A Tribute to the Life and Legacy


Dr. H. Jack Geiger

December 30, 2020

As we collectively remember the life and the contributions of Dr. H. Jack Geiger, the quote by Sir Isaac Newton comes to mind, "If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."

Delta Health Center joins its sister organizations, the over 1300 community health centers in Mississippi and across the nation as we grieve, reflect, and honor the life and legacy of Dr. H. Jack Geiger, for his are the shoulders of which we stand. He was a leader, mentor, visionary, and a trailblazer respected by the Community Health Center movement and thousands of others.

Dr. Geiger first came to Mississippi in response to the clarion call sounded by Dr. Robert Smith, to provide healthcare to the Freedom Riders who were registering African Americans to vote in 1964. It was then that he became aware of the generations of African Americans in the Mississippi Delta, who had no access to healthcare, and were living in unhealthy and unsafe environments. Following that fateful “Freedom Summer,” Dr. Geiger, along with Dr. Robert Smith, Dr. Count Gibson, and others, held an all-night meeting in a Greenville, MS hotel, emerging with a commitment to establish "neighborhood health centers" to address the plight and unmet needs of underserved, impoverished people and communities. Tufts Delta Health Center was established in Mound Bayou, MS, with funding from the newly formed Office of Economic Opportunity established by President Lyndon Johnson.

While this is a day of great sadness, Dr. H. Jack Geiger’s vision and work positively affected the lives of millions of Americans. His vision, tenacity, commitment, and compassion was beyond reproach.

Today, we pay homage to the past, the struggles and obstacles that were overcome and the groundwork that he laid, as we stand on his shoulders in the present, with a renewed commitment to strive to see further and carry forward his vision into the future.

John A. Fairman
Chief Executive Officer