Doctor becomes first Black medical staff president at hospital where he was born over 60 years ago

Dollita Okine February 27, 2024
Photo: Fox4

Dr. James Griffin was recently elected president of the Parkland Medical Staff, becoming the first Black person to be given that role in the county hospital.

His most recent accomplishment follows a long association with the hospital that dates back to his birth. According to the Center Plus Times, the president-elect was born at Parkland in 1958, when the labor and delivery ward was still segregated.

He told Fox4, “In 1958, until I became a 2nd grader, my parents couldn’t vote. So to be elected by my peers, I think takes on special connection. It connects me back to a point where we didn’t have a voice and now you have given a voice to someone who had a different background. I think it’s very important. And that resonates with me, with responsibility and accountability.”

Dr. Griffin initially made history at UT Southwestern Medical School, when he earned his medical degree, finished his anesthesiology residency, and joined the faculty as the first Black graduate of the medical school.

In addition to being UT Southwestern’s Vice Chair of Anesthesiology and Pain Management and Distinguished Teaching Professor, he is also a fellow and member of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers. He also received the Leaders in Clinical Excellence Institutional Service Award from UTSW in 2021.

In the shadows of UT Southwestern in Oak Cliff, Dr. Griffin spent his childhood dreaming of becoming a doctor. His father was a teacher, coach, administrator, and pastor, while his mother went to graduate school with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and became a librarian in the Dallas Independent School District.

He said, “Service is in my genes. Teaching is in our blood, which is probably one reason I stayed on the faculty at UT Southwestern. Teaching in medicine is a never-ending quest to construct bridges over chasms of the unknown or misunderstood.”

Dr. Griffin stated that he will keep working to strike a balance and increase access to high-quality healthcare in his new position as president and chief administrative officer of Parkland’s medical team.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 27, 2024


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