MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Kirby, Blount, Wiggins, Harkins, Younger, Michel, Tate, DeBar, Fillingane, Parks, Branning, Caughman, Frazier, Norwood, Parker, Seymour, Simmons (12th), Jackson (32nd)

Senate Concurrent Resolution 584

(As Adopted by Senate)

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE OF ICONIC VICKSBURG PHYSICIAN DR. WILLIAM BRIGGS HOPSON, JR., A PILLAR IN THE MISSISSIPPI HEALTH-CARE COMMUNITY, AND EXTENDING THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY OF THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE TO HIS FAMILY.

     WHEREAS, we join the citizens of Vicksburg and the Mississippi health-care community in mourning the loss of Dr. William Briggs Hopson, Jr., on June 20, 2020, at the age of 82; and

     WHEREAS, his life was marked by great joy and accomplishment.  Dr. Hopson retired in September 2018 after serving 50 years as a physician and an advocate for the medical profession and better medical care in the state.  He served as a community activist who served many local organizations from the Red Carpet Bowl to the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and was recognized as a driving force in the design and development of what was then called River Region Medical Center, and is now Merit Health River Region Hospital; and

     WHEREAS, William Briggs Hopson, Jr., was born in Delhi, Louisiana, in 1937 to the late Mary Jane and W. Briggs Hopson, Sr.; and

     WHEREAS, a graduate of the University of Mississippi, he received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis, where he served as chief resident and associate professor of surgery; and

     WHEREAS, he began his medical career in Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the Street Clinic in 1967.  He continued his medical work in Vicksburg until his retirement in 2018.  During that time, he served as chief of staff, president and chairman of the board of the local hospital and clinic, respectively.  He was elected as a fellow to the American College of Surgeons and a diplomat to the American Board of Surgery.  He received numerous accolades throughout his career; and

     WHEREAS, his passion for trauma medicine resulted in his being named State Trauma Director.  In this capacity, he was a representative to the American College of Surgeons for over 25 years.  He worked with the committee to create national guidelines for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).  Dr. Hopson taught the first ATLS course in the State of Mississippi and taught ATLS courses around the county.  He also served 27 years as the State Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Kirk Fordice tapped Dr. Hopson to chair the State's Committee on Health Care.  During this time, he was instrumental in passing Mississippi's ATLS law, creating levels of trauma centers throughout the state.  Governor Ronnie Musgrove appointed him to serve on the Mississippi State Board of Health; and

     WHEREAS, he served as President of the Mississippi State Medical Association from 1999-2000 and was a delegate to the American Medical Association for eight years.  Dr. Hopson served as "Doctor of the Day" in the Mississippi Capitol on an annual basis; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Hopson was a former associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and was named to the 2016 Medical Center Hall of Fame; and

     WHEREAS, he served his country for 18 years, 10 of those being Command Surgeon of the 412th Army Engineering Command; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Hopson devoted a large portion of his time to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi.  He was elected President of the Alumni Association from 2001-2003.  He was later selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame; and

     WHEREAS, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Miss Mississippi Organization for over 25 years.  He and his wife, Pat, were instrumental in preparing representatives for the Miss America Pageant and providing millions of dollars in scholarships for the education of young women throughout the state.  In 2017, he received the Miss Mississippi Organization Lifetime Achievement Award; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Hopson was active and supportive of many charities in Vicksburg.  He was a loyal and active member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church as chairman of the administrative board and Sunday school teacher for over 50 years.  He served on numerous local boards, including the Red Carpet Bowl Committee (Chairman), Hinds Community College, Merchants Bank and River Hills Bank.  He proudly served as Team Doctor for Warren Central High School for many years.  Dr. Hopson gave generously of his time and resources to help countless people throughout the community, state and nation; and

     WHEREAS, "It's been a joy.  I love going to work," Dr. Hopson said in 2017.  "The greatest thing I miss is performing surgery and seeing the patient leave the hospital and come back cured of cancer, cured of whatever disease they had.  I enjoyed seeing my patients do well.  That was my joy in life"; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Hopson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Pat Hopson; his brother, Jimmy Hopson (Sue); children, Karen Hopson Hall (Reggie); Kathy Hopson Ricks (Kerry); Senator W. Briggs Hopson III (Ali); and Jay Hopson (Michelle); grandchildren, Anna Kate Moen Modisett (Brian), Tanner Hall, Neal Ricks, Travis Hall, Liam Hopson, Walt Hopson, Wesley Ricks, Hyde Hopson, Hannah Hopson and Jane Hopson; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Hopson was an example to others of how to live your convictions with courage, and he will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known his special wisdom and wit.  We pay tribute and cherish fondly the memory of this most public-spirited citizen of Mississippi with enormous civic energy:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby pay tribute to the life of iconic Vicksburg physician Dr. William Briggs Hopson, Jr., a pillar in the Mississippi health-care community, and extending the deepest sympathy of the Mississippi Legislature to his family.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Dr. Hopson, forwarded to the Mississippi State Medical Association and the Board of Directors of the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.