Dr. George Homer Porter, III, President Emeritus of the Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation and its longest serving president, died peaceably at his home in New Orleans on November 17, 2017. He was 84 years old.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Porter was a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University where he also earned his medical degree with honors. He moved to New Orleans in 1964 joining the staff and practicing in the areas of hematology and oncology. He served as President of the Ochsner Medical Foundation from 1980 until the formation of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in 2001.
Dr. Porter was very active in both the medical and civic communities of New Orleans. He served as Chairman of the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), on the boards of the American Cancer and Leukemia Societies, and was a founding member of the Louisiana Cancer and Lung Trust Fund Board where he served as chairman.
He was instrumental in establishing the Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health, an internationally recognized board honoring annually a distinguished scientist responsible for major contributions in the field. Until 2002, Dr. Porter served on the Board of Trustees of the NO/Aids Task Force, the largest service agency in New Orleans and respected nationally for serving the medical and emotional needs of those infected with the AIDS virus. He worked to promote education and prevention programs to control the spread of the virus, to secure drug treatment for indigent patients, and to hasten the development, testing, and approval of new treatments. He personally provided medical services for indigent patients without regard to payment ability.
Outside the medical area, Dr. Porter served as Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of the Business Task Force for Education (BTF), the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the Hibernia National Bank, WWNO Public Radio, the Gallier House, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Junior League of New Orleans.
Following his move to president emeritus, Dr. Porter was asked by the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, to teach a course each semester in the history of medicine which he did for several years. Dr. Porter was an active member of many local and national social clubs and Carnival organizations.
Dr. Porter is predeceased by his wife, Dr. Virginia Pillow Porter, Ochsner's first female anesthesiologist, and his daughter Virginia Mapp Porter, and he is survived by his cousins Ann Willis Scott of Raleigh North Carolina and Clyde H. Jacob III of New Orleans.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM at the Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. Memorial donations should be made to the church or to Ochsner.