In 1913, Henry Cliff Sauls graduated from the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons (later the Emory University School of Medicine) and joined Piedmont Hospital as an intern. The hospital had been founded as Piedmont Sanatorium in 1905. Over the next three decades, Dr. Saul’s skills as both a physician and a financial administrator would help transition Piedmont from a small, local sanatorium to a modern, regional hospital.
During World War I, Dr. Sauls enlisted as a captain with the Emory Medical Unit and served in the Army as a physician and surgeon at US Army Base Hospital 43 in Blois, France. After the war he returned to Piedmont Hospital, where he partnered in practice with two of the Hospital’s leading physicians, Dr. James Edgar Paullin (elected president of the American Medical Association) and Dr. Carter Smith, Sr. (the co-founder and first president of the Georgia Heart Association). Together, these doctors helped establish Piedmont Hospital’s reputation as one of the state’s leading research and treatment facilities.
Dr. Sauls was a skilled and respected specialist in internal medicine. His research and work with Dr. Paullin and Dr. Smith on diabetes, insulin treatment, and cardiology received national recognition and helped establish Piedmont Hospital’s growing reputation as a cutting-edge medical center. Dr. Sauls also served as president of the Fulton County Medical Society, chairman of the board of the Medical Arts Building, associate professor of Clinical Medicine at Emory Medical School, and diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Sauls also served Piedmont Hospital as financial planner, administrator, and visionary. As treasurer of the Piedmont Hospital Board of Trustees and as chairman of the Finance Committee, Sauls guided the Hospital through the economic challenges of the Great Depression and helped chart its continued growth and success. As a financial planner and visionary, he worked with the state legislature to achieve non-profit status for Piedmont and led the planning, located the new site, and helped secure the funding for the Hospital’s move to its current location on Peachtree Road.
Dr. Henry Cliff Sauls died on July 15, 1947, at age 60, but his legacy at Piedmont continued with the creation of the hospital’s first medical library, the Sauls Memorial Library, and the opening of the new Piedmont Hospital in 1957.
In 2006, Dr. Sauls’ daughter Laura and her husband John A. Wallace established the Dr. Henry Cliff Sauls Endowment Fund at the Georgia Historical Society to honor Dr. Sauls’ memory and his contributions to Georgia’s history.