Dr. Robert Thomas Adkins (1930 - 2013)

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Dr. Robert Thomas Adkins, M.D.

OCEAN CITY-Dr. Robert Thomas Adkins, M.D., 83, of Ocean City passed away Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, with his wife by his side, at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center from cardiac complications resulting from a recent fall.

Born on Feb. 19, 1930, in Fruitland, he was the son of the late Levin Isaac Adkins and Louise Thomas Adkins.

Having graduated from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1952 and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1956, he went on to intern at Mercy Hospital before completing a two-year obligation in the United States Army as a post surgeon in Indiantown Gap, Pa.

Upon completion of his service obligation, he returned to Fruitland where he started a very successful private medical practice serving the families of Fruitland and surrounding areas.

In 1968 he expanded his medical services by joining what was then known as the Peninsula General Hospital and the "accident ward," later to be called the Emergency Room.

He, along with some fellow physicians, started a corporation that still exists to this day known as Emergency Service Associates (ESA) serving the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, the Atlantic General Hospital and the McCready Memorial Hospital for medical services for trauma, cardiac, adult and pediatric emergencies.

In December 1994, after having helped guide the growth and decision making for emergency medical services on the lower Eastern Shore, from the days of the "accident ward" in the 1960s to what is now a state-of-the-art Trauma Center, he chose to retire from medical practice. In honor of his years of tireless service to the community, the Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) showed honor to his career by naming the Emergency Room facility "The Robert T. Adkins, M.D., Emergency/Trauma Center."

In addition to his medical career, both private and at PRMC, he was very active in the development of the local emergency medical services (EMS) system for the Eastern Shore, and was instrumental in the education and training of the medical personnel "in the field", our paramedics. He served as medical director for Region IV for MIEMSS EMS for many years and was awarded "EMS Physician of the Year" in 1995. On a more local basis, he was a very active member of the Ocean City Paramedics Foundation, acting not only as a liaison between the foundation and the Ocean City Paramedics (OCFD), but also providing guidance to the fiscal operation of the foundation. He served as the president of the foundation in 2000-2001 and had only recently retired from the foundation in September of this year.

"Doc," as he was known by many friends, found enjoyment through his membership, and role, in numerous organizations. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a long-term member of Centennial Masonic Lodge 221, AF&AM, the Salisbury Scottish Rite (2002 Mason of the Year, a past president, and "Director Of Works" for the past 12 years), the Eastern Shore Scottish Rite (a past president), the Baltimore Scottish Rite, the Boumi Temple of the Shrine, and the Ocean City Shrine Club (past president).

He was also an active member of the Atlantic United Methodist Church in Ocean City and he, along with his wife, established a Christian Education Endowment Fund for the youth of AUMC.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Nancy Jackson Adkins; four children, Catherine Adkins Suraci and husband F. Skip, Esq., of Belle Haven, Va., Laura Kramer and husband, Fred, of Fruitland, James Adkins and wife, Catherine, of Berlin, and Hal Adkins and wife, Alison, of Ocean City; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by one son, Dr. Robert Thomas (Tom) Adkins Jr., D.O.

Prior to his death he had chosen to have his body donated to the Anatomy Board of Maryland for medical education and research. Therefore, there will be a memorial service held at the Atlantic United Methodist Church located on 4th Street in Ocean City on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m., with a visitation to meet the family commencing one hour prior to the service. The Rev. George Patterson will officiate.

In lieu of flowers to the family, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Ocean City Paramedics Foundation, P.O. Box 3099, Ocean City, MD 21843 and/or the Atlantic United Methodist Church, 105 4th Street, Ocean City, MD 21842.

Published in The Daily Times on Oct. 20, 2013
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