City lawmakers on Thursday mourned the passing of Philadelphia physician and philanthropist Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr.
"I am saddened to hear that we lost an icon, a giant in the city of Philadelphia, primarily in the health care field, but also just a public servant as it relates to making sure that the African American community has a voice in the news and entertainment industry," Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said during Thursday's City Council hearing.
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Lomax in 1982 established Lomax Health Systems and in 1984 won a contract to recruit physicians and medical assistances to supplement municipal staff in Philadelphia's prison system.
Lomax Health Systems in 1989 joined with a Virginia firm to form Healthcare Management Alternatives, Inc., which obtained a contract with the state Department of Welfare to provide health care to recipients of Medicaid in South and West Philadelphia.
Lomax in 2003 formed The Lomax Family Foundation to provide funding to nonprofit organizations and programs promoting art, health, education and culture in the African American community.
He was married for over 50 years to his wife Beverly, and the couple had six children.
Mayor Michael Nutter on Thursday issued a statement on Lomax's passing.
"I’ve known Dr. Lomax for more than thirty years," Nutter said.
"He was an historical figure in Philadelphia and a skilled, compassionate doctor who improved the lives and health of many people. In addition to his work in the healthcare field, Dr. Lomax was a great businessman, philanthropist, and supporter of many worthy causes: minority business development, educational attainment, and artistic and cultural institutions. He was well respected by many people for his tireless efforts."
Nutter said he in 1985 traveled with Dr. Lomax to West Africa for business and called the doctor "a great friend an an inspiration in my work."
"His wife, Beverly, and their children represent the finest in community engagement and service to others," Nutter said.
"Dr. Lomax set a very high example for us all to follow, and I will miss him deeply."
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Walter Lomax," Congressman Chaka Fattah said in a statement.
"I have known Dr. Lomax since I was a child, when he served as my family’s physician, and throughout his extraordinary career as a businessman, philanthropist, and radio station owner. He gave so much of his time and talent to our community, but his most cherished responsibility was as a husband, and a father.
"I was with Walter, his wife, and children last Saturday, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Lomax Companies’ leadership of WURD in Philadelphia, and I am grateful for that opportunity to spend time with him, given today’s news.
"He will be missed by so many whose lives he touched, and I join with the Philadelphia community in sending my thoughts and prayers to the Lomax family."