Heritage of Odessa to honor former Odessan

February 19, 2019

Dr. George Tye Liu said he takes to heart the idea that service is the price you pay for the space you occupy in this world.

Liu said he views himself more as someone who is in the trenches striving to do the best they can for the task at hand, but his leadership and industry achievements have continuously brought him under the spotlight. He was recognized by the Texas Podiatric Medical Association in 2018 as having exemplary commitment and distinguished service to podiatric medicine at the state and national level, and this week he will receive a Distinguished Former Odessan Award at the annual Heritage of Odessa awards banquet for his numerous accomplishments.

The former Odessan grew up in a neighborhood close to the Odessa Country Club and attended St. John’s Episcopal School, Bonham Middle School and in 1990 graduated from Permian High School. Although Liu was born in Michigan, he said he is proud and humbled to return to his hometown.

“I’m speechless about award,” he said. “I’m thankful and grateful but I just feel like I’m doing my job.”

Narita Holmes, Heritage of Odessa committee member, said the awards ceremony is a celebration of accomplishments by people from the community, including the ones that no longer live here. She said showcasing talented individuals with Odessa roots has been a focus for the organization.

“You feel a lot of pride (recognizing individuals),” Holmes said. “What they learned while they were living here, the opportunities they had and the education they had really made the difference in their career and basically laid the foundation for their success.”

Holmes said the Distinguished Former Odessan Award specifically recognizes former residents whose work brings honor to Odessa. She said Liu fit the bill and has been prolific in his writing, presentations and overall profession.

“He really has distinguished himself in his career,” Holmes said.

Liu is continuing a tradition of professional and civic achievement set by his father Dr. Shai Liu, a retired general surgeon, who was a Heritage of Odessa Community Statesmen recipient in 2011.

“My interest was to participate in the growth of the profession from the research standpoint and a clinical standpoint,” Liu said. “When I got into it, I went into it full force and I haven’t stopped since.”

Liu was named one of America’s Most Influential Podiatrists by Podiatry Management in 2017 and he currently serves on the board of directors of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. To date, he has given 257 lectures on foot and ankle surgery subject matter at scientific conferences around the world.

Liu said he is most proud of the work he has done as an instructor. At this time, he resides in Dallas and works to train and mentor the next generation of orthopedic surgeons as an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“I think being able to teach and impart knowledge on the next generation has been my greatest fulfillment,” Liu said. “I like sharing and being able to partake in the training and education of the future generation whether it’s medical students or residents. The thing that gives me the greatest pleasure is seeing these guys grow and come back and thank me for teaching them about medicine and surgery, critical thinking and judgment.”