Dr. Ernest Carlton (Ernie) Is an OBGYN who has been living here in Macon since 1997. He was born in Swainsboro, GA and moved to Dublin at the age of 5. He grew up in Dublin as the son of a minister of a small Baptist church. After graduating from Dublin High School he headed to Statesboro to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Georgia Southern University. He then moved to Augusta where he received his MD from the Medical College of Georgia. After medical school Ernie moved to Macon to begin his OBGYN residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Upon completion of his residency he joined Women’s Specialty Care where he has been in practice for the last 17 years.
Ernie is married to his high school sweetheart, Lara Blanchett Carlton. In June they will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Lara has a Master’s of Social Work from UGA and spends much her time volunteering with different organizations throughout the community. Together they have 3 children. Their daughter, Sumner, is a 21 year old junior studying elementary education at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Their oldest son, Alan, is a freshman at Auburn University studying electrical engineering. The youngest of their crew is Phillip, a junior at First Presbyterian Day School here in Macon. He hopes to attend the University of Alabama after graduation.
The majority of Ernie’s time is devoted to spending time with his family, caring for his patients, and serving at Northway Church. He has served on several medical mission trips through Together We Can Haiti. His main hobby indulgence is flying. Dr. Carlton has had his commercial pilot’s license for several years and enjoys flying regularly. His family would say that he will take any excuse to fly! Quick trips to go visit their children off at college have provided a readily approved excuse to fly the last few years. He also offers his assistance to Pilots-N-Paws to fly rescue dogs to shelters and flies patients to medical visits through Angel Flight.
Dr. Carlton’s career as an OBGYN allows him the opportunity to get to know couples during an exciting time in their lives. These experiences often lead to lasting friendships. Jeff and Casey Cox are an example of one of those couples. When Jeff approached him about participating this year it didn’t take long for Ernie to say yes. He readily admits to having NO DANCE EXPERIENCE, and his family literally laughed out loud when he told them he had agreed to participate in Dancing With the Stars. However, his passion to help make a difference for others led him make the commitment without hesitation. He has had some firsthand experience with the impact of Alzheimer’s on families and loved ones. His wife’s grandmother had Alzheimer’s for the last 12 years of her life. Watching her deteriorate and disconnect from the family she loved was heartbreaking. The amount of care she needed from her husband and family was exhausting. He saw a generous, strong, self-sufficient woman become confused, disoriented, and require round the clock care as Alzheimer’s stole her mind and her identity.
Dr. Carlton hopes his willingness to participate in Dancing with the Stars will encourage others to give generously and help continue the fight against the cruel disease of Alzheimer’s. He recalls a conversation with his father from when he was teenager, “We were talking about me growing up and becoming an adult and Dad said, ‘You may not be able to do miraculous things but you can always help other people.’ I am certainly not expecting to dance miraculously, but I am willing to risk a little public humiliation so I can raise money to help other people.”
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