Jeffrey L. Houpt, MD, Dean Emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine, and former CEO of UNC Health Care, passed away on January 13 at the age of 78.
Jeffrey L. Houpt, MD, Dean Emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine, and former CEO of UNC Health Care, passed away on January 13 at the age of 78. A funeral service will be held Friday, January 17 at 2:30 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, NC.
Houpt served as Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor of Medical Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1997 until 2004. In 1998, when the UNC Health Care system was created by the North Carolina General Assembly, Houpt was appointed CEO of the new entity and was the first person to hold this triple role.
By any measure, both UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine experienced growth and success under Dr. Houpt’s leadership. The Health Care system acquired Rex Hospital in Raleigh and greatly expanded its clinical infrastructure in Chapel Hill. The UNC School of Medicine doubled its federal research funding, greatly expanded laboratory space and its research capabilities, brought in 23 new department chairs and expanded the faculty by more than 400.
“Our health system’s statewide footprint, UNC’s reputation as a national leader in clinical and biomedical research, and even the unique dual role of Dean and CEO that I am now privileged to hold, can all be attributed to Dr. Houpt’s vision,” said Wesley Burks, MD, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, in an email shared with faculty and staff.
When reflecting on his years of leadership, Dr. Houpt was most proud of the accomplished teachers, researchers, and clinicians he helped recruit to Chapel Hill and the impacts that they have made on health care across the state and nation.
After stepping down as Dean and CEO, Dr. Houpt continued to influence faculty and leaders at UNC and beyond and took particular joy in coaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders through close personal relationships and leadership courses based on the lessons shared in his book, “Learning to Lead in the Academic Health Center.”
In 2019, the UNC School of Medicine honored Dr. Houpt’s legacy by renaming the Physician Office Building for Dr. Houpt.
Houpt is survived by his wife of 55 years, Corinne Anderson; two sons, Brian (Jennifer) of Atlanta and Eric (Gwennie) of Charlottesville; and six grandchildren, Charlie, Henry, Hannah, John Carlton, Lukas, and Logan.
A service for Dr. Houpt will be held on Friday, January 17 at 2:30 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, 209 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, followed by a memorial reception at 4:00 p.m. at the Dubose House, Rizzo Conference Center, 150 Dubose House Lane, Chapel Hill. Both the service and reception are open to all who would like to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made to the charity of your choice.
Dr. Houpt’s obituary appeared in the News and Observer on Jan. 16.