The Howe Years 1985~2000
things fell the day I arrived in San Antonio — the price of oil,
funding for higher education, and 13 inches of snow."
—Dr. John P. Howe,
It was in that atmosphere in
February 1985 that Dr. Howe
assumed the presidency of Health Science Center. From his earliest days here, he
has played an integral leadership role in San Antonio and South Texas.
Dr. Howe served as a key member of a group of community leaders who developed
the Texas Research Park in western Bexar County. The first tenant of the park
was the Health Science Center’s Institute of Biotechnology (IBT). Dr. Howe
also supported the development of organ transplantation programs that generated
several South Texas "firsts"—including the first heart transplant in
a civilian hospital in this region and the first lung, liver and pediatric
intestinal transplants. In October 1991, Dr. Howe’s leadership also culminated
in the opening of the Robert F. McDermott Clinical Science Building, which
houses the Health Science Center’s world-acclaimed Research Imaging Center.
In 1995, Dr. John P. Howe, III, escorted Texas First Lady Laura
Bush and introduced her to Susie S. Ramirez, custodial services.
Dr. Howe applauded members of the Special Events Council on their
efforts to help 1998 flood victims.
Dr. Howe and Dr.
Sanford Miller visited with the guest speaker before a Graduate
Dr. Howe congratulates the winners of the annual South Texas Poison
Center poster contest.
The early and mid-1990s under
Dr. Howe saw the development of the South Texas/Border Initiative, a cluster of
programs funded by the Texas Legislature and designed to increase the
availability of health education programs to residents of the South Texas/Border
Region. Dr. Howe worked with many leaders to ensure creation of the Regional
Academic Health Center (RAHC) in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Health Science
Center’s Medical School was chosen
to operate the RAHC’s Medical Education and Medical Research divisions in
Harlingen and Edinburg, respectively. Even in the years before the South
Texas/Border Initiative or
the RAHC, the federal government designated the Health Science Center as one of
the country’s Medical Hispanic Centers of Excellence,
and more recently the Health Science Center was lauded for its exemplary ranking
in graduating Hispanic students and hiring outstanding Hispanic faculty by Hispanic
in Higher Education magazine.
support for our school has resulted in more nurses serving rural
— Rudy Gomez,
nursing dean’s office
"Dr. Howe has been an
enthusiastic supporter of the Dental School, and his support was
essential to our rise in national prominence."
— Dr. Victor
dental dean’s office
great rapport with legislators increased our support in Austin and
Robert B. Price,
"Dr. Howe started the
Gifts For Children program and has warmly backed our efforts in
every holiday season."
"Dr. Howe’s annual
attendance at Fiesta de Tejas has
encouraged us to make
the event bigger and better."
— Sally Crouser,
"Dr. Howe’s strong
endorsement of our Microbiology Evening Program for schoolteachers
— Dr. Stephen
"John Howe encouraged
us to do our best, whether it was research, teaching or clinical
medicine, and recognized our achievements accordingly."
Bettie Sue Masters,
Also during the ’90s, Dr. Howe’s vision resulted in a partnership with
the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) to form the San Antonio Cancer
Institute. The Institute attained prestigious status as a National Cancer
Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of only two in Texas. Dr.
Howe’s many honors during the decade included the presidency of the Texas
Medical Association, which serves 37,000 members statewide.
His leadership resulted in projects such as the expansion of the School of
Nursing and construction of the Allied Health/Research Building housing a major
research facility and allied health departments that now rank among the top in
the nation. On his watch, the School of Nursing continued its proud tradition as
the largest nursing school in The University of Texas System. The Howard Hughes
Medical Institute recognized the Health Science Center’s research expertise
with two major grants to encourage the recruitment of new faculty members and to
foster their development. The university took a leadership role in the
international Human Genome Project.
Through the years, Dr. Howe successfully recruited scores of outstanding
scientists and clinicians to
the Health Science Center.
These experts and their research programs have been featured prominently in
the national media, including The New York Times, U.S. News &
World Report, CNN and all the major television networks. Health
Science Center researchers have been profiled in thousands of stories in area,
state, national and international publications.
In 1999, Dr. Howe was foremost among those responsible for securing $200
million in endowment funds from the state’s tobacco settlement—the nation’s
largest single cancer endowment. The result is the Children’s Cancer Research
Center, which will serve children and their families. As the century drew to a
close, the biosciences, anchored by the Health Science Center’s research,
assumed the mantle as the top economic generator in San Antonio, surpassing the
military and tourism.
Today, partnerships nurtured by President Howe remain strong. These include
close relationships with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, the
University Health System, Brooke Army and Wilford Hall Medical Centers, Christus
Santa Rosa, the CTRC and dozens of other organizations throughout the region.
