Jeffrey Houpt M.D.
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Jeffrey L. Houpt, MD

Chapel Hill

Jeffrey L. Houpt, MD passed away on January 13, 2020 at the age of 78 after a long and courageous battle with cardiac amyloidosis, a rare progressive disease. He 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 native of Philadelphia, Dr. Houpt received a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College. He completed his MD training at the Baylor College of Medicine before a medicine residency at Boston City Hospital. From there, Dr. Houpt moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he was a psychiatry resident at Yale.

Upon completing his training, Dr. Houpt's career took him to California, where he held positions at the US Naval Hospital in Oakland and the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He first came to North Carolina in 1975 after accepting a faculty position at Duke Medical Center, where his research and clinical interest focused on the interface between psychiatry and clinical medicine.

In 1983, he was named Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and in 1988 Emory named him as Dean of its School of Medicine.

In 1997 he returned to North Carolina as Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and UNC's Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs. One year later, the UNC Health Care system was established as an integrated health care system by the North Carolina General Assembly. Houpt was named CEO of the newly established health system, becoming the first person to hold the triple role of Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs, and CEO of UNC Health Care.

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.

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.

A service will be held on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 2:30p at University Presbyterian Church, 209 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill followed by a memorial reception at 4:00p 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.

Arrangements by Cremation Society of the Carolinas.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News and Observer & Herald Sun on Jan. 16, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Cremation Society of the Carolinas
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5 entries
January 21, 2020
Jeff was my Dean at Emory for about 10 years and was genuinely interested in me as a person even if that involved a late Friday afternoon shirtsleeve conversation. He really cared about the patients and reinforced that faculty should be caring. When I then moved to UNC after his time as Dean was over I enjoyed participating in leadership programs he ran. He was a great leader and person. Will miss him.
Rick Segal
January 18, 2020
Jeff Houpt and I were roommates and good friends during our last two years at Wheaton College where we played soccer together and played important roles in the pre-med club. Our days at Baylor Medical School found us immersed in the heydays of world-famous heart surgeons Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey and Baylor's sound leadership under Deans Stanley Olson and J.R. Schofield who I believe were solid role models for Jeff's brilliance as a medical leader and administrator. Jeff and I served together at Oakland Naval Hospital during the bad days of the Vietnam War including working on the team that worked with the POWs coming home from N. Vietnam Prison Camps. Jeff and I kept in touch and I always valued his advice, maturity and wisdom. He embodied what Erik Erickson the famous psychoanalyst called generativity. The valuing and nurturing of the next generation---in Jeff's situation, future medical leaders and researchers. He will be missed but his contributions to medicine will be a long-lasting legacy. I will miss our friendship.
Peter Olsson MD
January 16, 2020
My college roommate, wedding groomsperson, and one of the most authentic and good persons I've ever known. Loved him
Walter Wolfram
January 16, 2020
With Deepest Sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Blue Cross NC Board of Trustees & Executive Leadership Team
January 16, 2020
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