Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Dies
HANOVER, N.H.-Former Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop, MD, a pioneer in the field of pediatric surgery, a leader in the fight to create a smoke-free nation, and founder of the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, died peacefully in his home in Hanover, N.H. on Monday, February 25, 2013. He was 96 years old.
A 1937 graduate of Dartmouth, Dr. Koop was known as "America's Family Doctor" during his time as Surgeon General of the United States from November 1981 until October 1989. Surgeon General Koop applied his skills as a clinician and healer to address the health challenges of all Americans and all people worldwide. During his tenure, he continued the fight against tobacco and focused new national attention on diet and nutrition, the benefits of physical activity, mental health issues, environmental health hazards, disease prevention, and health promotion. At a time of a new emerging threat to the public's health, Dr. Koop became the voice of calm and compassion, of knowledge and facts as the federal government's chief spokesperson and educator on HIV/AIDS. Using the best science and evidence he spoke candidly and honestly to young and old to address the many dimensions of this threatening disease.
Known for his trademark bowties, suspenders, and clipped beard, Dr. Koop, belovedly called "Chick" by his friends, was the first official to call for a "smoke-free nation." He made history in 1988 with a landmark Surgeon General report, "The Health Consequences of Smoking-Nicotine Addiction," credited with beginning the changing of the tide in public attitudes and public acceptance of smoking. He highlighted the dangers of second hand smoke to the non-smoker, raising the debate to address the harm for all exposed, and called for consistent warning labels on all tobacco packaging.
"Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients-he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society," said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. "Through that knowledge, he empowered each of us to improve our own well-being and quality of life. Dr. Koop's commitment to education allowed him to do something most physicians can only dream of: improving the health of millions of people worldwide."
Wiley W. Souba, MD, Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, said, "Dr. Koop has had a profound influence on the health of all of us in our nation. We have been fortunate to have him in our midst at Dartmouth and at the Geisel School of Medicine. He constantly reminded us of the important lessons that he learned in his professional life of caring for children that could show us how to provide healthcare for people of all ages.
More details at: http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/news/2013/02/25_koop/