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A Legend and Leader in Public Health Practice Retires

A Legend and Leader in Public Health Practice Retires

Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Gary Cox, JD, has served more than 50 years in public health practice in the state of Oklahoma, beginning his career in July 1969. Throughout his career, Gary served as former Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Director of the Tulsa Health Department for 40 years and Director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department for 10 years.

Gary served as Associate Professor for 20 years and Associate Dean of Public Health Practice at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Hudson College of Public Health since 2020. He served as Chair of the Governor’s Joint Commission on Public Health and was a founding member of the Tulsa Community Health Foundation.  

Gary is currently a member of the American Public Health Association and served as President of the Indian Nations Council of Governments General Assembly and had previously served as a member of the Indian Nations Council of Governments Board of Directors. Gary Cox testified before the United States Senate Committee on appropriations regarding Homeland Security and Bioterrorism.

Gary works to achieve collective goals of public health education, health workforce development, and partnerships with governmental public health and community organizations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gary Cox worked with the CDC Foundation on a grant to make vaccines and educational materials available to underserved communities. He served on the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for more than 10 years, serving as President from 2008-2009.

Gary is the recipient of two Governor’s Commendation Awards: the Oklahoma Champion of Health Award and the Oklahoma Public Health Association President’s Award.

Please help us thank Gary for his loyal service to Oklahoma and wish him all the best in his retirement! A formal retirement celebration for Gary will be held on Wednesday, July 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Broadway 10 in Oklahoma City. All are welcome to attend.