Dr. Timothy George was recently honored by the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL) for his contributions to pediatric medicine and the community.
George, medical director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award at the organization’s 36th Annual Equal Opportunity Gala. The award is presented each year to an individual who exemplifies the principals for which Young stood.
“It’s truly an honor,” George said. “I have many heroes, but Whitney Young Jr. is without a doubt one of them. When I think about his impact and what I admire, it’s that he was bridge builder.”
Young, an American civil rights leader, transformed the National Urban League by working with corporate America and politicians to create more opportunities for African Americans and the disenfranchised. Likewise, George is committed to building bridges in Central Texas and the Austin community. Nurturing the relationships he’s helped foster between Dell Children’s and the University of Texas for the Dell Pediatric Research Institute is a top priority.
“Things at the grassroots level can raise awareness, but you really need to be able to get into the power structure to make things happen,” he said. “I’m much more effective when I sit down with people in leadership and I’ve found I can influence others, so in that way I think I’ve been on a similar course.”
Growing up in a rough neighborhood of New York City, George persevered, seizing opportunities and setting his goals high. He was the first in his high school to get accepted to an Ivy League school. George began his academic route at Columbia University, completed his medical training at New York University, his residency in Neurosurgery at Yale University School of Medicine, and his Pediatric Fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“I didn’t have the role models or job shadowing opportunities others might have had, but I had the drive to make a difference. I just saw the open doors and had the confidence to walk through where others didn’t,” he said.
That confidence has led him to pursue new challenges. George’s ambition is rooted in his research which centers on the nervous system, how it develops and what can lead to birth defects. To George, children are the symbol of hope, and so he’s devoted his life and career to improving their future.
“With kids, the goal is to set them up so that their lives are great forever, no matter how tough their circumstances can be,” he said.
Building bridges, making a difference and working to improve the health of Central Texas Children is what George strives to do. While he says receiving the AAUL award is an honor, for George it’s really the little things that keep him motivated and make it all worthwhile.
“I work for hugs, that’s what I do. If the family wants to give me a hug and I hug them back, then I know I did my job and everything’s okay.”
The Villager also featured Dr. George in a recent issue. Click here to read the story.