A supplement to the Mission magazine highlighting advancements at the The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the heroes who help make them happen.
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President’s Excellence Fund fuels pipeline, secures top talent
W. Kenneth Washburn, M.D.
W. Kenneth Washburn, M.D.

The President’s Excellence Fund of the Campaign for the Future of Health is a $150 million fund that will be used to recruit and retain preeminent faculty to lead Nobel-Laureate research and discovery, care for patients, and educate the next generation of health care providers. The Fund will allow the Health Science Center to build more than 35 research teams within the next five years consisting of gifted scientists who will achieve groundbreaking medical research, education and care.

Major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation support, endowments and planned gifts are vital to sustaining the President’s Excellence Fund.

These types of gifts enhance the Health Science Center’s effectiveness in competing for world-class scientists, clinicians and faculty to work in the Health Science Center’s signature areas of research and care, such as the transplantation program featured on page 6. A portion of the $5 million gift from the Valero Energy Corporation in 2007 established the Valero President’s Distinguished Chair in Transplantation Surgery. William Kenneth Washburn, M.D., is the holder of this chair.

Valero employee Bob Peugh, who received a liver transplant performed by Dr. Washburn in February 2005, said community support for Health Science Center programs such as the transplant program is vital.

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“I am very encouraged by this gift,” said Peugh, a director of marketing in Valero’s propane sales department who had encouraged Valero to support the Health Science Center’s transplant efforts. “I have worked for Valero for more than 30 years, and I wrote a letter to Valero chairman and CEO Bill Klesse in early 2006 to say that we should support the center. For me, this is wonderful.”

Dr. Washburn received his training at the University of Pittsburgh, Tufts-New England Medical Center and Harvard-New England Deaconess Hospital. He was a transplant surgeon in the U.S. Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center prior to joining the Health Science Center in 1998. He established the clinical research component of the transplant program at the Health Science Center and is the principal investigator of a number of protocols. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and is involved in national transplant organizations and societies.

For more information about ways to support the President’s Excellence Fund, visit www.uthscsa.edu/development or call (210) 567-6395.

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