public Health) from USC in Columbia, where he also completed a 2-year Preventive Medicine Fellowship.  He joined SC DHEC in 1988, served as SC’s HIV-STD Inf. Dis. Consultant/ Epidemiologist, and became Medical Director of several programs, including serving as Principal Investigator and initiator of the then-novel SC Ryan White AIDS Program, the Harmful Algal Bloom Program, and the HCV program.  He has served as External Consultant to the CDC, HRSA, and other organizations.  He also served as Adjunct Associate Professor at the USC School of Public Health (Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics) and USC School of Medicine, where he was the Associate Director of the Inf. Dis. Division in the 1990s.

Over his career, he has served as a hospital Chief-of-Staff, President of the SC Infectious Disease Society, President of the Columbia (Richland Co.) Medical Society, and on a variety of boards and committees (often as Chair).  He is a member of a variety of organizations, recipient of numerous awards (eg, 2014 SC Medical Association CME Educator of Year), has authored/ co-authored several dozen articles and abstracts, and co-authored a book chapter.  3 book chapters have been written about him.

In 2003 he moved to his childhood home in Charleston and into a new DHEC position of Infectious Disease Epidemiologist/Medical Director for coastal regions, focusing on bioterrorism, port security, and Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) like pandemic influenza.  He co-founded the SC & Charleston Infectious Disease Societies. He served from the 1st Congressional District on the State Board of Medical Examiners from 2008 until Dec. 2012.  In 2012 the SCMA selected him as Interim Editor of its Journal, on which he had served as Associate Editor.  He serves on the Exec. Committee of the Charleston County Medical Society, on the Board of the MUSC’s Waring Historic Library Society, and in 2018 the Board of Trustees of the SC Medical Association. He retired from SC DHEC in 2012 to teach in Charleston.  Robert frequently provides inservices & Grand Rounds to MUSC and various professional groups, especially on public health, influenza, & other EIDs.

He is married to Betty Gore, RN, MSN (MUSC), retired SC DHEC TB & Infection Control Nurse Consultant, who continued working with influenza vaccination programs. They have 2 splendid sons and daughters-in-law, 3 grandchildren, and a large extended family. They sing in their St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church choir, where Robert was elected Senior Warden in 2012.  He is now Junior Warden of their “family’s” Strawberry Chapel. They like fine music and wine, many community events, genealogy, gardening, family time, and quiet time together (whenever possible).