2006-07-18 20:26:31 UTC
MOBILE, Ala. Dr. Ernest G. DeBakey, a retired Mobile surgeon who worked
to improve rural health care and warn students about the dangers of
substance abuse, has died. He was 96.
The Louisiana native and former U-S Air Force flight surgeon died
yesterday (Monday) and leaves behind a legacy of philanthropic work and
DeBakey was the brother of famed artificial heart pioneer Dr. Michael
E. DeBakey of Houston. His wife, Marsha DeBakey, said her husband often
traveled to rural towns to perform procedures for those who didn't have
access to care.
Through these travels, he witnessed firsthand the shortage of doctors
practicing in rural areas and sought to change that. In 1997, he
established the Ernest G. DeBakey Charitable Foundation. The foundation
has helped lure several doctors to rural areas in the recent years.
In 1993, Ernest DeBakey helped create a drug education vehicle that
later became a model for others throughout the nation.
In addition to his wife and brother, DeBakey's survivors include one
daughter, one brother and two sisters.
Services will be private. The family requests that memorials be made to
the Ernest G. DeBakey Charitable Foundation or the Infirmary Foundation.