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Women’s wellness: VIP access for all

September 2013

Dr. Henrich talks with Drs. Chapa and Piña and high school students.
President Henrich joins Irene Chapa, Ph.D. (far left), and Sophia Piña, Ph.D. (right), in welcoming incoming high school students Clover Moten (left) and Karen Jimenez to the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy. Thanks to The Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund, the program is successfully preparing students for college while developing the next generation of biomedical scientists. More than 60 percent of the students in the program are female this year. Faculty members Drs. Chapa and Piña lead the program. Since 2007, the Voelcker Fund has generously supported biomedical research and education at the UT Health Science Center.
Each of us can name a woman close to us who is the light of our life. She could be our mother, sister, aunt, teacher or friend.

The light of my life is my wife, Mary. Her example of selflessness, kindness and courage serve as a compass for me. During this last year, she literally saved my life on several occasions. I will forever be grateful to her.

But what if the tables had been turned? What if it had been Mary who had fallen ill a year ago instead of me? Disease does not discriminate. Just as we all want the best care for our loved ones, I want only the best care for my family when they need it.

Every day I am reminded of how proud I am to continue leading the UT Health Science Center. Our institution is among the best in the nation in providing excellent and compassionate health care for those near and dear to us and for everyone.

This issue of Mission focuses on what we offer specifically in the domain of care and wellness for women. The clinical care and education we provide is backed by a multidisciplinary approach linked to evidence-based outcomes. Our faculty researchers and clinicians in all schools and departments collaborate to bring the very best to our students, patients and to our local and global community who come from all walks of life.

Jovita De Leon (pictured on the cover) is just one example. She had no insurance and a language barrier when her cancer occurred. Because of superb care, she has the prospects for a rich and full life.

One way we ensure this quality continues is to prepare the next generation of men and women scientists through pipeline programs such as The Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy. These bright young students may someday lead Nobel-laureate discovery and thereby save millions of lives. The generosity of the Voelcker Fund and others highlighted in this issue make our mission possible.

Thank you for taking the time to partner with us in these endeavors that make our exceptional health care, education, research and community service accessible to our loved ones and to everyone.


William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
Professor of Medicine
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio


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