Joseph D. Greene
In his 2005 memoir, From Cotton Fields to Board Rooms, Joseph D. Greene recounted leaving his home in rural Georgia in 1959 with his high school diploma and just $35 he had earned from picking cotton. The years that followed him were decorated with success and achievements as he elevated himself from the cotton fields of his youth to become a revered public leader.
Mr. Greene’s remarkable triumph over poverty and adversity made him a personal hero and mentor to many. He “walked the talk” by continuously lifting others up around him and dedicating himself to helping them improve the quality of their lives.
“In a nation of our caliber, no one should be denied access to healthcare. If we’re not sensitive to these problems, then no one will address them.”
Mr. Greene had many personal and professional successes during his lifetime. He was one of the first African Americans to:
- Graduate from a predominately white college
- Be elected to public office in McDuffie County, GA
- Sit on the boards of several major organizations
- Lead the state’s Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia
As a founding Healthcare Georgia Foundation board member, Mr. Greene helped steward the organization from its inception in 1999 through his retirement from the board in 2006. In November 2007, the Foundation lost an inspirational leader when this gentle soul passed from his battle with cancer.
It is the Foundation’s hope that the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award will continue to celebrate his legacy, and inspire others to dedicate their time to improving health and healthcare for all Georgians.