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At his retirement ceremony on Aug. 13, Harold C. Pillsbury, MD, was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, among the highest honors awarded in the state of North Carolina.

Matt Mauro, MD, presents the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to Harold Pillsbury, MD
A portrait of Harold Pillsbury, MD, unveiled at his retirement ceremony

The distinguished career of Harold C. Pillsbury, MD, was celebrated at a retirement party on Aug. 13. As a part of the festivities, Pillsbury was honored with North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the state’s most prestigious awards.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine dates back to 1964 and is awarded to those who have a “proven record of extraordinary service to the state.”

Matt Mauro, MD, Chair of the Department of Radiology, and CEO of UNC Faculty Physicians, made the presentation to Pillsbury.

“What I think is special about this award is that it honors sustained service to the state. Dr. Pillsbury has had such a great impact, of course in treating patients, but also in the countless physicians he has trained who themselves go on to great service,” Mauro said.

Pillsbury said it was extra special to receive the award, signed by Governor Roy Cooper. Cooper, Pillsbury said, was instrumental in securing the funding for the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center at UNC Medical Center, which has performed more than 1,000 implant procedures.

Pillsbury called the honor “truly awesome.” As his career was celebrated, Pillsbury was also proud to say UNC’s Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery was recently rated #10 in the country by US News & World Report, UNC’s highest rated department.

All of that added up to a “truly awesome” evening, Pillsbury said.

“I am so grateful to receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and to celebrate with all of my colleagues and many of my trainees,” Pillsbury said.