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University president selected 'Mr. South Texas' (10/22/97)

Laredo civic leaders have chosen John P. Howe III, MD, president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, as "Mr. South Texas" of 1998 for his efforts to help the region meet its health and education needs.

Dr. Howe was unanimously selected by the city's Washington's Birthday Celebration Association, and will be the honoree during the 10-day celebration that starts Feb. 12.

"This did not come about accidentally," Joaquin G. Cigarroa, MD, prominent Laredo physician and member of the selection committee, said at a luncheon Oct. 15 in San Antonio announcing Dr. Howe's selection.

"This is an example of this man's hard work and dedication to South Texas. We think of the UT Health Science Center of South Texas, not only of San Antonio. Thank you for helping South Texas meet its unmet needs," Dr. Cigarroa said.

The 1997 honor went to Gov. George W. Bush. The Mr. South Texas title has been awarded each year since 1952. Previous honorees include H-E-B chairman Charles Butt, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock and Judge Solomon Casseb Jr.

"I was overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of the Laredo community when they told me I was going to be honored," Dr. Howe said. "I promise my commitment not only during the February festivities, but for the years to come."

Under Dr. Howe's direction, the Health Science Center helped launched the state Legislature's South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative in 1995. The $7.5 million-a-year project has expanded educational programs for health professionals and health students in the Laredo/Mid Rio Grande Valley as well as the Rio Grande Valley and the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend area.

A cardiologist, Dr. Howe is president-elect of the Texas Medical Association and immediate past president of the Bexar County Medical Society and the Texas Society for Biomedical Research. He served as chairman of the governor's Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council, and past chairman of the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs.

Dr. Howe is a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and boards of directors for the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, the Southwest Research Institute, Mercy Health Systems of Texas and the San Antonio Medical Foundation.

Contact: Jim Barrett (210) 567-2570