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Compassionate Doctor Hoskins retires and receives Long Leaf Pine

By Charlotte Smith

View photos by Kenneth Armstrong of the event, here:

Over the past few months Dr. Pearly Graham Hoskins has been celebrated for her achievements, dedication and compassionate care in Bladen County. The community held a special event for Dr. Hoskins on Saturday, May 18 in East Arcadia.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the most respected and valued of awards given by the Governor of North Carolina, according to the society’s website. Dr. Hoskins received the coveted award during the retirement celebration held in her honor among family, friends and colleagues.

Dr. Pearly Hoskins

Dr. Hoskins was a graduate of East Arcadia High School and earned the rank of Valedictorian. She went on to earn a bachelors degree in chemistry at Howard University. She graduated from the medical school at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Hoskins performed an internship at Howard and then moved to Trinidad University where she studied Psychology and then returned home. Dr. Hoskins completed her residency in Wilmington.

After 31 years of practicing medicine in Bladen County Dr. Hoskins announced her retirement to the community in January.

“I think that we are extremely blessed that she made the decision all of those years ago to return home. It is rare. It is difficult to get individuals who are well educated, well learned to come back and serve their communities,” said Dr. Roxy Wells during one retirement lunch celebration about Dr Hoskins.

During the lunch Dr. Hoskins explained how she started practicing medicine in Bladen County, “I came. I started a private practice—solo practice, which you did then,” said Dr. Hoskins. “It has been a wonderful, wonderful 31 years.”

The reason she gave for staying in Bladen County was her father, the late Artis Graham and her mother, Berline Graham. Dr. Hoskins said, “Daddy would ask us, ‘how are you paying the rent to God? How are you paying him rent for enjoying his creation?’”

Dr. Hoskins with her mother Mrs. Graham at Carvers Creek Baltimore Center for a celebration for Mrs. Graham

Dr. Hoskins said she told her father she would work for two years at Bladen County Hospital and help to improve it. She laughed as she said that was 31 years ago and she told her father she had paid the rent to God.

Dr. Hoskins credits God with ordering her steps and allowing her to return to her native Bladen County. She said when she initially graduated from college, she did not think she would return home.

Over the years, Dr. Hoskins has also served on multiple local, state, and national advisory boards in an effort to improve rural health care. For serving on one particular advisory board, Dr. Hoskins received a $5,000 stipend every year, but she donated her stipend back to Bladen County Hospital to help local uninsured or underinsured women get mammograms.

Dr. Hoskins is beloved and respected by many in and beyond her community. The Bladen County Board of Commissioners recognized her in February with a resolution acknowledging and commending Dr. Hoskins’ contributions to the county.

Bladen County Commissioner, Mr. Arthur Bullock confirmed he along with Commissioners Dr. Ophelia Munn-Goins and Russell Priest are working on other ways to recognize and thank Dr. Hoskins for her many years of humanitarian service.

Mr. Bullock said, “I wish she didn’t retire because we are losing out on a great doctor. Hopefully she can be a mentor.”

The latest hooray for Dr. Hoskins in East Arcadia was another well deserved celebration. Her family and friends gathered around with fine crystal and delicious food for a salute fit for such a lady of fine character. The local doctor has not given any enlightenment publicly on what she will be doing with all the new found time on her hands.

As Mr. Bullock alluded to, many hope she will remain in Bladen County.

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