Dr. James D. Griffin has made history in more ways than one.

According to Center Times Plus, Dr. Griffin previously earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed his residency in anesthesiology before going on to become the school’s first Black graduate to join its faculty.

Now, he has been elected as the first Black president of the medical staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas County’s public hospital. The milestone comes over 60 years after Griffin was born at the same hospital during segregation.

The path toward becoming an esteemed doctor began during Griffin’s upbringing. Coming from a father who was an educator and pastor and a mother who was a librarian, he was born with the gift to help educate others, he says.

“Service is in my genes,” Griffin said, according to the outlet. “Teaching is in our blood, which is probably one reason I stayed on the faculty at UT Southwestern. Teaching in medicine is a never-ending quest to construct bridges over chasms of the unknown or misunderstood.”

In addition to being the president and chief administrative officer of Parkland Memorial Hospital’s medical staff, Griffin is a distinguished teaching professor and vice chair of anesthesiology and pain management at UT Southwestern, as well as a member of the Southwestern Academy of Teachers, the outlet notes.

As a leader in several capacities and as a mentor, Griffin is all about properly caring for patients and lending a helping hand to the next generation of physicians.

“It’s about remembering you’re not treating just a disease, he said. “You’re treating a person who has a disease.”

Griffin added, “We have a big gap in treatment outcomes of patients who come from under-resourced communities, because of limited access to health care. I believe that when we provide adequate resources, good nutrition, adequate housing, and education, the community thrives, so we have an obligation to make sure we foster a balanced society for all.”