Hopefully you won’t ever have to meet Ginger Justice in her professional capacity. This Buford Class of 2000 graduate has made her living saving lives every day for the past seven years as a trauma surgeon. However, you would absolutely love to meet her personally.
A Buford “lifetimer” K-12 student, Ginger is the daughter of Donnice and Ed Justice, who still reside in the Buford area. As of September 2021, Ginger and her 15-year-old Bichon Frise, Shug, now reside in Powder Springs, a bit closer to work in a Level II Trauma Center at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.
“Trauma surgery is a fast-paced profession. It has also been very rewarding for me over the years,” Dr. Justice said. “I care for patients after motor vehicle collisions, stabbings, gunshot wounds, assaults and falls. My job involves surgical critical care and surgical intervention, but I also provide comfort in end-of-life situations. It has been very rewarding to be a part of restoring quality of life to my patients during some of the worst times of their lives.”
Ginger’s high school career culminated in an abundance of accolades. The valedictorian and “Best All Around Senior” was not only an honor graduate, she was also the president of her class and member of the Gwinnett Student Leadership Team, a Northeast Georgia Academic All-Star, voted as the “Most Intellectual” and “Most Leadership” superlatives and was awarded the highly coveted Atlanta Journal and Constitution Cup in 2000.
“Math and science were my favorite subjects,” she said. “Mrs. Patsy Maltbie and Ms. Bonnie Davis were my favorite teachers. They were strong women teaching difficult courses but managed to make every day a fun learning experience.”
Ginger was a two-sport cheerleader, cheering for the Wolves’ football and basketball teams as captain of both varsity teams. She was the head athletic trainer for both the varsity wrestling and football teams, a four-year Scholar Athlete, a member of the basketball and football homecoming courts, was Miss Football Cheerleader 1997, an Honor Chorus singer and Chorus member all four years and she received the BHS Americanism Award, the Senior Athlete Award for an Outstanding Career at BHS in 2000 and departmental awards in English, mathematics, science and physical education. And that’s only about half of the accolades. Ginger was truly a model student who personified “AAA” well-roundedness.
“I had multiple leadership opportunities during high school including the Gwinnett Student Leadership Team,” Dr. Justice said. “These opportunities were instrumental at an early age to prepare for my career. As a trauma surgeon, you are the team leader during stressful and chaotic situations. I am able to remain calm and provide lifesaving care for the sickest of patients.”
A Dean’s List student who received several scholarships and memberships in various collegiate honor societies, Ginger graduated in the top 5% of her class, summa cum laude, from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology in May 2004, then graduated from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in 2008. After completing five years of general surgery residency at MCoG in 2013, she completed a year surgical critical care fellowship at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Department of Trauma, Burns, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care where she was appointed as an instructor of surgery and worked until 2015.
After a year with Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgeon Synergy Surgicalists at Athens Regional Medical Center, in August 2016, Ginger moved to Pennsylvania, where she worked until August 2021 in Camp Hill, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton with several hospitals in the Geisinger Health System — as well as PennState Health Holy Spirit Medical Center, where she was the progressive care unit trauma director and participated in general surgery resident education and medical and PA student education. She holds current medical licenses in Georgia and Pennsylvania, has lectured and is published, and holds a full page of complex title certifications. It is no wonder she was the recipient of a 2019 Top Doctor Award. Ginger has made Buford proud and is delighted to be back closer to home after years of serving thousands of patients and students from her bases of operation in three states.
When asked her fondest memories and what she would love to repeat from high school, Ginger said, “I would definitely repeat being in the Variety Show. I love to dance, and we always had so much fun, even during the most difficult rehearsals. We did not realize how grand the memories would be as we look back upon our youth.
“I loved the magic of cheerleading on Friday nights under the stadium lighting. Our hometown Buford tradition of cheering on our team was a highlight of my high school years. The smell of the fresh cut grass, the roar of the crowd and dancing to the band will live on in my heart forever.”
And you will live on in ours, Dr. Justice. Thank you for making us proud.
The Buford High School alumni spotlights are made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.