SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Many in Savannah are mourning the loss of a medical giant who was born and raised in Savannah.
Dr. Irving Victor made a huge impact on the area. He helped merge St Joseph's/Candler, create EMS in Chatham County, and even started Vic's on the River.
He will be greatly missed, but those close to him say his influence on this community will be long-lasting.
“Nothing was missing with Irving Victor,” said his close friend and colleague Paul Hinchey, president and CEO of St Joseph’s/Candler.
The halls of St. Joseph’s/Candler are different because of the work of Dr. Irving Victor. He was known as a gifted physician for 41 years, smart businessman beginning Vic’s on the River, a humble giver helping anyone he could, and devoted friend who told the best stories.
“He’s left an indelible mark on St. Joseph’s/Candler and I’d have to say without any exaggeration and indelible mark on this community and I’ll tell you why I say that,” explained Paul Hinchey of his friend. “Years from now we’ll be telling Irving Victor stories and to me that’s part of a legacy.”
From the beginning friends say Dr. Victor was different. He earned his doctorate at just 22 years old and continued to surprise people with his innovation. He served as the chief of staff at three Savannah hospitals, even helped organize the merger of St. Joseph’s/ Candler. But one of his biggest accomplishments was establishing EMS in Chatham County. It completely transformed emergency services to provide care quicker to patients.
“He thought that there had to be a better way and it took a lot of changing of mindsets to do that...” said Hinchey. “And he did it for the reasons that we’ve been talking about, the strength of his clinical ability and the integrity of the man.”
Those who knew him best say there will never be another man like Irving Victor. They know they are better for knowing him and this community for his service and dedication.
“I actually ended up initially getting a business mentor,” explained Paul Hinchey. “But I actually ended up getting a life coach who has taught me so much on so many other areas so I’m one of the lucky ones in that regard.”
Dr. Victor’s legacy is far-reaching and one that will not be forgotten. For Hinchey the best way to honor his life, is to mimic it.
“You know I think part of the legacy is two words, which is community service," said Hinchey. "And I think that’s the lesson for all of us that live here that we need to get involved and it’s our community and we live here and how could someone that was a doctor that had no time at all, getting up at 4:30 in the morning rounding at seven hospitals find time to do this. So, if Irving Victor could find time we all can find time to give back to Savannah.”
Paul Hinchey says St. Joseph’s/Candler is build on a solid foundation because of Dr. Irving Victor and they will continue to follow the path he set.