Sheps, Cecil G(eorge) 1913-2004

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SHEPS, Cecil G(eorge) 1913-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born July 24, 1913, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; died of pneumonia February 8, 2004, in Chapel Hill, NC. Physician, educator, and author. A former professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he founded the Health Services Research Center, Sheps was a groundbreaking advocate of improved health planning and services. He earned his medical degree at the University of Manitoba in 1936 and, after working as a general practitioner for four years, was inspired to study public health while in the Royal Canadian Medical Corps during World War II. After the war, he earned his master's degree in public health from Yale University in 1947, and went on to earn a D.Sc. from the University of Chicago Medical School in 1970 and a Ph.D. from Ben Gurion University in 1983. As assistant deputy minister for the Department of Health in Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1946, Sheps helped establish the national public health-care system that now offers universal coverage to Canadians. Moving to the United States, Sheps directed Beth Israel Hospital in Boston from 1953 to 1960 and was also a clinical professor of preventive medicine at Harvard University in the late 1950s. In 1960, he joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, where he taught medical and hospital administration, and then, in the late 1960s, taught community medicine and was director of Beth Israel Medical Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Moving on to the University of North Carolina, Sheps became professor of social medicine and director of the Health Services Research Center that he founded in 1969; the center would be renamed in his honor in 1991. He left the center in 1972 to become vice chancellor of health sciences until 1976. Sheps retired from the university as a professor emeritus in 1986. Sheps was the author and editor of many publications on public health and health services administration, including Medical Schools and Hospitals: Relationships and Responsibilities of a Changing Society (1965), Primary Health Care in Industrialized Nations (1978), and The Sick Citadel: The American Academic Medical Center and the Public Interest (1983).



New York Times, March 1, 2004, p. A22.


University of North Carolina Web site, (March 2, 2004).

Yale School of Public Health Web site, (March 10, 2004).