Colonel Harry Farmer, Jr. - USAF (Retired) - Ormond Beach, FL

Dr. Farmer has served in three different branches of the Armed Services. He served in the US Army on active duty from Sept 1969 to May 1971 including a year as a Military Advisor in the Mekong Delta. He achieved the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Dr. Farmer served in the inactive Army Reserve from 1969 to 1979. In 1984, he joined the Florida National Guard where he served as a Battalion Surgeon until 1994. During that period of time he received 2 Meritorious Service Medals and graduated from the Army Command and Staff College. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

From 1994 until his retirement in 2004, Dr. Farmer served as a Flight Surgeon with the 919 Special Operations Wing at Elgin AFB. He also served as the Commander of the 919 Special Operations Medical Group from 2001 to 2004. During that period of time, he was awarded the third Meritorious Service Medal and graduated from the Air War College. He retired in October, 2004 with the rank of Colonel.

Education and Training Accomplishments

Dr. Farmer earned a Ph.D in history from the University of Georgia and was a Professor of History at Georgia Southwestern College before resigning and volunteering for military service in 1969. After Vietnam he entered medical school and graduated with a MD degree in 1976. He then completed a residency in Internal Medicine in 1980. He re-entered military service in 1984. In 2004 he left private practice and became the Medical Director at Covance Clinical Research Unit in Daytona Beach where he remains today.

Professional/Employment History

  • Private practice of Internal Medicine 1980 to 2004. Medical Director of Covance Inc. from 2004.
  • Served as Surgeon General of Florida from 2011 – 2012. 

Nominee’s Advocacy on behalf of Veterans.

  • Member Military Officers Association of America from 2002 to Present.
  • Keynote speaker Memorial Day Ormond Beach Fl 2011.
  • Served on the Military Academies Selection Committee for over 10 years appointed by Congressmen Ander Crenshaw and John Mica.
  • Member Reserve Officers Association

Nominee’s Civic Activities and Contributions

  • Served on Judicial Nominating Commissions having been appointed by Governor Jeb Bush.
  • Served as member of Fish Memorial. Hospital Board of Governors after being appointed by Governor Bob Martinez.
  •  Elected President of the Florida Medical Association 2001 – 2002.
  • Appointed to the Florida Board of Medicine by Governor Jeb Bush in 2004 and served for 4 years and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2010.
  • Elected Chairman of the Florida Board of Medicine 2007-200

Awards and Honors

  • Elected President of the Volusia County Medical Society, 1990
  • Elected President of the Florida Medical Association, 2001
  • Awarded Distinguished Community Service award by the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter in 2002
  • Honored by Florida Board of Medicine “Chairman Recognition Award” for service to the citizens of Florida 2003 as a physician and military officer.
  • Selected as Internist of the Year in Florida in 2011 by the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter.
  • Selected to serve as Surgeon General of Florida March, 2011-March 2012
  • Honored by Crime Stoppers of Volusia County for helping to curb prescription drug abuse as Surgeon General with “Spirit of Law Enforcement Award,” 2012.
  • Inducted into New Smyrna Beach High School’s Hall of Fame 2012.
  • Honored by Stetson University as Distinguished Alumni November, 2013
  • Honored by city of Ormond Beach in 2013 for distinguished service to the state 

Written narrative to justify consideration for the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.

Dr. Farmer has made significant contributions to the citizens of Florida both as a military officer and a physician, starting when he left a position as a professor of history to volunteer for the military in the midst of the Vietnam War when this was unpopular and essentially could have ended his academic career.

His contributions to medicine and the citizens of Florida has been extensive, from serving as Chairman of the Board of Medicine, President of the Florida Medical Association to Surgeon General where he led the efforts to reduce the effects of illegal prescription drug abuse. During his tour as Surgeon General, oxycodone prescriptions decreased 98 % in the state of Florida, over 300 “ pill mills” closed and the number of doctor who wrote oxycodone prescriptions and practiced in Florida decreased from 92 out of 100 in all of this country to 13 in 2012. He directed the set up of the Physician Drug Monitoring Program which helps to track controlled substances prescriptions in Florida which has aided law enforcement and set up a system in the Department of Health to shorten the time for action to be taken on health care personnel who participated in these activities. While these activities aided all Floridians it also helped thousands of veterans in the state who were also victims of prescription abuse.

He has been recognized by law enforcement and editorials across the state for his role in curbing this scourge on the citizens of Florida. Dr. Farmer left the Surgeon General’s position after his wife was diagnosed with a malignancy.

He continued to contribute to the military by serving in the Reserves while he practiced Medicine and has served on the Military Academies Selection committee of Congressman Mica where applicants are recommended for appointment.

He has served on the governing body of a public hospital and on Judicial Nominating Commissions where applicants for judgeships are recommended to the Governor. Dr. Farmer has been recognized and honored by his peers on many occasions for both his military service and public service and would be the ideal candidate to be inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.