Quentin Young, M.D.

1923 – 2016

Remarks by Rachel DeGolia on the March 8th national UHCAN call:

“I want to start our call today by remembering Dr. Quentin Young who passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Quentin was an inspiration and a mentor to three generations of health justice advocates and I count myself among them.  In fact, I’ve known Quentin all my life.

“Quentin was highly effective at connecting issues, movements, and people, from his early days of bringing together health justice and the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement.  Among many other organizational involvements, Quentin helped found the Medical Committee for Human Rights, Physicians for a National Health Program and served on UHCAN’s board for many years.  We will miss him, but if Quentin were here to advise us I know, without a doubt, he would say, “Don’t mourn – organize!”

Every part of our health care justice movement as well as other justice movements, too, have stories about how Quentin Young impacted our lives and our work.  Here are just a few of them …

* * * Jim Duffett, former Executive Director, Campaign for Better Health Care

“Quentin was one of the founders of the Campaign for Better Health Care in 1989.  His inspiration will always live on.”

* * * Dr. Robert Zarr, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP):

“Quentin D. Young, who served as national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program from 1992-2014, and who also served as the organization’s past president, died on March 7 in Berkeley, Calif., where he had been under the watchful eyes and care of his daughters and other family members. He was 92.

“In addition to his work with PNHP, Dr. Young co-founded and chaired for many years the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group.

“Dr. Young was known for his sharp, clear-eyed analysis of social and economic problems, particularly in health care, his deep commitment to social justice and racial equality, his quick wit, his insuppressible optimism, his personal courage, and his ability to inspire those around him to join him in the battle for a more equitable and caring world. …”   See full statement

* * * Healthcare-Now!:

Dr. Quentin Young, one of the most extraordinary leaders in our movement  ….  Dr. Young, like Healthcare-N ow’s founder, Marilyn Clement, was one of the living bridges who built the single-payer movement from the people and institutions created by the civil rights movement.”   See full statement

* * * Health and Medicine Policy Research Group:

“A tireless fighter for social justice and respected physician to Mayor Harold Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King among others, Dr. Young will be remembered for his commitment to progressive causes. …

“Quentin’s extraordinary intellect, his moral compass, combined with his total recall of history always led us to a clear path as we tried to solve the challenges in front of us. Quentin taught me to always stand in solidarity with the struggles of working men and women, that no rally was too small to attend, that any opportunity to get our message across was worth taking, that every individual injustice is an injustice to all of us.  In his words, you could get a lot accomplished if you didn’t have to take the credit and if you linked arms with others in struggle …”  [Executive Director, Margie Schaps]

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PNHP is posting many of the articles and obituaries being published about Dr. Young here.