Neil C. Wortley

2009 Missourian Award Recipients

Born December 3, 1921 in Lake Odessa, Michigan, Mr. Wortley relocated to Springfield during World War II working in the Army Medical Corps at O’Reilly Hospital.

He became administrator of Cox Medical Centers in 1952 and, with the exception of eight years with the Missouri Department of Health, held that position until his semi-retirement in 1985.

In his later years, he served Cox as administrator emeritus and focused on fundraising to support hospital services and patients. He became the first Emeritus Board member for the CoxHealth Foundation last year.

Mr. Wortley was a longtime member of First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, a longtime member of Rotary, and active with the North Springfield Betterment Association receiving the “Pioneer Award”. He received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Missouri Hospital Association, received the “Missourian Award” in 2009 and was awarded as an “Outstanding Alumni” by Missouri State University. He proudly served many community organizations including the Musgrave Foundation from which he recently resigned.

Under his leadership CoxHealth grew in scope and reputation. He always gave credit for his success to the physicians, nurses, support staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors with whom he was privileged to work alongside. Neil truly cared about everyone he encountered. He had a unique gift for expressing that love for people and inspiring others to pass along that same caring and concern. He had a way of making everyone he met feel special and important.

Neil was a colorful personality. He was quick with a joke and quick with a hug for the ladies. His reputation for rounding at the hospital in holiday costumes lives on- especially the Easter Bunny and Halloween witch outfits.