Former health commissioner appointed to position at OU

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The former interim commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health has now been appointed as an associate dean at the University of Oklahoma.

Officials say Gary Cox has been appointed as an associate dean at the Hudson College of Public Health at OU, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.

Cox will serve as associate dean for public health practice and community partnerships, and also as a professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy.

“Gary Cox is a nationally recognized leader in public health practice with a track record of outstanding service at the city-county, state and national level,” said Dr. Gary Raskob, dean of the Hudson College of Public Health. “We are delighted he has chosen to join our college to bring his extensive experience for the benefit our students, and to strengthen our partnerships with governmental public health and private community partners.”

Prior to joining the Oklahoma State Health Department, Cox served for 10 years as the executive director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, where he was nationally recognized for his cutting-edge approaches for better health.

From 1969 until 2009, Cox held a variety of roles for the Tulsa Health Department. In all, he served 15 years as the department’s director.

During his 25 years leading Oklahoma’s two largest city-county health departments, he established collaborative relationships with government entities and community partners, developed public policy and launched efforts aimed at improving community health. 

“The OU Hudson College of Public Health is an essential resource for our state to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Jason Sanders, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center and vice chair of the board for OU Medicine. “Gary Cox brings national leadership and over 50 years of public health experience in Oklahoma to advance our goals of groundbreaking research, health workforce training and statewide partnerships.”

In the past, Cox taught for 17 years as a part-time visiting associate professor for the Hudson College of Public Health.

Cox earned bachelor of arts degrees in education and history and a minor in science from Northeastern State University. He also attended the University of Tulsa College of Law, where he earned his juris doctorate.

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