WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Monday, February 25, 2013, C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, passed away at the age of 96. "We will miss Dr. Koop dearly, but his notable contributions to public health and health promotion will live on," said Dr. Ron Goetzel, president and CEO of The Health Project. "The Health Project Board Members offer Dr. Koop's wife, children, family and friends our sincere condolences. America lost an important figure in public health."
Dr. Charles Everett Koop, (born October 14, 1916) was an American pediatric surgeon and public health administrator. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and served as the thirteenth Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989. During his term as Surgeon General, Dr. Koop informed the public on the dangers of second hand smoke, advocated for a smoke-free U.S. and led HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.
Dr. Koop was born in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his AB degree from Dartmouth College in 1937 and his MD from Cornell Medical College in 1941. Although Dr. Koop became a household name due to his tenure as Surgeon General, the vast majority of his career was spent as a practicing physician.
For 35 years, from 1946 to 1981, he was pediatric surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In 1956, Dr. Koop established the nation's first neonatal surgical intensive care unit at CHOP. While a surgeon in Philadelphia, Dr. Koop performed groundbreaking surgical procedures on conjoined twins, invented techniques that today are commonly used for infant surgery and saved the lives of countless children who otherwise might have been allowed to die.
Dr. Koop's career and legacy show his willingness to make use of the mass media platform available to him as the U.S. Surgeon General to advocate for the health of the nation.
The Health Project has been awarding annual prizes to organizations with proven health improvement and cost savings programs since 1994, when the organization was established, with Dr. Koop as its chairperson. "We will remember Dr. Koop as 'America's Doctor' and will continue to present the annual C. Everett Koop National Health Award in his honor," added Goetzel.
The Health Project (THP) is a non-profit private-public consortium dedicated to bringing about critical attitudinal and behavioral changes in the American health care system, so that providers and consumers employ its vast resources with increasing knowledge and understanding. THP's mission is to seek out, evaluate, promote, and distribute programs with demonstrated effectiveness in influencing personal health habits and the cost effective use of health care services. The National Health Awards are given each year to worksite, community, or provider programs, which have soundly documented improved health and decreased medical costs. More information about the C. Everett Koop National Health Award winners is available at www.TheHealthProject.com.
SOURCE The Health Project