Meet Mr. Heart Health, William A. Cooper, MD, MBA
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Name:  William A. Cooper, MD, MBA

Profession:  Heart Surgeon, Veteran, Speaker, Entrepreneur

Age:  49

William A. Cooper, M.D., is on a mission to educate and empower African Americans on how to live more heart healthy. Although Cancer is more highly promoted, more Americans die each year from Heart Disease than from all forms of Cancer combined. As a matter of fact over 500,000 Americans have open-heart surgery every year. Heart Disease is very serious and affects African Americans harder than any other group of people.

It was an emotional and trying experience that first peaked young William Cooper’s interest in medicine.

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor at a very young age.” Dr. Cooper tells BE Modern Man. “At 14 I became intrigued by the death of my mother who passed from pancreatic cancer at the age of 46. I settled on heart surgery after my experience working with a group of heart surgeons while in medical school.”

Dr. Cooper’s work is inspired by his strong upbringing, history, values, education and a spiritual commitment gained from his family. These pillars are what drives him to give more of himself and go beyond his profession to make an impact on the world we live in.

To take your impact to a level beyond your career, Dr. Cooper challenges us to realize that we are more than what we do on a daily basis.

He says, “realize that you are not your profession! You make the profession. Do not allow titles and positions to define who you are. You must understand that all of us have more to give to this world than just the day to day work that we do. Seek positive influences and influencers in your life, and do not allow negative people or things to plant doubt in your mind about all the possibilities that you dream of. Most importantly Stay spiritually grounded and committed to your goals and objectives. Believe!”

A strong business acumen, leadership and entrepreneurial skills along with expertise as a heart surgeon spanning over 20 years only crack the surface. Dr. Cooper is a 30-plus year Army veteran having served in two wars. The depth and diversity of Dr. Cooper’s expertise undoubtedly places him in an elite space.

“These are ‘things’ that I have done but I have not allowed them to define who I am,” Dr. Cooper tells BE Modern Man. “I am still a down-to-earth, humble, principled and spiritual man.”

Consistent and authentic leadership that combines perseverance and resilience to accomplish goals has been Dr. Cooper’s calling card. This combination was tested as Dr. Cooper faced one the most challenging times in his career.

“Negotiating my exit from my former employer was a challenging experience. I felt like I was leaving home for the first time as I had spent much of my career there (Emory University) and I have many friends and colleagues who had become like family.”

With a youthful exuberance, Dr. Cooper believes he is just getting started and the best is yet to come.

“Having been blessed to raise four wonderful children and watch them grow and develop is a grand accomplishment. Professionally, the legacy of leadership, excellence in care delivery, and program development I have created is truly remarkable. Furthermore, the opportunity to restore health and save lives daily is an anointed accomplishment that gives each day.”

As the successes and accomplishments of the average man of color continue to be overshadowed by the stereotypes that suggest that we can only succeed in athletics and entertainment, the world as a whole loses sight of the truth.

“We are much more diverse than that, but our accomplishments as boring as they may be do not engender the excitement and popularity created by the other industries,” Dr. Cooper tells BE Modern Man.

Breaking down the barriers of conventionality and stereotypes is exactly what Dr. Cooper intends to do.

“Ironically, I plan to pursue a career as a talk show host or radio personality as a conduit to expand my influence. Being a BE Modern Man means that we must let them know that we are much more than they think of us. If we are to break away from the conventions of society, we are going to need media such as BE to help us get there. No one else will tell our story. We are best suited to do such.”

Dr. William A. Cooper reminds us to “Dictate Your Own Destiny.”

Decide with Intent, Commit to your decision, create Trusted leadership through Authenticity, Trust the process, and Exalt in your successful journey.”

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan

 

Join the Conversation


MORE ON BlackEnterprise.com