Dr. George W. Cox is a UNC School of Medicine alumnus who has given back many times over to the institution that he credits with changing his life and enabling him to work in the profession he loved. Even before retiring from the practice of radiology in 2007, he devoted a remarkable amount of time, talent and energy to the School of Medicine, contributing greatly to the advancement of its educational mission and providing greater opportunities for medical students.
Dr. Cox received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from UNC while his post-graduate training in radiology was at the University of Virginia and Emory University. He was an assistant professor of neuroradiology at Emory University Clinic from 1975 to 1978 and then was in private practice as a radiologist at Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta for the next 29 years.
Dr. Cox is immediate past chairman of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina board of directors, of which he was a member for nearly 20 years. He is a former president of the UNC Medical Alumni Association and was co-chair of the Medical Alumni Education Campaign during the eight years of the Carolina First Campaign. That highly successful campaign resulted in 57 new Loyalty Fund scholarships for UNC medical students and four new Medical Alumni Teaching Professorships.
“George’s commitment and leadership were quite motivating,” says Ted C. Kerner, MD, CEO of Triad Radiology in Winston-Salem. Dr. Kerner is a past president of the UNC Medical Alumni Association who served as co-chair with Dr. Cox of the Medical Alumni Education Campaign. “He was driven by the understanding that increasing scholarship aid allows the School of Medicine to attract the best faculty and students and that alumni support of the school is a key component of development. George was able to convey this need such that we significantly exceeded our original goal for the campaign, which generated more than ten million dollars for professorships and scholarships.” Dr. Kerner says the experience of working with Dr. Cox on the Alumni Campaign and Medical Foundation “provided insight as to how individuals can have a tremendous impact on the health care environment, particularly in North Carolina.”
Dr. Cox’s leadership of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina was characterized by “vision, commitment and the ability to motivate others to push the organization toward higher levels of excellence,” says John Alexander, the current chair of the Medical Foundation board. “In my experience with George Cox, it’s never about George; it’s about what he has to contribute; it’s about the greater good. We are truly blessed that he has chosen to serve his alma mater with such passion.”
According to James D. Hundley, MD, a member of the Medical Foundation board, Dr. Cox led the organization through difficult times with wisdom and “the type of grace that allowed the board to continue to function and remain cohesive and strong.” “Although most of our alumni and faculty will never know just how much George has done for the School of Medicine, we all owe him a debt of great gratitude.”
James B. Sloan, MD, who has known Dr. Cox since they were freshman roommates at UNC and who also was a past president of the Medical Foundation, says his friend of 45 years “continues to amaze me with his energy and dedication to our beloved UNC School of Medicine. “ His impact was dynamic,” Dr. Sloan recalls.
Dr. Cox also has served on the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors.
An influential civic leader in his home community, he has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way, Saint Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project of Atlanta and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
In recognition of his steadfast commitment to advancing the mission of the School of Medicine and his remarkable record of service to the school, its faculty and students, we are proud to present the Distinguished Service Award to Dr. George W. Cox.