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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Cecil George Sheps (1913-2004)

Born and educated in Canada, Cecil Sheps played a major role in the development of that nation’s national health insurance program. After graduating from Yale in 1947 with a masters degree, he taught at Chapel Hill’s public health school for six years and joined in the planning of the new teaching hospital and the expanded medical school. He left Chapel Hill to head a hospital in Boston and returned in 1968 to head the Health Services Research Center, which was devoted to the study of medical care delivery. After serving as the vice chancellor for health affairs, he returned to the classroom to teach social medicine and epidemiology. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1986, the university named Sheps Building for him and awarded him the Jefferson Award in 1983.