The Dental School continues to maintain the excellence that prompted magazine
surveys to rank it the number one dental school in the country. The School of
Nursing’s graduate program is ranked with the national leaders, and the
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has tripled its research funding. The
Medical School continues its tradition of outstanding primary care training,
finishing at the top
in national surveys, as well as continuing its national stature as a leading
New programs and faculty are added almost
daily. In every area of its existence, the continuing excellence of the Health
Science Center will prove
to be the lasting legacy of President John P. Howe, III, M.D.
John P. Howe, III, M.D., begins his
term as president
President Howe initiates the first
Fiesta de Tejas on campus
Family Practice Residency Program
expands with new facilities in McAllen
Former Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and
Janey Briscoe help dedicate the new Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Library
First $1 million endowed chair is
created by the Humana Foundation Inc.
The Parman Chair in Medicine
is established, a gift to the Health Science Center along with The Parman
House and Conference Center from the Dan F. Parman family
Department of Surgery begins heart
Health Science Center and VA
collaborate to bring a VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical
Center to San Antonio, the first of its kind in the Southwest
Dental School’s two new dental vans
provide outreach screening throughout San Antonio and South Texas
Department of Veterans Affairs,
Department of Defense and Health Science Center commit to bring
$5 million PET system to future Research Imaging Center
Fifth floor added to Dental School
building to accommodate growing teaching and research needs
Institute of Biotechnology’s Hayden
Head Building is dedicated
in the Texas Research Park
Dental School celebrates its
School of Nursing receives approval
to grant Ph.D. in nursing
President’s Council created to help
fund important projects in all five schools
Health Science Center researchers
receive $7.7 million from the
National Institutes of Health to fund
San Antonio’s leading role in the
Human Genome Project
Texas First Lady Laura W. Bush visits
Health Science Center/VA partnership
on aging research earns major grant to create Nathan Shock Aging Center
School of Nursing celebrates 25th
anniversary with special guest Luci Baines Johnson
The J. Kent Trinkle Center for
Transplant Sciences, honoring the Health Science Center transplant
pioneer, opens at University Hospital
Dr. Howe serves as president of the
Bexar County Medical Society
New 450-bed Brooke Army Medical
Center is officially dedicated, with Dr. Howe recognized for his key role
in ensuring BAMC’s continued presence as a preeminent military hospital
44,000-square-foot addition to the
of Nursing is dedicated
Health Science Center receives $200
million endowment for the new Children’s Cancer
Health Science Center and the
University Health System collaborate to establish the Texas Diabetes
Institute on the West Side
U.S. Department of Defense approves
$14 million for major study of disease management in patients with
congestive heart failure
Officials celebrate ceremonial
of RAHC Medical Education Division building
South Texas Centers for Biology in
Medicine and SBC Teleconference Center are dedicated in Texas Research
$7 million is awarded to Health
Science Center scientists for the most advanced research equipment
50-acre tract of land, valued at $7
million, is given to the Health Science Center by the San Antonio Medical
Foundation for the site of the Children’s Cancer Research Center
Leaders break ground for the Health
Science Center’s campus extension in Laredo
of the schools—allied health, nursing, graduate, medical and
dental—found a warm supporter in President Howe. In the photo at
left, he visits with a race winner at the "Miles for
Smiles" dental outreach fund-raiser. "Schoolchildren
benefited from Dr. Howe’s constant affirmation of our community
dental programs," said Dr. Maria Lopez Howell, pictured in
the photo at right with Drs. Howe and Ken Kalkwarf, dental
Under Dr. Howe’s leadership,
his talented team achieved remarkable progress, which included the
million in philanthropic gifts raised for the Health Science Center.
- Annual research funding
$32 million to $128 million.
- Health Science Center budget
$134 million to $332 million.
- Regional Academic Health
Center in the
Lower Rio Grande Valley changes the future
of the rapidly growing South Texas/Border Region.
- Bioscience sector becomes the
city’s top economic generator, with the Health Science Center as the
primary catalyst for this industry.
- Endowment grows from $5
- Health Science Center garners
$200 million endowment for Children’s Cancer Research Center.
- A total of 15,000 graduates
now serve as health care professionals.
- Texas Research Park is
international acclaim to San Antonio as a center
of bioscience research.
- Twelve new buildings or
building expansions are added to Health Science Center sites.
- Health Science Center/Cancer
Therapy & Research Center-sponsored San Antonio Cancer Institute earns
prestigious designation as a
Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
- Health Science Center earns
10-year reaccreditation with glowing reports