Gene Mayer, our Peace Corps doctor in Turkey between 1965 and 1967, died in November 1994 after a brief battle with a rare form of cancer. Dr. Mayer received an M.D. from Columbia and joined the US Public Health Service. In Ankara, he was an understanding friend. We came to appreciate the humor with which Gene approached our 14 trips to his office for daily rabies shots. After his stint in Turkey, he went on to become the Peace Corps regional medical officer for West Africa.
At a memorial service in Chapel Hill, NC, attended by some 800 friends and colleagues, speakers said that Gene came out of the Peace Corps with a sense of mission and direction to humanize and reorganize health care. He became the Associate Dean of the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. He was most revered for his leadership as Director of a consortium of medical education centers, which he used to dramatically improve the number of physicians serving rural communities. He helped tear down walls between specialties and was a leader in introducing a community focus to health care training and practice.
— George Wright and Diana Pearce (T-9)